What Is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is the clinical term for nose surgery, whether the goals are strictly aesthetic or functional, or oftentimes, both. The goal for these surgeries is to improve the appearance and function using various techniques. An overly large nose can be downsized; a small nose can be built up. The underlying cartilage and bone can be shaved or reshaped to change the outer characteristics of the nose. Flared nostrils can be addressed. The options are numerous, and you can visualize your different potential changes beforehand with our digital software.
Here are some of the more common nose contour issues:
- A nose that has a hump anywhere along the nasal bridge
- A nose that is too long, or one that has a drooping nasal tip, sometimes called “witches nose”
- A wide nose, or excessively flared nostrils
- An enlarged nasal tip
- An upturned nose or one that has an excessively recessed nasal bridge
- An asymmetrical or crooked nose
Beyond the common exterior deformities of the nose, many people suffer from internal deformities. The most common condition is a deviated septum. This may be acquired, congenital, or the result of trauma, and can cause partial or full obstruction of the nasal airway. As a result, breathing can become impaired in one or both nostrils, exacerbating other dangerous conditions such as sleep apnea. Internal nasal deformities are a hazard to your general health, and not a cosmetic issue. If you suspect that you might have an interior nasal deformity, you should consult a physician.
How Is Rhinoplasty Performed?
Dr. Foster performs nose surgery using either of two methods: open or closed. During your two-part consultation, he’ll discuss your options with you. Generally, the open method allows more dramatic changes, but it does create a small scar. This scar is virtually invisible, however, as it is made on the ridge that separates your nostrils on the underside of your nose. Rhinoplasty can be done with the patient under IV or general sedation. The surgery usually lasts from one to two hours.
- Open rhinoplasty — In open rhinoplasty, Dr. Foster makes a small incision across the columella (the small strip of skin between the nostrils). He then lifts the skin and soft tissues up and back from the tip of the nose to expose the bone and cartilage. Whether building up or reducing the bridge, the open method provides excellent access. Once the changes are made, the skin and tissue is re-draped over the new underlying structure. This method leaves a small scar on the columella, but it is innocuous and becomes almost invisible over time.
- Closed rhinoplasty — Dr. Foster uses the closed method where possible, as all of the incisions are made within the nose, eliminating any outer scarring. The closed method is effective when the size of the overall nose is being changed, and to address breathing problems. Once the incisions are made, the soft tissues are separated from the bone and cartilage. When the nose is being made thinner or smaller, the nasal bones will be fractured to allow reduction. If increasing the size, Dr. Foster can use cartilage or bone from the patient’s septum, ears, or ribs, or he can use synthetic material.
What Are The Risks Associated With Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty has been performed since back in the ancient Egyptian days. Not liking the look or size of your nose is nothing new. This is still a very popular procedure, and Dr. Foster has extensive experience with this delicate surgery. Still, it is surgery and it carries certain risks with it. There are the risks involved with any surgery: infection, excessive bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, and poor healing. But specific to rhinoplasty, the risks are nasal septal perforation, difficulty breathing, skin discoloration, enduring swelling, and a lack of satisfaction with the end result.
In the vast majority of these surgeries, however, Dr. Foster’s patients are happy to have a nose they finally like seeing in the mirror. The procedure carries very low risk, with a high degree of satisfaction.
What Will My Recovery Be Like?
Recovery from nose surgery can be involved. That’s partially due to the extensive tissue trauma involved. It’s also an area of the face with extensive blood vessels and potential for swelling and bruising.
When you return home, your nose will be splinted to support and protect it. There will also be packing in your nostrils to absorb fluids and to also provide support. You will have some significant swelling and your eyes will likely blacken due to the tissue trauma. Dr. Foster will prescribe pain medication, which will also help manage swelling. Over the first few days, you’ll need to keep your head elevated, even when sleeping. After around one week, your splint will be removed, but your nose and areas around your eyes will still be swollen. This will begin to improve in 10-14 days, but there will be times of swelling for a few weeks, particularly later in the day and at night. Obviously, you’ll have to avoid any activity that can bump your nose for six weeks. Overly strenuous activity will also have to wait. You need to avoid increasing the blood pressure to your face.
I was very pleased with my experience with Dr. Stanley Foster. I was treated with professionalism and care. I always felt safe with the procedures I had done by Dr. Foster. Dr. Foster is knowledgeable and able to explain everything to me in a simple understandable manner. I had simple to more complex procedures but knew all would be well because I trusted Dr. Foster. I highly recommend Dr.Stanley Foster.
Submitted August 25, 2018
Diana Martin, Waterbury CT
How Long Before I Will See My Completely Healed New Nose?
Due to swelling, it will take around six months to fully realize your new nose, although this can vary between patients. You can’t get frustrated at periods of swelling, as this is completely normal due to the trauma that is involved with nose surgery. But when all is said and done, you’ll be pleased with your new nose and your results will last the rest of your life.
Can Rhinoplasty Be Combined With Other Procedures?
People sometimes combine rhinoplasty with a brow lift to add improvements to the forehead area. It’s not recommended to have a facelift at the same time, simply due to the extensive tissue trauma involved with both procedures. Eyelid surgery can be combined with nose surgery. Dermal fillers used down around the mouth area could be combined, but using them to fill under eye troughs and the like wouldn’t be recommended due to the swelling involved with the surgery.