Planning a Rhinoplasty
People seek nasal surgery for a variety of reasons. In addition to enhancing their appearance, rhinoplasty can provide patients with relief from functional problems such as nasal obstruction and sinus infections. This connection between nasal form and function means that cosmetic alterations in the structure of the nose can have undesired effects on breathing if this is not carefully addressed during the procedure. By the same token, surgical improvements to breathing can have a profound effect on a patient’s appearance.
Are You A Good Candidate for a Rhinoplasty?
Good candidates for “medical” nasal surgery are people who wish to correct constricted breathing due to an injury, deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, and/or middle vault narrowing. Good candidates for “cosmetic” nasal surgery are those seeking subtle aesthetic changes to the size and shape of their nose. Dramatic changes can be achieved in rhinoplasty but the results become slightly less predictable the more components of the nose are changed. As the nose heals, scar tissue can displace the structures slightly from where they were placed during the operation.
What to Expect with Rhinoplasty
Nasal surgery can be performed either as an outpatient procedure or a a one-night stay in hospital. The first step is to meet Dr Roth and discuss your goals and possible outcomes of the surgery.
Rhinoplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic and is a very safe procedure. Most patients in general good health do not require special prescriptions prior to surgery.
To perform a rhinoplasty, access to the bones and cartilage that support the nose is required. This can be achieved either through internal incisions or for more complicated surgery through a small incision on the base of the nose.
Each procedure is unique. Depending on the desired goal, bone and cartilage may be removed, or tissue may be added. This tissue may be taken from another part of the body or occasionally may be synthetic.
When the bone and cartilage have been meticulously rearranged and reshaped, the nasal skin and tissue are re-draped over the structure of the nose. Then a splint is placed outside the nose to support the new-and-improved shape as it heals. In some instances, nasal packing may be used inside the nose to provide additional support.
What to Expect After Nasal Surgery
There should be minimal pain following your plastic surgery. You may have some difficulty breathing through your nose for the first week as there is generally swelling after surgery. There may be facial swelling as well.
At approximately one week following your surgery stitches and splints are removed. In some patients the external splint and taping are left in place for two weeks.
The timeline for recovery varies from patient to patient. It generally takes 10-14 days for the majority of the swelling to subside and the bruising to fade. However, it may still be several weeks before you can return to strenuous activity.
Possible Side Effects, Risks and Complications
For the first few days after surgery, your face will feel puffy, and you may experience some bleeding from the nose. The area surrounding your nose and eyes will probably be bruised and swollen for 48-72 hours. You can apply cold compresses to help minimise swelling and reduce pain. Over-the-counter analgesics are also helpful.
Although rare, nasal surgery may also result in:
- Complications due to anaesthesia.
- Injury to the wall that separates your nostrils (the septum).
- Skin problems related to the tape and bandaging including a breakdown of tissue (skin necrosis).
- Unexpected changes in nasal symmetry due to scar tissue formation
The vast majority of patients are extremely satisfied with rhinoplasty procedures.