Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
Rhinoplasty, or nasal surgery, is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures. By reshaping, reducing, or augmenting a person's nose it may be possible to achieve improved facial balance and harmony as well as improved self-confidence. While rhinoplasty may be performed as a cosmetic procedure to enhance a person’s appearance, it may also be done as reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect or an injury like a broken nose. Both functional and cosmetic concerns may be addressed by rhinoplasty surgery. Combining nose reshaping with septoplasty (changing the cartilage between the nostrils internally) can effectively treat certain types of breathing problems, including those caused by a deviated septum.
What types of changes can be made during rhinoplasty surgery?
Rhinoplasty is an excellent procedure to:
- Balance the size of the nose with the other facial features
- Modify the width of the nose at the bridge
- Improve the nasal profile, including removing humps or depressions
- Contour a nasal tip that is too large, "boxy," drooping or upturned
- Change the angle between the nose and the mouth
- Narrow and reshape the nostrils
- Correct asymmetry or deviation
Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?
The best candidates for rhinoplasty:
- Are at least 13 years old;
- Have finished facial growth;
- Are generally healthy;
- Do not smoke or use e-cigarettes;
- Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not pressure from others; and
- Have realistic goals for the procedure.
How is rhinoplasty performed?
Dr. Kunkel performs rhinoplasty surgery in an outpatient surgery center with the patient under general anesthesia. It usually takes about 3 hours to complete the nasal surgery. An open approach is used in which a small incision is made across the columella, the area between the nostrils. This allows direct sculpting of the underlying bone and cartilage to help achieve an optimal nasal shape.
If the patient has a deviated septum, Dr. Kunkel adjusts the septum and often some of the other internal structures of the nose to help improve breathing. The tissues are re-draped over the bone and cartilage and the rhinoplasty incision is sutured closed.
What is the recovery from nose surgery like?
After rhinoplasty surgery patients may experience swelling and bruising, nose ache, a dull headache, bleeding, and stuffiness. Rather than having substantial pain, many patients feel like they have a “head cold” for three or four days. Most patients feel like themselves within a few days and many return to work in about a one or two weeks. Sutures are usually removed between 5 to 7 days after surgery, and a splint is worn on the nose for about 10 days. Any bruising that is present will last about 3 weeks. Contact lenses may be worn immediately, but glasses may need to be taped to the forehead for a while rather than having them rest on the nose.
The results of rhinoplasty become gradually apparent as the days pass after surgery and swelling recedes. Patients often feel swollen for a few months, but other people looking at them usually do not see much swelling after about three weeks. The final result of rhinoplasty surgery may not be apparent for several months, perhaps even until a year, after surgery. Most people, however, have a pretty good idea of what their result will be after three or four months.
Will I like the results of my nose surgery?
Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape and appearance of their nose. The final surgical result is influenced by the patient’s pre-existing nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, and skin thickness.
What are the risks of rhinoplasty?
All surgery has risks, like bleeding, infection, and scars. Risks that are more specific to rhinoplasty include possibly having difficulty breathing through the nose after surgery, small bumps that may be felt through the skin, and visible contour irregularities. It is possible that a person may not end up with the nose that she or he wanted. That’s where communication is important. Before surgery ever takes place Dr. Kunkel spends a lot of time with each patient, learning what that person hopes to achieve with rhinoplasty surgery. Clear communication provides better understanding for both the patient and Dr. Kunkel.
Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?
Insurance may cover a rhinoplasty when breathing problems exist or if there has been significant trauma in the past. Rhinoplasties performed for cosmetic reasons are not covered by insurance.
If you would like more information about Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty) or to schedule an appointment, feel free to fill out our convenient contact form or call us directly at (817) 335-5200.