Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
Cosmetic nasal surgery, or rhinoplasty, is one of the most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. While rhinoplasty may be performed as a cosmetic procedure, it may also be done as reconstructive procedure to correct an injury like a broken nose. Reshaping a person’s nose may improve facial balance and nasal function at the same time. Rhinoplasty surgery often results in significant improvement in self-confidence.
types of changes that may 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
candidates for rhinoplasty
The best candidates for rhinoplasty:
- Are at least 13 years old;
- Have finished facial growth;
- Are generally healthy;
- Do not use any nicotine products (cigarettes, vaping, Juul);
- Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not doing it due to pressure from others; and
- Have realistic goals for the procedure.
How is rhinoplasty performed?
Dr. Kunkel performs rhinoplasty surgery in an outpatient surgery center. The patient is put to sleep under the direction of an anesthesiologist (general anesthesia). The surgery takes about 3 hours to complete.
An open approach is used. A small incision is made across the columella (the area between the nostrils). The skin is elevated off the underlying bone and cartilage, allowing precise manipulation and sculpting of these tissues. Dr. Kunkel frequently adjusts the septum as well. The tissues are re-draped over the bone and cartilage and the rhinoplasty incision is closed with sutures. An external nasal splint is placed across the bridge of the nose. Splints may also be placed internally.
recovery after rhinoplasty
Rather than having pain, many patients feel like they have a bad “head cold” for three or four days. Sutures are removed between 5 to 7 days after surgery, and the splint is worn for about 10 days. Any bruising that is present will be noticeable to other people for 3 to 4 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 nasal skin is numb for a week or two, and the tip of the nose feels firm for about 3 months.
The final result of rhinoplasty surgery may not be apparent for several months, perhaps even for a year, after surgery. Most people, however, have a pretty good idea of what their result will be after three or four months.
risks of rhinoplasty surgery
Every surgical procedure includes risks. All operations, from hernia repairs to facelifts to rhinoplasty surgery include risks of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and poor healing. Risks more unique to rhinoplasty include 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.
Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?
Insurance may cover a nasal surgery when breathing problems exist or if there has been significant trauma in the past. Rhinoplasties performed for cosmetic reasons are not covered by insurance.