A Professional Nose Job (Rhinoplasty) Can Help Build Self-Confidence and Improve Breathing
There are multiple reasons why patients consider nose reshaping surgery. They may feel their nose is too large or are uncomfortable or embarrassed by a nasal hump, a crooked nose or a round/bulbous tip. Or, the appearance of their nose may have been altered due to a traumatic injury. Surgical rhinoplasty can address these issues and more by reshaping the nose and providing balance to the face which, for some patients, leads to more confidence and less anxiety.
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Rhinoplasty Can Improve Both Appearance and Function
Often a purely cosmetic procedure, rhinoplasty may also improve the function of the nose by fixing a deviated septum or widening the internal nasal airway.
Rhinoplasty can affect the shape and function of the nose in many different ways, including:
- Reducing or increasing the size of the nose
- Changing the shape of the tip or the bridge
- Narrowing the span of the nostrils
- Correcting congenital or traumatic deformities
- Improving breathing in some patients
- Straightening a deviated septum
Depending on the original condition of the patient’s nose, changes achieved by rhinoplasty may be subtle or dramatic. However, as long as the nose matches the face, even with significant changes it will not be obvious that the patient has had nose surgery. The goal of cosmetic rhinoplasty is always to create a natural improvement in the appearance of the nose so that it is in balance with the rest of the face.
Ideal Candidates for Nose Surgery
Patients who are physically healthy and realistic in their expectations are usually good candidates for rhinoplasty. The best candidates are those individuals who are looking for improvement – not perfection – in the appearance of their nose. Rhinoplasty is not typically an option for children and young teens because their bones are still growing. Exceptions may be made if the nose surgery is required to correct a breathing problem or repair damage from an injury, trauma or birth defect.
In select patients, including those who may not be able to withstand surgery, we are able to offer augmentation through a nonsurgical approach with dermal fillers – referred to as a liquid rhinoplasty.
Patient Examination and History
Before undergoing rhinoplasty surgery, our team will perform an extensive evaluation of the patient’s nose that includes taking photographs. The balance between the patient’s chin and nose is also evaluated. For those who experience headaches, a computed tomography (CT) scan may also be ordered.
Your surgeon will also conduct a thorough physical exam and take a comprehensive medical and family history to ensure you are healthy enough to have surgery. You will be asked about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter vitamins and supplements - some medications may need to be stopped before the surgery. If you smoke, your doctor may ask you to quit - smoking can make the healing process take much longer.
Based on the results of your pre-surgery consultation, your doctor will review the surgical options available to you, including the limitations and risks of surgery. Additional material is given to the patient for review at home.
Rhinoplasty involves remodeling and manipulation of the nasal bone and cartilage framework as well as the overlying tissue. As such, this surgery is complex and requires a surgical plan specifically tailored to meet your needs, whether it is to improve your breathing or to change your appearance.
In most cases, rhinoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure in a surgical center or hospital under general anesthesia. Because the effects of general anesthesia can linger for up to 24 hours, you will be required to have a friend or family member drive you home.
You can usually go home the same day you have the procedure. With more extensive surgeries, an overnight hospital stay might be needed.
Once the surgery is done, the surgeon will put a splint over your nose. This will support your nose for about a week while it heals. Soft packing or tubes may also be put inside your nose for a few days. This will help your nose keep its new shape.
After Your Nose Surgery
After the rhinoplasty surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area where nurses will watch you until you have recovered from the anesthesia. Once you are alert and stable, and can take fluids well by mouth, you will be able to go home, unless special circumstances require an overnight hospital stay.
During the first few days after surgery, you will likely feel sore and have trouble breathing through your nose. Your face may look swollen and bruised for a short time after the surgery. You may have headaches. Your surgeon will give you medicine to relieve pain. Follow the instructions for taking any pain medicines or disease-fighting medicines (antibiotics).
At first, your nose may not look like you thought it would. The swelling and bruising will go away as you heal. Final results may not be seen for up to one year.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions on what types of foods to eat. You should be able to go back to a normal diet if your body can handle it.
You will slowly be able to go back to your normal activities over a few days. You may need to wait a few weeks before returning to physical activities. Ask your surgeon when it’s safe to return to work or go back to certain activities.
For the first few days after the procedure, you should rest as much as possible. You may need to keep your head elevated at first. You should also avoid:
- Exposing your skin to the sun
- Wearing glasses that sit on the bridge of your nose
- Blowing your nose for a week after the surgery
- Straining, bending or lifting
Call your surgeon if you have any of the following:
- More pain or pain that’s not relieved by prescribed pain medicine
- Increasing fluid leaking, bleeding, redness, or swelling around your nose
- Trouble breathing, chest pain, or heart palpitations
It’s very important to follow all your surgeon’s instructions and keep all your follow-up appointments. This way you can discuss any questions or concerns as they come up. Your splint and nasal dressings will be removed at one of these visits.
How Much Does a Nose Job Cost?
In many cases, a nose job is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, if rhinoplasty is recommended to improve nasal breathing or to repair a defect or injury, it may be covered. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine coverage. If your procedure ends up being self-pay, the financial counselors at University Hospitals can help develop a payment plan that works with your budget.
What Are the Risks of Nose Surgery?
Although rhinoplasty is generally a very safe procedure, no surgery is without risk. Possible risks of nose surgery include:
- Bad reactions to the medicines used during the surgery
- Bruising and/or numbness
- Blood clots
- Scarring or wounds not healing well
- Hole in the wall of tissue (the septum) that separates the nostrils
- Change in the shape of your nose over time
- Movement of grafts put in the nose over time
You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health care provider before surgery.