The shape and size of a person’s nose usually translate to the overall facial appearance. Basically, the nose is one of the significant body organs that facilitate breathing, yet fragile and highly prone to injuries. Any nose damage or injury could negatively affect the breathing functionality and alter a person’s appearance.
In other cases, a person can be born with an asymmetrical or unbalanced nose and may feel the need to modify it. If you find yourself in such a situation, then the best option to consider is rhinoplasty. This is a treatment procedure that most doctors often recommend to change the nose structure or improve its functions.
Definition of Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, is one of the most prominent forms of plastic surgery. It’s a surgical procedure to change the nose's structure and shape or improve the breathing function. This is usually by modifying the cartilage, the nasal bone, the skin, or sometimes all these features.
When considering the rhinoplasty procedure, the surgeon will plan for the course by analyzing other facial features. This includes the skin around the nose and the changes to make during the surgery. If you are in good health and eligible for the operation, the surgeon will make customized arrangements.
Why is Rhinoplasty Performed?
While there are several reasons why people opt for rhinoplasty, most undergo the procedure for cosmetic purposes. However, doctors can also recommend this method to treat nose injuries and repair severe damages. It also aims at correcting congenital disabilities and breathing difficulties.
During the procedure, some of the changes that the surgeon can make on the nose include;
- Adjusting the size and angle of the nose
- Strengthening the nasal bridge
- Narrowing down that nostrils
- Reshaping the tip of the nose
Doctors can sometimes recommend rhinoplasty for various medical reasons, including breathing difficulties. Breathing problems usually occur due to nasal obstruction that interferes with the exercise routine and alters sleep. It also results in sleep apnea and snoring, and interference of other significant activities. In such cases, rhinoplasty may be the best option if other treatment alternatives fail to address the issue fully.
Rhinoplasty will thus help address the septal deformity contributing to the breathing difficulties. It will also strengthen the major breathing regions of the nose with the use of strategically inserted cartilage grafts.
What to Expect With Rhinoplasty Procedure
Every surgical operation has different customized steps and procedures based on the anatomy of the surgical area. This can also vary depending on the person’s goals and ultimate expectations from the surgery.
Therefore, when it comes to rhinoplasty procedure, you should expect the following;
Before the Procedure:
Once the surgeon identifies that you are an ideal candidate to undergo, he or she will set an appointment. The aim of this is to discuss the surgery and essential aspects that determine if the procedure suits your objectives.
Apart from this, the appointment might as well include the following;
- Assessment of medical history
To determine if you are in good condition to undergo the procedure, the surgeon will assess your medical history. They will also inquire about the previous surgeries and health conditions, nasal obstruction record, and the medications you are taking. In case you have a bleeding disorder like hemophilia, ensure that you inform the practitioner to avoid additional complications.
- Physical examination
This involves a physical examination of the facial features, including the inner and outer parts of the nose. The practitioner will also perform a few tests like a blood test. This helps determine if you have any underlying disease that might interfere with the surgery.
In addition, a physical exam enables the surgeon to determine the changes and adjustments to make. This includes how the physical features, including cartilage strength at the nasal end and skin thickness, can affect the outcome. Lastly, through a physical exam, the surgeon will determine the impacts of the surgery on the breathing routine.
- Taking pictures
It’s essential to take several images of the nose from varying angles. This enables the surgeon to manipulate the images using a computer to analyze that type of possible results. The photos will also be used when discussing the surgery goals and for before and after evaluation.
- Discussion of the expectation
You and the doctor need to discuss the overall expectation of rhinoplasty. Through this, you will understand what the procedure can and cannot do as well as the possible results to expect. You should also inform the surgeon about your primary goals and desires for the surgery. With this, he or she will work with you to ensure that your objectives are met.
During the Procedure:
During the scheduled day of the procedure, the surgeon will start by administering local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia. This can, however, vary depending on the complexity of the process and the surgeon’s preference. Before the procedure, it’s essential to discuss the type of anesthesia that is more appropriate with the surgeon.
Mostly, surgeons use local anesthesia and sedatives in an outpatient setting. However, it only works for a specific part of the body. The surgeon will thus inject the drug into the nasal tissues. They will then sedate you using injectable medication administered through an intravenous (IV) line. This numbs the surgical site to prevent you from experiencing pain, but you will be partially conscious during the operation.
On the other hand, general anesthesia impacts the whole body, making you completely unconscious during the surgery. The surgeon usually administers this medication through an IV line inserted in the vein on the chest, neck, or hand. Alternatively, you can receive the anesthetic medication by inhaling it. A breathing tube is also necessary for patients who receive general anesthesia.
The surgeon can either perform the procedure in the nose or via an incision created at the nasal base between the nostrils. Rhinoplasty surgery will generally involve readjustment of the cartilage and bone under the skin.
The shape of the cartilage and nasal bones can also be modified in many ways. This, however, will depend on the structure of the nose, what should be added or removed, and materials to use. When making small minor changes, the surgeon can use cartilage obtained from the deep part of the nose or ear. On the other hand, large adjustments involve the use of cartilage taken from the ribs, bone from other body parts, or implants.
Once the adjustments have been successfully made, the surgeon will put back the tissue and skin into the original position. He or she sutures the incision in the nose and dresses it to facilitate fast recovery. In case the wall between both sections of the septum has deviated or bent, the surgeon will repair it. This helps enhance the overall breathing process.
If necessary, the surgeon can insert a metallic or plastic splint in the nose. This enables the nose to maintain the new shape and structure while recovering. The splints or nasal packs can also be placed inside the nostrils to help stabilize the septum.
Immediately after the operation, the healthcare team will transfer you to the recovery room. Here, the nurse will watch over you while monitoring the condition before the anesthesia wears off. Depending on your health state, you can return home on the same day or the next day.
After the procedure:
After the surgery, your nose will be swollen and filled with cotton to prevent bleeding. This will make you feel congested for some time. The doctor will also recommend resting while the head is elevated above the chest to minimize swelling and bleeding.
The dresses and splints should remain in the nose for up to one week after the operation. The stitches used can absorbable hence they will dissolve on their own with time. However, you will be required to return to the hospital for removal if the stitches are not absorbable.
The rhinoplasty recovery process might take a while, and the nasal tip will be sensitive and might remain swollen and numb for several months. However, full recovery will only take a few weeks.
Risks of Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is generally a major type of surgery. Therefore, just like any other major surgical operation, it also carries several risks of complications. While these risks may be treatable and manageable, you should be aware of the following perils when considering rhinoplasty procedure;
- Bleeding during or after the surgery
- Infection on the surgical site
- A negative reaction to anesthesia
Other rare but possible risks associated with rhinoplasty include;
- Temporary or sometimes permanent numbness inside or around the nose region
- Inability to breathe well through the nose
- Uneven appearance of the nose after the procedure
- Unpleasant scarring on the surgical area
- Pain on the nose, swelling, and discoloration that may persist
- A need to undergo an additional operation
- Septal perforation (formation of a hole in the septum)
Rhinoplasty is generally a common cosmetic procedure that most people often consider. It aims at changing the shape or size of the nose to achieve symmetry and balance of the facial features. It also helps enhance the overall appearance. In other cases, the doctor can recommend rhinoplasty to correct obstructed breathing.
CloudHospital specializes in providing rhinoplasty treatment procedures to patients in need. It works with several experienced staff with skills in performing different rhinoplasty procedures. Besides, they work to ensure that they meet the goals and requirements of every person.