A rhinoplasty may be performed to correct a birth defect, to repair an injury, to improve breathing or simply to improve a patient’s appearance. Incisions can be hidden inside the nose (a closed procedure), or across skin between the nostrils (the columella), enabling access to the inner structural tissues of the nose for reshaping. Cartilage is either redistributed within your nose or additional cartilage from either the ear or rib may be required for reshaping.
Rhinoplasty may be combined with a septoplasty in patients who suffer from a deviated septum in order to improve breathing. The septum separates your left nostril from your right. When it is displaced to one side, the airflow can be obstructed. A severely displaced septum can block a nostril completely. A septoplasty straightens the septum by aligning the bone and removing portions of cartilage while preserving the structural integrity of your nose.
Candidates for rhinoplasty should be at least 16 years old since it is important that patients have finished their facial growth before proceeding with this surgery. Patients considering rhinoplasty should be in overall good health, and should have realistic expectations about the outcome.
Immediately after surgery, the patient’s nose and eyes are usually bruised and swollen. Splints and some packing material will remain inside the nose for a few days. Most patients feel like themselves after a week and are able to return to regular activities in 2-3 weeks. One should expect to experience congestion, bruising, some bleeding, and numbness and swelling that improves over months.
2-4 hours (depending on the procedure)
Temporary swelling, bruising, some pain, black eyes, numbness, and mild bleeding from the nose
under or overcorrection, contour irregularities, nasal obstruction, persistent numbness
Self-care activities: 1 week; Strenuous activities: 6 weeks