A rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed to improve the function (breathing) and/or appearance of the nose.
What types of Rhinoplasty techniques exist?
There are two main techniques used in rhinoplasty:
1. An Open Rhinoplasty involves cuts on the inside of the nose and a small cut on the outside. (Would be good to have a picture of open vs closed rhinoplasty incisions) With this technique, large changes to the underlying supportive structure of the nose under direct vision are performed. Advantages include improved visibility and ability to alter nasal tip anatomy. Disadvantages involve a small incision on the outside of the nose, which generally heals well and is well hidden, and longer swelling than with closed techniques post operatively.
2. Closed Rhinoplasty allows for cuts only on the inside of the nose and a shorter post operative recovery. It also allows for preservation of several support structures of the nose that are sacrificed with open techniques (AKA Preservation Rhinoplasty). This is a good technique for many patients with only mild/moderate deformities of the nasal tip who mainly need straightening of the nose or a better profile.
During both open and closed rhinoplasty, your surgeon may need cartilage grafts to provide support or improved appearance. These may be harvested from the nasal septum, ear, or even rib cartilage depending on the patient’s individual needs.
What is a Septoplasty?
A septoplasty specifically refers to surgery performed to address a crooked nasal septum, the structure that separates one side of the nose from the other. When this is not straight, it can protrude into the nasal cavity and decrease air flow during breathing. A crooked septum can also lead to a crooked appearing nose. A septoplasty can be performed alone or in combination with other Rhinoplasty techniques.
Who is a good candidate for a rhinoplasty?
There are many reasons a patient may pursue a rhinoplasty. The most common include:
Improved breathing out of one or both sides of your nose
Improvement in your profile by taking down a dorsal hump
Straightening of the nose
Improvement in shape or position of the nasal tip
Overall improvement in balance of the nose on the face
What should a patient expect during and after a rhinoplasty?
After most rhinoplasties, you will have a splint made of plastic or silicone on the outside and/or inside of your nose. This is generally removed 1-2 weeks after surgery. Most people can resume mild/moderate activity at 2-3 weeks and full activity at 6 weeks. Results are visible immediately but full results will appear after all swelling has improved, usually between 6-12 months after surgery.
What results can a patient expect from a rhinoplasty?
A Rhinoplasty can:
Improve the overall balance of the face
Straighten the nose
Open the nasal cavities to improve breathing
Improve your profile often by removing a hump on the nose or adding volume to top of nose to mask the hump. The nasal bones can be shaped using standard instruments or ultrasonic technology (AKA “piezosurgery”).
Improve the appearance of the nasal tip
Decreased size and improve position of nostrils
Narrow a widened nose or widen a narrow nose