Nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, is a set of popular procedures used to either correct nose-related breathing problems or to reshape the nose for cosmetic reasons. It can help relieve some breathing problems, correct birth defects, reduce or increase the size of the nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge of the nose, narrow the span of the nostrils or change the angle between the nose and the upper lip.
Reasons for Considering Nose Surgery
- Create a better proportion between the nose and facial features
- Reduce the size of a nose that is too large or too wide
- Enlarge the nose or make it longer if it is too short
- Re-form a crooked or elongated nose tip
- Restore the nose if damaged from an accident or sports injury
- Help with breathing problems by rebuilding the nasal passage
- Treat nasal deformities caused at birth
To begin the surgery, tiny incisions are made allowing the surgeon to access the underlying nasal structure. Once the skin is opened, the cartilage and bone are reshaped to form the basis for the new look. Two basic methods are utilized for performing nose surgery: the ‘open’ and the ‘closed’ techniques. The open technique allows maximum visibility and control over the procedure. The incision used in the open technique is placed in between the nostrils on the columella or the medial nostril strip. In the closed technique, the incisions are internal and heal faster, however there is less surgical control over the outcome. Your surgeon will discuss the techniques during the initial consultation.
- Anesthesia: Local or general
- Length of surgery: 1 to 3 hours
- Length of stay: Outpatient (home the same day)
Recovery Process and Final Result
Back to work: 1 to 2 weeks
Exercise: May be resumed in 3 weeks
Discomfort: Mild to moderate (anticipate 2 to 4 days of prescription pain medication)
Swelling: Mild to moderate; should be gone in 2 to 4 weeks
Bruising: Common (will decrease within 2 weeks)
Bandages: A splint will be removed within one week
Swelling will be minimized and results visible 1 to 2 weeks following surgery, although appearance will improve over the course of the first year.
If rhinoplasty is being utilized to correct a breathing problem or nose deformity, the procedure may be covered under the patient’s insurance policy. Otherwise, insurance does not cover surgery on the nose if it simply to change the appearance. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation and explore your options.