The term “rhinoplasty” is used to describe any surgical procedure related to the nose. This can be cosmetic improvements, reconstructive surgery, and functional surgery. Cosmetic rhinoplasty can involve correcting an anesthetic concern such as a dorsal hump, a deviated or crooked nose, or a large or rounded nasal tip. Reconstructive rhinoplasty can involve situations such as nasal fractures and resections after skin cancer treatments that cause nasal deformities. Finally, rhinoplasty can also be used for functional treatments, such as obstruction of the airway by a deviated nasal septum or structures deeper within the nose referred to as inferior turbinates.
What is involved with rhinoplasty surgery?
There are three broad anatomical categories addressed during rhinoplasty surgery—the skin, nasal cartilages, and nasal bones. The preoperative condition of the skin is important because very thin or very thick nasal skin can affect the surgical outcome. The nasal cartilage involves upper lateral nasal cartilage segments and lower alar cartilage segments. The nasal bones are assessed for their positioning and width.
In a patient who has a prominent dorsal hump, this often involves the nasal bones as well as the upper lateral cartilages. In the consultation, we will discuss the techniques that are used to refine these areas of the nose to give a more natural dorsal nasal slope. In situations where a patient has a very large or bulbous nasal tip, we address the lower alar cartilages. Techniques designed to narrow these cartilage segments, as well as reshape them, will be discussed.
Rhinoplasties performed to treat post-traumatic nasal injuries involve a variety of techniques aimed at reshaping the cartilage and/or bony structure. In patients with nasal obstruction, we often manipulate the nasal septum and the inferior turbinates.
In general terms, the aim of rhinoplasty is to restore natural proportions and aesthetic ideals to the nose. These small changes can improve the overall balance of the nose and positively affect a person’s face.
What procedures can be combined with rhinoplasty?
Oftentimes, rhinoplasty is performed alone, as it is the patient’s primary concern at that time. However, many of the other facial rejuvenation procedures can be performed at the same time as rhinoplasty. For example, a patient might opt for laser resurfacing of the face at the same time as the rhinoplasty.
What type of anesthesia is used for this procedure?
Depending upon the type of rhinoplasty to be performed, a patient may undergo either IV sedation or general anesthesia. This is usually discussed on a case-by-case basis.
*What should I expect after surgery?
Like many of the facial procedures, rhinoplasty does not involve a significant amount of postoperative pain, rather a general underlying level of discomfort. You will be discharged from the surgical center with an external nasal splint on your nose. The splint will stay in place for five days, at which time you will return to the office to have it removed, as well as a few tiny sutures. Your nose will be evaluated, and then you will receive a new splint for an additional five days before removal. You can also expect swelling of the nose and some bruising that is patient-specific and varies. A large degree of your swelling will be reduced in approximately two to three weeks after surgery with further reduction by two to three months.
I am interested. What do I do next?
If you are considering rhinoplasty or have further questions, we encourage you to call our office and set up a consultation with Dr. Coscia. At that time, he will discuss your specific concerns, as well as walk you through before and after photos and diagrams to explain in detail the procedure of rhinoplasty.
*Individual results may vary