Rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that reshapes the nose. It can be used to correct a hooked nose, shorten a jagged nose, remove skin bumps and folds, reshape the tip of the nose, and create a more attractive nose. Rhinoplasty is done under general anesthesia and generally begins with a consultation with a surgeon, dermatologist, and facial specialist.
A rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery designed to improve one or more areas of the face. Rhinoplasties are typically performed on adults, but they are sometimes performed on children as well. The goal is to reshape the nose so that it is proportionate to the rest of the face. In many cases, the nose will be enlarged or decreased in size, and the position of the tip of the nose will be altered for optimal appearance. Sometimes the surgeon will also use liposuction to remove surplus fat and skin.
Like any other surgery, rhinoplasty carries some risks and complications. One of the most common complications from rhinoplasty is a “cavity” or “tail” appearance at the base of the nose. This is usually seen when the nose is open widely, causing a “hump” on the bridge of the nose. Most plastic surgeons will perform an exam to determine whether this is present. If so, the plastic surgeon may decide to move the tip of the nose a bit to decrease the visibility of the tail.
Rhinoplasty patients are often given a local anesthesia. However, sometimes general anesthesia is required. This may increase the risks of bleeding, and the skin becoming numb. It also increases the risk of infection, since the area will become more sensitive. Therefore, it may be necessary to use anesthetics during rhinoplasty surgery. While it is not true that anesthetic will make the operation more painful, most plastic surgeons prefer to avoid using them.
Recovery from rhinoplasty typically takes two to six weeks, after which patients can go back to work and resume normal activities. Occasionally nosebags are needed to provide relief from breathing. These are usually removed during the recovery period and replaced by a soft silicone sleeve. Surgical strips or “corns” are used to cover up bruising and swelling. The plastic surgeon will typically recommend these make the procedure less visible to patients.
Rhinoplasty, like all surgeries, has its share of risks. Common complications include hematoma (an accumulation of blood in the tissues below the nose), capsular contracture (contracture of the nasal bones near the tip of the nose), and extrusion (the formation of a bump on the skin caused by the excess of fat under the skin). Some patients may have a history of nasal polyps or fibromyalgia. These can sometimes be removed surgically after the rhinoplasty. In rarer cases, the cartilage can shift or bone can become misshapen, leading to a nose that tilts upward or down.