As the focal point of the face, a poorly shaped nose can draw unwanted attention and create feelings of insecurity in your appearance. Your nose may appear unbalanced in proportion to the rest of your face for a number of reasons. Injury or genetics can leave you with a deformed nasal hump, a wide-set bridge, a drooping tip, or a large, bulbous nose. Rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery, corrects deformities to create an attractive, well-proportioned nose.
Ideal candidates for rhinoplasty are in good general health and have realistic expectations about the results that can be achieved. Patients should also be over 17 years of age to ensure that the nose has reached its full growth and development; continual nose growth after your surgery can negatively affect your results. People seeking rhinoplasty surgery may identify with one or more of the following:
A nose that is disproportionate to your face
Bumps or indentations on the bridge of the nose
A crooked or poorly shaped nose
A bulbous or upturned nasal tip
Nasal blockage or breathing problems associated with a deviated septum
While many people undergo nose surgery to correct a cosmetic issue with their nose, just as many undergo rhinoplasty to correct a deviated septum. A deviated septum is a medical issue in which the cartilage separating your nasal passageways (your septum) is out of alignment. This can cause snoring and other serious breathing issues. Rhinoplasty repositions the displaced cartilage to open the nasal passageway.
Rhinoplasty is a common but challenging procedure that requires great skill and many years of experience to achieve ideal results. It requires a delicate balance to produce a natural, beautiful nose that also functions properly.
A typical rhinoplasty procedure takes one and a half to two hours to perform. Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed with the patient under general anesthesia. Dr. Graham operates out of the renowned Ochsner Clinic.
The procedure begins with an incision created that allows access to the bone and cartilage that supports the nose. This incision can be located on the outside of your nose, which is known as an “open” technique. Alternatively, with the “closed” technique, incisions are created within the nasal passages. Your incision location will be based on the amount of visible scarring you are comfortable with and which technique will allow for the best results possible.
The skin is then lifted from the bone, exposing the underlying structures. Bone and cartilage are added or removed as necessary in order to reduce or increase the size of your nose. The skin is then draped to mold to the new structure of your nose. Your incisions are closed, and a splint is applied to help maintain your nose’s new shape. Nasal packing or soft splints in the nostrils help support and stabilize the septum.
Immediately following your surgery, you are likely to experience bruising, redness, and swelling. Your face may feel puffy, and there will likely be some associated pain. Pain is managed with physician-prescribed medication. There may be an adjustment period while you become comfortable breathing through your mouth. You should keep your head elevated at all times, including during sleep, the first few days following your surgery.
Your splints will be removed after 7 to 10 days, and you will experience swelling for 10 to 14 days. Most normal activities can be resumed after three weeks, but you should always get a doctor’s approval before resuming any strenuous physical activities. You should keep your nose out of direct sunlight for the first few months. All major swelling should subside by four months, but minor swelling may last for up to a year.
The results of your rhinoplasty will be permanent barring any future injury. Scarring is minimal with an open technique and will likely fade over time. There is no visible scarring associated with the closed technique. It is important to follow all aftercare instructions carefully in order to achieve the best results possible. Get ready to enjoy your new, natural-looking nose!