Rhinoplasty - FAQ
What is cosmetic surgery of the nose?
Cosmetic surgery of the nose, or rhinoplasty, is a procedure to improve the appearance of the nose. Specific features addressed in cosmetic surgery of the nose, and strictly for appearance enhancement, include:
- Nose size, in relation to facial balance
- Nose width, at the bridge or in the size and position of the nostrils
- Nose profile, with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
- Nasal tip, that is enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked
- Nostrils that are large, wide or upturned
- Nasal asymmetry
These features are generally caused by heredity, however they can be caused by injury. In some cosmetic cases, the characteristics of the nose are not the only factors contributing to facial imbalance. The facial structure - especially a small chin, weak cheeks and/or lower jaw - may also contribute to imbalanced facial proportions. In these cases, surgery of the nose may be performed in conjunction with placement of facial implants or other procedures to achieve overall facial harmony.
When nose surgery is performed to improve breathing function, the cause is most commonly an obstructed airway. This procedure, whether performed alone or in conjunction with cosmetic surgery of the nose, is considered reconstructive and may be covered by insurance. This requires a detailed examination to verify the cause of your breathing impairment and prior authorization from your insurer.
- Healthy individuals who do not have life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improvement
Where do I begin?
A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how surgery of the nose can improve the appearance of your nose and facial harmony, or how surgey of the nose can improve your breathing function. A consultation is designed to fully educate you in a non-pressured environment, and will include:
- A discussion of your primary concerns and an evalutation of your individual case
- The options available for surgery of the nose
- The likely outcomes of surgery and any risks or potential complications
- The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon
Your plastic surgeon will also answer your questions.
Overall health and personal outlook can greatly impact the clinical outcome of surgery of the nose. These will be carefully evaluated in consultation. Be candid about your desire to improve your appearance, your medical history, prior surgeries, allergies, and medical treatments. The success of your procedure, safety and overall satisfaction requires that you:
- Honestly share your concerns, whether cosmetic or to improve nasal airway problems
- Fully disclose health history, current medications, the use of vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Commit to following all of your plastic surgeon's instructions precisely
By making the decision to consult with our plastic surgeons and following all the instructions given, you are taking an important step in helping to assure your
All of The Austin-Weston Center plastic surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification designates surgeons who are specifically trained in plastic surgery of the face and entire body.
My nose surgery
Cosmetic surgery of the nose is an individualized procedure that takes into account all the specific characteristics that contribute to the overall appearance of the nose and its relation to other facial features. Your plastic surgeon will carefully evaluate your individual case and goals for improvement to determine specific features to address through surgery of the nose. Appropriate techniques will then be defined and may include:
- Alteration of the nasal bridge
- Reshaping the nasal bridge
- Reducing the shape or width of the nose
- Reshaping the nasal tip
- Reducing the width or size of the nostrils
- Adjusting the angle between the nose and upper lip
If you desire a more symmetrical nose, keep in mind that everyone's face is asymmetric to some degree. Results may not be completely symmetric, although the goal is to create facial balance and correct proportion. Facial augmentation with implants of the chin, cheeks and jaw may further enhance your outcomes.
Nose surgery to imporve an obstructed airway is also a very individualized procedure. It requires careful evaluation of the nasal structure as it relates to airflow and breathing. Correction of a deviated septum, one of the most common causes of breathing impairment, is achieved by adjusting the nasal structure to produce better alignment.
Preparing for surgery
Your plastic surgeon will carefully explain the surgical procedure recommended for your specific case. Prior to surgery, you will be given specific instructions that may include:
- Pre-surgical considerations, diagnostic testing and medications
- Day of surgery instructions and medications
- Specific information related to the use of anesthesia
- Postoperative care and follow-up
In addition, you will be asked to sign consent forms to assure your plastic surgeon that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
The risks associated with surgery of the nose include infection, noseblled or rupture of small surface vessels of the nose. Surgery of the nose is a procedure in which aesthetic outcomes can be unpredictable, and in some cases a second procedure may be necessary to fully achieve your goals. These risks and others as well as those associated with anesthesia will be discussed prior to your consent.
It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Discuss your feelings with your plastic surgeon.
What to expect
Surgery of the nose is performed in The Austin-Weston Center's accredited office-based surgical facility. The decision for anesthesia will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and considerations of patient and surgeon preference. Your plastic surgeon and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.
Once your procedure is completed, a splint and/or packing will likely be placed inside your nose and a splint or bandages placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during initial healing. Before you are released fowllowing surgery, you and an accompanying family member, friend or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for the surgical site
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon
Progress and healing
Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, headache and discomfort that can be controlled with medication and cold compresses. These are all common conditions.
Your plastic surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated at all times until initial swelling has subsided, and to keep any nasal packing in place at all times. Following all postoperative instructions carefully is essential to the success of your outcome. A return to light, normal activity is possible as soon as you feel ready, usually within a few days of surgery.
Any packing or splints will likely be removed after the first week, although you may need to wear the splint for an additional week or two. You will be ready to return to work and normal activity at this time. Cosmetics can camoflauge any bruising or redness tha remains. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling continues to dissipate and the improved appearance of your nose begins to become apparent. Diligent sun protection is recommended as you continue to heal. You must also protect your nose from injury during any physical activity for the next 4 to 6 months.
Results and outlook
The outcome of your nose surgery will appear gradually over time. At a minimum, a year is considered normal for the outcome of surgery of the nose to fully refine. In general, the results of nose surgery are permanent; however, cartilage, the main supporting structure of the nose, is continually growing and moving tissue that may change the outcome over time.
You should be pleased with the improved balance among your facial features resulting from surgery of the nose.
Achieving your personal goals for an enhanced appearance will likely increased your self-confidence.