What is a Rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that alters the appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty can be used to alter the bridge of the nose, the nasal tip, or the size and shape of the nostrils. A Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery that does not address the functional components of the nose.
Candidacy for Rhinoplasty
One of the most prominent facial features is the nose. Due to imperfections or injuries, the shape and size of the nose may be less than ideal. The nose may have a crooked or a wide bridge, a bump or a hump, a tip that is drooping or bulbous, or the size may be out of balance with the face. In addition, breathing problems may be intimately related to the structure of the nose, such as is the case when a person has a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates.
Rhinoplasty should be done after facial growth is complete – after age 15 for girls and 17 for boys. Exceptions are made when the severity of the problem requires an earlier operation.
The goal behind rhinoplasty is to simply create a nose complementary to other facial features. The nose should be in proportion with you other facial features meaning that the ideal nose is different for every face. Your surgeon’s goal should be a natural result in harmony with the rest of the face.
Here are some issues that can be addressed with a rhinoplasty surgery:
Some people have a prominent hump across the bridge of the nose. This is most noticeable when looking at a person’s profile. The hump can be caused by excess bone or cartilage in the nose which can be easily corrected with rhinoplasty. Our Newport Beach board certified physicians see several patients a week who want to discuss the details of reducing the appearance of their protruding hump.
A droopy tip is when someone has an extended nose tip that may curve downward toward the lips. This profile draws attention away from the mouth and jaw line and toward the excessively long nose. The physician can shorten the tip to a length that is more in line with the rest of your features and can also redirect the tip upward, which creates a perkier look. The reduced tip takes the attention away from the nose and lets the person’s other attributes shine through.
Complaints about the nose are often centered on the tip. Bulbous or squarish nasal tips are typically not looked at as favorable to those who have them. Consultations are sought to find out how to soften the tips look and thin it out.
If someone has a broad nose with wide nostrils, these characteristics can be changed to make the nose thinner and take away some of the dominance it may have over the face.
The types listed above are referred to as reduction surgeries and they account for the largest percentage of rhinoplasty surgeries. A patient can also request augmentation surgery. In these cases, the nose or some of its features are actually made larger.
There are two ways that rhinoplasty is accomplished. One is called closed revision. With this option, the incisions are made inside the nasal cavity so they are not visible. The cartilage and tissue are rearranged, reduced or augmented, depending on what changes are being made to the original structure.
An open revision is used when a lot of work is being done on the tip of the nose. For these revisions, the incision is made in the outside vertical piece of the nose that separates the nostrils. The incision is very small and is very difficult to detect after the healing period is over.
Once all the internal work is complete, the incisions will be closed and a splint will be placed over the bridge of the nose. The purpose of the splint is to minimize swelling and hold everything stable while healing begins. Depending on what work was performed, there may be some nasal packing in the nostrils that will need to stay in for a couple of days.
Recovery from Rhinoplasty
After surgery, discomfort is usually mild. Nasal packing for the first 24 hours will result in breathing through the mouth causing sleep difficulty and dry mouth. Mild to moderate bruising and swelling can be expected for 1 week. For protection, a plastic splint is often placed on the nasal bridge for 1 week. Regular activities and resuming work may occur within 1 week. Contact sports and strenuous activity may resume after 3 weeks.
Final shape of the nose starts to be seen at 2 weeks and reaches 90% of the result at 2-3 months. Complete healing may take 6 to 12 months.
With high complexity rhinoplasties and high standards desired by our practice, we perform a revision rhinoplasty in up to 10% of our patients. This is done 6 and 12 months later and usually is a minor procedure. This is within the industry standards for high volume centers.
Insurance Coverage of Rhinoplasty
Insurance companies do not cover cosmetic rhinoplasty. If the surgery is reconstructive or done to improve breathing, a portion or sometimes all of the surgery may be covered. Our Orange County Cosmetic Surgery staff can verify each individual insurance policy to see if any part of the procedure will be covered.
Revision Rhinoplasty, or secondary rhinoplasty, is done to correct or improve the results of a previous rhinoplasty. A great deal of expertise is required for this procedure and should be performed by the most experienced surgeons. Schedule a consultation with an Appearance Center Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, before considering any other options.
Chin Implant with Rhinoplasty
For some patients, the surgeon may recommend a chin implant in order to further balance out the features of the face. If someone has a recessive chin, even after nose surgery, the facial profile may not meet the patient’s expectations. A chin implant often works along with the nose revision to bring everything together to achieve a desired look.
To Schedule a cosmetic consultation for rhinoplasty, call our Newport Beach office: 949.200.1615