Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular facial plastic surgeries in the country year after year. Yet, there are a lot of things people don’t know about the procedure, which can lead to confusion and misconceptions. Whether you’re seriously considering nasal surgery or are simply interested in learning more about it, there are a few important things you should know about this versatile surgery.
1. A Consultation Before Rhinoplasty is a Must
Like any type of plastic surgery, nose reshaping isn’t something you want to rush into. Rhinoplasty in particular isn’t a surgery to rush into for a few different reasons. First, it is one of the most complicated plastic surgery procedures available, and should only be performed by a surgeon with plenty of training and verifiable experience.
Another reason to schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon and to discuss nasal surgery in detail is that doing so gives you both an idea of what to expect from your specific procedure. Your surgeon might use computer imaging tools to create a simulation of what your nose and face will look like after surgery and to give you both a better idea of what type of results are possible.
Finally, a consultation can let you know definitively whether or not rhinoplasty is a safe and realistic option for you that will help you reach your cosmetic and/or functional goals.
2. Rhinoplasty Can Do More Than Change the Look of Your Nose
Speaking of cosmetic and functional issues, one thing people often assume about rhinoplasty is that it’s only for cosmetic fixes. The reality is that the surgery is routinely used to correct structural issues of the nose, improving the nose’s function. In some cases, for example, rhinoplasty can help to improve breathing problems by repositioning certain parts of the nasal cavity. This is common in patients with a deviated septum (crookedness in the wall separating the nasal passages). This is a procedure known as a septoplasty, and it can be life-changing for some patients.
3. There Are a Few Types of Rhinoplasty
We can divide the two nasal surgery techniques into major categories, such as open or closed. This refers to where the incisions are placed during surgery.
During an open nasal surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision across the divider between the nostrils. The top of the nose is lifted up and the surgeon has full access to the inner nasal cavity. Afterward, the incision is stitched up and a small, mostly imperceptible scar remains.
During a closed nose surgery, the surgeon doesn’t make any incisions on the outside of the nose. All work is done inside the nasal cavity. There’s no scarring on the exterior afterward. While closed surgery often sounds more appealing to people because of the lack of visible scars, in reality it can be more limiting when it comes to what changes the surgeon can make to the nose.
The initial rhinoplasty is known as a primary rhinoplasty and any subsequent rhinoplasties are known as secondary rhinoplasty (more commonly called revision rhinoplasty).
4. Rhinoplasty is Customizable
The goal of rhinoplasty is typically to create a nose that functions well and looks flattering and balanced with the patient’s other facial features. There aren’t cookie-cutter “nose shapes” that surgeons use when performing the surgery. Instead, they take a patient’s exact needs and desires under consideration when planning out the procedure.
One thing people often ask for when discussing the surgery with a doctor is to get a nose that looks like (fill in the name of a celebrity here). While a celebrity’s nose can be an inspiration or a jumping off point, it’s important to understand that a nose shape and size that works on one person might not be the best fit for your face.
5. Things Might Look Worse Before They Look Better
One last thing to know about nasal surgery: right after the procedure, things are likely not to look so great. In fact, you might look in the mirror and see a swollen nose and darkened eyes and wonder what you’ve done.
Being prepared to look a bit frightful right after surgery will help to put your mind at ease. It’s important to know going in that right after the surgery is over, your nose is likely to be swollen and look very odd. It can take a few weeks or months for final results to settle in. If you have particularly thick skin, it can take as long as a year before you see the full results.
The important thing to remember is that the swelling will eventually go down and you’ll get to enjoy the full results of your surgery–permanently.
ABOUT DR. RUBINSTEIN
Dr. Rubinstein has nearly sixteen years of experience helping patients with breathing problems in the Hudson Valley. A board-certified facial plastic surgeon and board-certified otolaryngologist, he has extensive knowledge of laser procedures, facial plastic surgery, and nasal and sinus treatments, which allows him to improve aesthetics as well as the functionality of the nose and facial features. Dr. Rubinstein received his board certifications through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. To learn more about how to treat and cope with breathing difficulties, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubinstein at the Hudson Valley Sinus Center by calling 845-562-6673.