Some of us are unhappy with our nose, either because of its size or shape or because of breathing problems. Rhinoplasty or a “nose job” is one of the most popluar cosmetic surgeries performed worldwide today. The aim of rhinoplasty as a corrective nasal surgery is to reshape the skin as well as the bone and cartilage inside the nose to alter the size and shape of the nose, to a more pleasing aesthetic appearance. Nose surgery also involves a procedure called ‘septoplasty’ that repairs the cartilage that separates the two nasal air passages and can help with breathing problems.
When is rhinoplasty advised?
A nose reshape operation (rhinoplasty) usually takes about an hour to complete and is most commonly performed under local anesthesia and sedation. In rare cases the patient is administered a general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic and adrenaline are injected under the skin and the inside of the nose is sprayed with a liquid which numbs the air passages as well as constricts the blood vessels to reduce intra-operative bleeding and post-operative bruising.
The Closed Technique
An incision is made inside the nostrils on each side and the skin covering the nose is lifted from the supporting framework of the nose
The nasal contour is changed by removing, shifting or altering the underlying bony and cartilaginous structures. The incisions are stitched and the nose is packed with sterile gauze. A splint is placed on the nose and secured in position with tape.
The Open Technique
An incision is made across the part of the nose between the two nostrils which is called the columella. The part of the columella in front of the incision is lifted forwards and the skin is dissected off the nose to expose the internal anatomy.
The nasal contour is changed by removing, shifting or altering the underlying bony and cartilaginous structures. When the alteration of the deeper structures is completed the incisions are stitched and the nose is packed with sterile gauze. A splint is placed on the nose and secured in position with adhesive tape.
When the size of the nose or the shape needs to be enhanced or enlarged then surgeons perform what is known as Augmentation Rhinoplasty. Augmentation provides an asthetic look to the nose and is most commonly used to increase the tip of the nose. Materials used for augmentation may include alloplasts (synthetic implants), allogenous materials, or autologous implants (grown from the patient’s own tissue).
What can I expect after a rhinoplasty procedure?
The final result of a nose reshape operation will be affected by the following factors:
Previous airway obstruction may occasionally be made worse following a nose reshape operation. Severely deformed noses are very difficult to correct and there is always a limit to the amount of correction possible. Improvement and not perfection is the aim.
Normally, following a nose reshape operation, most patients go home on the same day. In rare cases, patients may need to spend one night at the clinic. Until the splint is removed you are advised to:
It is extremely unlikely for anyone to spot that you have had an alteration to the shape of your nose.
It is always more difficult to achieve an excellent result with further surgery because the original anatomy of the nose has been altered and because scar tissue has been formed under the skin making it extremely difficult to predict how the nose will heal after a further procedure.
Normally rhinoplasty is done after the age of 16 yrs.