The nose is one of the most common body parts for plastic surgery. According to the 2016 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nose reshaping was the third most popular surgery.
Plastic surgery of the nose is called rhinoplasty, and is often referred to as a nose job. It can help to reshape, augment or even reduce the size of your nose. If you’re considering having rhinoplasty, take note of the following information that can help you decide whether you’re the right candidate for the surgery.
WHAT IS A RHINOPLASTY?
Rhinoplasty is plastic surgery of the nose. Plastic surgeons perform rhinoplasty for several reasons, including enhancing a person’s appearance or repairing a broken nose from an injury. During rhinoplasty, the surgeon may do one or more of the following to improve the patient’s appearance:
- Remove a bump
- Modify the bridge
- Reshape the tip
- Reshape or resize the nostrils
- Repair an injury
- Open breathing passages
- Increase or decrease size
Rhinoplasties often happen in addition to septoplasties, in which a plastic surgery corrects a deviated septum.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A RHINOPLASTY?
Patients who have a rhinoplasty can experience several key benefits. First, a nose surgery can help to improve its symmetry, ensure that its size fits your face, and enhance your overall appearance. This can be especially helpful for people who feel self-conscious about the appearance of their nose.
It can also help repair a broken nose, ensuring that it heals as soundly as possible. Rhinoplasty (and septoplasty) often helps people breathe better, and it can aid in curing chronic sinusitis. Sometimes, rhinoplasties can help people snore less.
WHO IS BEST SUITED FOR RHINOPLASTY?
There are many good candidates for rhinoplasty, including people whose nose makes them feel self-conscious and unhappy, and who therefore want to change their appearance. People who have suffered a nose injury are also suited for rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty may also be a good solution for someone who experiences chronic sinus infections, since it can improve the airflow through the sinuses, which is key for keeping a sinus healthy. People who have had previous nose surgeries and are unhappy with the outcome can get a revision rhinoplasty to improve those results.
Teenagers should wait to get rhinoplasty until they’ve experienced their full growth period. This happens around age 16 for females, and a couple of years later for males. People who are not well suited for rhinoplasty are those who are looking for a “perfect” nose, since surgery can only manipulate the size and symmetry of the nose, but does not guarantee a “perfect” appearance.
THE BASICS OF THE PROCEDURE
A rhinoplasty typically takes about one hour and is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. In almost all cases, all the incisions are made within the nostrils, so there is no external scar. During the procedure, the surgeon sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT RECOVERING FROM RHINOPLASTY?
Your plastic surgeon will pack your nose with cotton after a rhinoplasty. This ensures that the nose maintains its shape, and it also helps control bleeding. After a few days, your doctor will take the cotton out of your nose. You will then have a plastic splint on your nose for about a week.
After the splint is removed, most patients can return to their regular activities (without over-exerting themselves). During the first few weeks after your rhinoplasty, you may appear bruised and swollen. You can use concealer cosmetics in order to cover up bruising and discoloration.
To best heal from your nose surgery, you should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. You should also keep your head elevated, even while you are sleeping. By gently applying ice packs and avoiding direct contact with your nose (i.e. not blowing your nose), you can ensure maximum comfort and the best results possible while you recover.