During rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes incisions to access the bones and cartilage that support the nose. The incisions are usually made inside the nose so that they are invisible after the surgery. Depending on the desired result, some bone and cartilage may be removed, or tissue may be added (either from another part of the body or using a synthetic filler). After the surgeon has rearranged and reshaped the bone and cartilage, the skin and tissue is redraped over the structure of the nose. A splint is placed outside the nose to support the new shape of the nose as it heals.
Rhinoplasty may be done using general or local anesthesia. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure but sometimes requires a 1-night stay in the hospital or surgery center.
Surgeons who do rhinoplasties typically have training in either plastic surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat specialty), or both.
How well does rhinoplasty work?
The results of rhinoplasty may be minor or significant, depending on what kind of correction you want. It is important that you and your plastic surgeon agree on the goals of the surgery. If your expectations are realistic and your plastic surgeon shares them, he or she will probably be able to give you the results you want.
The results of rhinoplasty are permanent, although subsequent injury or other factors can alter the nose's appearance. Cosmetic surgery should only be done on a fully developed nose. Complete development has usually occurred by age 15 or 16 in females and by age 17 or 18 in males. If surgery is done before this time, continued development of the nose can alter the surgical results and possibly cause complications.
What are the risks of rhinoplasty?
You can always expect temporary swelling and bruising around the eyes and nose after rhinoplasty. Other problems that may occur include:
- Injury or holes to your septum (the wall that separates your nostrils)
- Skin problems, including breakdown of skin tissue (skin necrosis) and irritation from the tape and bandaging
- Preventive antibiotics may be given after surgery to reduce the risk of infection
- Serious nasal blockage caused by swelling inside the nose
- Complications of anesthesia
It is also possible that the cosmetic results of the surgery will not be what you wanted.
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