Rhinoplasty or nose surgery can dramatically improve the appearance of your nose and your entire face. Cosmetic rhinoplasty addresses only the look of the nose, while functional rhinoplasty corrects nasal obstructions or abnormalities that inhibit breathing. Many patients have both cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty at the same time. Read more about Nasal Surgery for Breathing Problems.
At Cascade Facial Surgery, Dr. Jonathan Grant treats every patient as a unique individual. No two noses are the same, so no two nose surgeries should be the same. Your surgical plan is designed specifically to provide you with the result you want within the parameters of sound and safe medical practices. Dr. Grant’s training and experience as a reconstructive facial surgeon especially comes into play during nose surgery, as the process may involve reshaping the bone and cartilage of the nose.
For those with signs of aging, rhinoplasty is often performed in conjunction with a facelift/neck lift, brow lift, or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). In patients of all ages, the results of rhinoplasty are sometimes improved by chin augmentation in order to provide greater facial symmetry.
Who is a candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Candidates for rhinoplasty are those who dislike the look of their nose, including issues such as:
- A long or wide nose
- A crooked nose
- A broken or injured nose that did not heal properly
- A bump or hump on the bridge of the nose
- A large or hooked nose tip
- Large nostrils
- An asymmetrical nose
- Breathing problems that may be attributed to a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, or other causes of a narrow nasal breathing passage
Understanding the Rhinoplasty Procedure
Dr. Grant will examine you during your consultation and discuss what you dislike about your nose. Then, he can devise a surgical plan for you.
If you have a breathing problem, this must be diagnosed so that the proper correction can be performed. During the consultation, we use the Canfield Mirror imaging software to help you see different looks on your face as an approximation of how you would like your nose to look.
The surgery is an outpatient procedure that can sometimes be performed using IV anesthetic and sedation, while some patients may require general anesthesia. You will be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.
There are two basic rhinoplasty techniques – open and closed. In open nose surgery, an incision is made across the columella, which is the skin between the nostrils. This allows the surgeon the best access to the bone and cartilage within the nose. While this results in a small scar on the bottom of the nose, it is not significantly noticeable and will fade in the months following the surgery.
In closed nose surgery, no incision is made on the outside at all, and the surgeon works only through the nostril openings. This technique might work on simpler cases.
For reshaping of the nose, cartilage may have to be removed. In some cases, such as a bump on the bridge, the bone may have to be “shaved.” In other cases, cartilage may be taken from one part of the inside of the nose and grafted to another area. If there is not enough cartilage within the nose, it can sometimes be harvested from the ears, or from the ribs in some cases (from the patient or a donor). If this is necessary, Dr. Grant will discuss it with you before your surgery.
Whatever methods Dr. Grant uses, the goal is to bring your nose into better balance with all of the features of your face and, where applicable, to improve breathing.
Recovering From Rhinoplasty
You can expect to need a week to two weeks off from work after nose surgery. A small splint is usually taped on the outside of your nose to help it maintain its new shape as it heals. In most cases, the nostrils do not have to be packed. Please avoid sports and exercise for four to six weeks.
After all surgeries, there is some pain and swelling. After rhinoplasty, your nose might feel stuffy for a few days, and there could be some bleeding from the nostrils. Some patients also experience some mild bruising. These symptoms are to be expected.
You can take pain medication, and we will give you instructions how to take care of your nose during this time. It is important to avoid blowing your nose, and you will need to sleep on your back for a period of time. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated for the first few nights will help to keep swelling to a minimum.
Note that swelling is the last symptom to resolve. While your nose will look better fast, it will take months for the last bit of swelling to go down. Most of our patients remark that the recovery period is quite easy and well worth the results.