Proper balance in facial proportions is important in creating a harmonious facial appearance. Due to an injury or genetics your nose may be more of a deterrent than an asset to your looks. Rhinoplasty alters the bone and cartilage framework of the nose to change its outer appearance. The optimal goal is to create a natural looking nose which compliments and blends with the rest of the face.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the risks?
All surgery has risks including anaesthetic problems, bleeding and infection. The biggest risk is whether you will be happy with the outcome. Small imperfections sometimes occur which can be corrected with another surgery, but not all problems can be fixed. Repeat surgery has more risks and is less predictable than the first operation so this option should be approached with caution. In general, 75% of patients love their new nose, 20% are happy but wished for something better and 5% are disappointed.
What about recovery?
Surgery is usually done with a general anaesthetic but can be performed under local with sedation. After surgery you will have a cast for about one week and black eyes for 10 – 14 days, after which the nose will still be a bit puffy but look close to normal. Contact sports should be avoided for 6 weeks. A small amount of swelling persists for months especially in the tip of the nose. Therefore a final result isn’t achieved until about 6 months.
Will it affect my breathing?
Initial swelling restricts breathing but as the swelling subsides breathing returns to almost the same as before surgery. If you have breathing problems prior to surgery then you may require a more extensive operation to correct those issues (Septoplasty). That would likely require packing which is not necessary in a cosmetic Rhinoplasty.
Will there be scars?
There are two surgical approaches to Rhinoplasty, the ‘open’ and the ‘closed’ techniques. These are not two different operations, just two ways of access to the nasal framework. Closed Rhinoplasty has no external scars – the operation is done via incisions inside the nostrils. Open Rhinoplasty makes an incision across the columella (vertical piece between the nostrils) leaving a small external scar and providing better exposure especially to the tip of the nose. I prefer to avoid an external scar whenever possible.
How will I know what it will look like?
This operation, more than any other, requires the surgeon and patient to be on the same page. In the consultation every part of your nose has to be analyzed to conceive an operative plan that will address your issues. Pictures are helpful in understanding the look you would ideally achieve but you can’t choose your new nose out of a catalogue. The thickness of your skin, the character of your bone and cartilage, as well as the possible differences in healing can all affect the final result. That is why it is imperative that surgeon and patient reach a consensus as to what a realistic outcome would be.