What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty or “nose job” is a surgical procedure that is usually carried out by a plastic surgeon to improve breathing, and correct the size or shape of your nose.
The overall objective of rhinoplasty is to ensure harmony in all your facial features. This is because even a small change in the shape or size of your nose can considerably alter your appearance.
During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will surgically reconstruct the cartilage, bone, and skin in your nose to improve its functionality and appearance.
Why would you need a rhinoplasty?
You may opt for a rhinoplasty surgery to:
- Improve your facial appearance
- Correct birth defects, such as congenital deformities
- Correct deviated septum that is, blocked nasal passages
- Correct a broken nose or any other facial fracture
- Opening breathing passages
- Making your nose smaller or bigger
A rhinoplasty procedure may be administered to change your appearance for medical reasons. For instance, a nose job to correct the cartilage that divides both of your nostrils.
Speak to your surgeon and find out if you are a suitable candidate for rhinoplasty and what you hope to achieve.
During the procedure, your surgeon will also consider the skin on your nose and other facial features.
To qualify for a rhinoplasty procedure, you should:
- Not smoke
- Be in good physical health
- Have realistic goals of what a nose job can achieve on your appearance
- Want the nose job to fulfill your own reasons, as opposed to what other the opinion of others that you would look better after surgery
Rhinoplasty can be broadly categorized into two main procedures:
This is the preferred procedure when you require a major nose reshaping job.
During open rhinoplasty, the surgeon separates the cartilage, bone, and skin of your nose fully. This is achieved by making small incisions in the columella region of your nose.
The columella is the part of the nose that separates both nostrils. That way, the surgeon gets to move more skin from your nose.
By lifting the skin, your surgeon can clearly see the inside of your nasal cavity. The surgeon reshapes the necessary parts of your nose.
Once reshaping has been done, the surgeon closes the columella with sutures. The nose requires taping to promote stabilization. Thereafter, the surgeon will place a splint over the reshaped nose. This helps to protect the nasal tissues during the healing process.
This is the procedure of choice when the changes to your nose are minor.
During a closed rhinoplasty, your surgeon will lift the soft tissues in your nose upward. This allows the surgeon to have a better view of the cartilage and bone and hence make the desired changes.
Closed rhinoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, unlike open rhinoplasty. This ensures quicker recovery and a reduced risk of swelling and nasal tissue irritation.
Other types of rhinoplasty are:
This is a non-surgical procedure that temporally fills the irregularities and dips in the nose using dermal fillers.
The non-surgical rhinoplasty helps to correct a small bump in your nose. If you have a droopy nasal tip, this can also be lifted via nonsurgical rhinoplasty.
This procedure repairs problems that emerge after you have had your first rhinoplasty procedure. Such problems could be minor or complex.
This procedure aims to enhance the appearance of your face and nose.
This form of reconstructive procedure restores the function and shape of your nose following traumatic injuries or disease.
Functional rhinoplasty also corrects for deviated septum or congenital defects.
Preparing for rhinoplasty
Before having a rhinoplasty procedure, you will have a pre-surgery appointment with your surgeon.
The purpose of this scheduled meeting is to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
Your surgeon will also want to explore what the surgery entails with you, and the benefits and risks that come with it. During the meeting, you will also undergo:
Your surgeon will undertake your medical history. By asking pertinent questions about your goals for the procedure and why it is important for you.
The surgeon will also be interested in finding out whether you have a prior history of surgeries or nasal blockages. If you are taking any medication for nasal blockages, it would be a good idea to let your surgeon know about it.
Your surgeon will also want to find out whether you have hemophilia or any other bleeding disorder because if you do, then you do not qualify for rhinoplasty.
After taking your medical history, the surgeon will thereafter administer a physical examination.
Such a physical exam entails the surgeon looking into the inside and outside parts of your nose. That way, your surgeon can establish the changes that you need.
A physical exam reveals the strength of your cartilage and skin thickness which may impact the outcome.
During a physical exam, the surgeon can identify whether the procedure will impact your breathing.
Your surgeon will want to know your reasons for rhinoplasty. The surgeon is also interested in your expectations of this procedure.
Your surgeon will walk you through the rhinoplasty procedure including what it can achieve, and what is not possible.
Be very open with your surgeon regarding your goals and desires for the procedure. This will allow the surgeon to develop a surgical plan that meets your needs.
Your surgeon will take pho different photographs of your nose from varying angles.
The surgeon can alter such images with computer software and give you images of what you would look like after surgery.
The photographs are a point of reference for how you looked before the rhinoplasty and after the procedure. Your surgeon can use those photographs to discuss your expectations and goals for surgery.
If you are on any prescribed, over-the-counter medication or supplements, let your surgeon know about it, including the dosages.
A nasal job is administered at the doctor’s outpatient clinic or the hospital. You will be given anesthesia that puts you to sleep during surgery.
The type of anesthesia you might receive will be determined by what your surgeon feels is best for you and the complexity of this procedure.
Local anesthesia is administered in an outpatient facility. Local anesthesia targets a particular part of your body.
The anesthesia is administered via an intravenous (IV) line in your chest, hand, or neck.
The anesthesia puts you in a sleep-like state.
General anesthesia is administered via an IV line or via a nasal breathing tube. It puts you to sleep during the entire procedure.
To perform rhinoplasty, your surgeon will make a small incision at the base of your nose where both nostrils meet. This allows the surgeon to readjust the cartilage, bone, and skin beneath this region.
Your surgeon can alter the shape of the cartilage or bones based on how much requires being added or removed.
Other considerations are the materials available and the structure of your nose.
In case of small changes, your surgeon may decide to obtain cartilage from the ear or inside the nose.
If the changes are larger, the surgeon will obtain cartilage from other parts of your body such as a bone or rib. The surgeon may also decide to use implants.
Rhinoplasty may also involve straightening a deviated septum. This is caused by a crooked or bent septum or the wall that separates both of your noses.
The surgeon secures the nasal skin with small stitches.
Rhinoplasty is a one to three-hour procedure.
After rhinoplasty, you will be taken to a recovery room.
You will have a plastic splint to maintain the new shape of your nose and reduce swelling. You will need to wear this splint for at least two weeks.
The surgeon may place a cotton packing in your nose that remains in place for 1-2 days post-surgery.
You will probably develop bruising and swelling around your eyes and nose. This will subside within a few weeks.
You will be asked to raise your head and elevate your head higher than the chest while in bed resting in bed. The purpose of such an elevation is to minimize swelling and bleeding.
It is not unusual to experience little drainage or bleeding of old blood and mucus. This can happen for a few days post-surgery. A drip pad under the nose helps to absorb such drainage.
Your healthcare provider will advise you on how to change this gauze.
Your surgeon may issue you with additional instructions to minimize the risk of swelling and bleeding. These instructions include:
- Avoid blowing your nose
- Avoid showers for as long as your nose has bandages. Use baths instead
- Do not engage in any strenuous physical activities like jogging
- If you feel like coughing or sneezing, do so with your mouth wide open
- Desist from laughing, smiling, or making other facial expressions as this may put pressure on your nose
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and other fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation
- While brushing your teeth, avoid moving your upper lip
Benefits of rhinoplasty
A nose job comes with various reconstructive and cosmetic benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Repairing a broken nose
A broken nose could be because of the effects of sports injuries, a fight, or an accident. A broken nose can be fixed via a reconstructive rhinoplasty procedure.
Certain structural nose problems like a deviated septum can hinder breathing via the nose.
A deviated septum may lead to periodic nosebleeds or sinus infections. It can also completely block the nasal passage. Rhinoplasty surgery alleviates such problems.
Your nose is a noticeable feature on your face. If your nose is also not symmetrical with the rest of your face, you will attract the attention of others. This can reduce your self-esteem and self-image.
Rhinoplasty helps to improve the overall appearance of your face and nose by restructuring it so that it is symmetrical and straight.
Fix sinus problems
In case the sinus gets filled with fluid or is blocked, this can cause an infection due to the attraction of bacteria.
Rhinoplasty can correct sinus problems including inflamed sinuses or chronic sinusitis. This is achieved by correcting the structure of the sinuses or nose.
A deviated septum or other structural problems within your nose can cause snoring.
Once the deviated septum has been fixed through rhinoplasty, the snoring problem is also fixed.
A symmetrical and attractive nose makes you feel more confident.
If you are self-conscious about how you look, especially if you find your nose unattractive, rhinoplasty can help to bolster your confidence.
The possible complications that may accompany rhinoplasty include:
- Skin discoloration
- Nasal septal perforation – This refers to a hole that forms in your nasal septum
- Some small blood verses may burst, especially the one on the skin surface
- The risk of undergoing another operation
- Permanent nerve damage
Cost of rhinoplasty in India
The cost of rhinoplasty in India starts from as low as Rs. 16,000 but could go all the way to Rs. 2,00,000.
The table below summarizes the average price for rhinoplasty in various Indian cities:
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