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What is rhinoplasty?

Repair Your Nose

Rhinoplasty, also called as nose surgery, is an operation to repair or change the shape of the nose. It may be used to improve the appearance of the nose, enhance its function, or both.

How is rhinoplasty done?

Rhinoplasty involves the creation of incisions in the nose to access the cartilage that supports it. Dr. Randall Barnett of Alpine Plastic Surgery Clinic in Salt Lake City, UT has been performing rhinoplasty for years. During rhinoplasty, incisions are made inside the nose so they will not be noticeable after surgery. Some cartilage or bone on the nose may be removed depending on the desired outcome. Some tissue or synthetic filler may also be added to achieve the desired result. Once the bone and cartilage have been manipulated, the skin is then redraped over the nose. A splint is then used to support the nose’s new shape as it heals.

Why is rhinoplasty done?

Being one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures done, rhinoplasty can be used for the following purposes:

  • Changing the shape of the nasal bridge or tip
  • Reduction or increasing the size of the nose
  • Changing the angle between the upper lip and the nose
  • Narrowing the opening of one’s nostrils
  • Birth defect or injury correction
  • Relief of breathing problems

In the case of cosmetics, a rhinoplasty is considered elective and is done to change the nose’s shape to the patient’s desired shape. Typically, a cosmetic rhinoplasty is done after the nasal bone has already completed growth, which is around the ages of 14 or 15.

What preparations should I make before rhinoplasty?

It is best to consult a reliable surgeon, like Dr. Barnett, before undergoing surgery. Dr. Barnett will determine if you are a good candidate for nose surgery. You can expect the following during your consultation.

  1. Discussion of your medical history. This includes a history of previous surgeries and medications you have taken. It is also vital that you tell the doctor about bleeding disorders, like hemophilia, if you have any. You will also be asked about your goals and reason for seeking treatment.
  2. Physical examination. Your surgeon will assess if you are suited for the surgery. During this time, you may be asked to undergo blood tests or other laboratory tests. Your skin, as well as the inside and outside of the nose, will also be inspected. This allows the doctor to determine what changes to make as well as to evaluate how your physical features, such as skin thickness and strength of nasal cartilage, could affect the outcome of the treatment. Your doctor will also determine if rhinoplasty could affect your breathing through physical examination.
  3. Photographs. Photographs of every angle of your nose may be taken. Your doctor may use these photos to for comparison and future reference.
  4. Discussion of expectations. It is important to discuss with your doctor your expectations regarding the procedure. A good candidate for rhinoplasty has realistic expectations and knows what the procedure can do and cannot do.

What are the risks associated with rhinoplasty?

Like any other surgery, rhinoplasty may pose problems after treatment, such as swelling and bruising. Other risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection, which may be reduced using preventive antibiotics
  • Injury to the septum (the wall separating the nostrils)
  • Skin breakdown and irritation due to bandaging
  • Anesthesia-related problems
  • Nasal blockage due to swelling on the inside of the nose

What precautions should I take before rhinoplasty?

Avoid aspirin or aspirin-containing medications two weeks pre- and post-surgery. These types of medications may increase bleeding in the suture lines.

Avoid smoking since it slows down the healing process and may increase your chances of getting an infection.

Find someone who can drive you home after surgery or stay with you for at least two nights to help you with personal care. Anesthesia used during surgery may impair your memory and judgment.

What can I expect during rhinoplasty?

During surgery, you may be put under local or general anesthesia depending on the extent of the procedure. It is best to discuss this matter with your doctor during consultation.

What should I do after rhinoplasty?

Rest is important for patients who have undergone any surgery. While resting in bed, your head should be raised higher than the chest. This will reduce the chances of swelling and bleeding. The swelling on the treated area or the splints inside the nose may congest the nose. The internal dressings placed following surgery are usually removed in about one to seven days.

To minimize the bleeding and mucus drainage, you may be advised to place a drip pad under your nose to absorb the substance. The drip pad should not be placed too tightly against the nose.

What precautions should I follow?

Several weeks after surgery, you may be asked to:

  • Avoid strenuous activities, like jogging or heavy lifting.
  • Avoid blowing your nose.
  • Avoid constipation by eating high-fiber foods. Constipation can trigger you to strain; thus, putting pressure on the treated area.
  • Brush the teeth gently to limit upper lip movement.
  • Limit facial expressions, like smiling or laughing.