Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
Nose surgery—also referred to as rhinoplasty—is a cosmetic procedure designed to reshape the nose to create a more favorable and proportional facial aesthetic. Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular surgical procedures in the United States and is performed hundreds of thousands of times per year. The operation typically involves removing and sculpting an individual’s nasal tissues in order to reduce the size of the nose and create an improved facial balance. In some cases, rhinoplasty can also be utilized to improve breathing function through the nasal passages. Results of the procedure are unique to each individual, depending on factors such as age, anatomical nasal and facial structure, genetic inheritances, and the thickness and condition of a patient’s skin. Nose surgery generally allows individuals to achieve improved facial proportions and an enhanced overall appearance.
Every person has unique reasons for considering rhinoplasty, some of which may include:
- To make the nose and facial features more proportional
- To reduce the size or width of a nose that appears large or wide
- To correct an overly arched or “Roman” nose
- To reshape a nose tip that appears crooked or pointed
- To perform secondary surgery following a previous rhinoplasty
- To treat nasal birth deformities or defects
What Can Rhinoplasty Address?
During your consultation, Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz—our experienced plastic surgeon—will ask you about your goals and expectations for surgery. Depending on your anatomy, rhinoplasty can improve a number of issues concerning:
- The nasal bridge— nose surgery can achieve more harmonious facial features by correcting bumps in the nasal bridge, straightening a crooked bridge, or making the nasal bridge thinner or wider.
- The nasal tip— rhinoplasty can reshape the nasal tip to appear wider or more narrow, as well as raise or lower the angle of the tip.
- The nostrils— when nostrils appear overly prominent or slight in comparison to the rest of the facial features, surgical enhancement can increase or decrease the size in relation to your facial proportions for a more balanced aesthetic.
- The septum— a deviated septum often causes breathing problems; however, nose surgery can effectively repair and realign the septum to help improve airflow through the nasal passages.
While the surgical results of each patient differ, we invite you to look through our patient gallery of rhinoplasty before and after photos to gain an idea of what can be accomplished with nose surgery.
Candidates for Rhinoplasty
Ideal candidates for rhinoplasty are typically those who are in relatively good health to withstand the surgery and post-operative recovery process. Prior to the procedure, Dr. Joe will have you fill out a questionnaire, examine your facial structure and anatomical features, review your medical history, and ask you what you wish to accomplish with nose surgery by using drawings, computer images, a work sheet, and extensive notes. In this way, he can gain a comprehensive understanding of your desires to ensure the surgical outcome aligns with your expectations.
Candidates for rhinoplasty may also include patients who are interested in correcting a previous nose surgery that resulted in complications or dissatisfaction over the years. Our doctor can perform revision rhinoplasty for individuals who would like to address concerns from an initial rhinoplasty performed by another surgeon.
Male and Female Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty can benefit both male and female patients who wish to achieve a more harmonious balance between their facial features. A question frequently asked is whether surgical techniques differ according to sex. While there is no significant difference between the way surgery is performed on men versus women, there is generally a distinction in the patient’s unique anatomy and desired cosmetic outcome. For example, women typically have a less prominent nasal bridge than men, and often desire a smaller nasal structure when compared to male patients. Although these characteristics are common patterns, there are no set “rules” governing male and female rhinoplasty techniques and each procedure is entirely customized according to the needs and preferences of each patient. Rhinoplasty is the perfect blend of science and art, offering many benefits to men and women alike.
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
For the operation, Dr. Joe will utilize general anesthesia. The duration of surgery is typically one to three hours. To begin, tiny incisions on the inside or outside of the nose are made to allow access to the nasal structure under the skin. Once the skin is opened, the cartilage and bone can be reshaped to form the foundation for the nose’s new aesthetic.
The “open” and “closed” techniques are the two basic methods of performing rhinoplasty. In the open technique, the incision is placed on the columella in the area between the nostrils. This allows for optimal visibility and control over the operation. The closed technique places incisions internally for a faster rate of healing when compared to an open approach. During the initial consultation, Dr. Joe can help determine which approach is the most beneficial according to your unique needs.
After surgery, patients may notice some swelling. This should dissipate within a few weeks, with minor swelling potentially experienced up to one year post-operatively. A splint, bandage, and/or gauze is applied following the procedure to immobilize the nose and facilitate the healing process. During recovery, patients are required to abstain from smoking for six weeks before and after surgery. Furthermore, corrective lenses and glasses should be taped up to minimize contact with the nose. The nose should also be very well protected from sun exposure for the first year after surgery.
The possibility of visible scarring differs based on the technique used during your operation. With the open technique, patients may notice some slight residual scarring where the incisions were made. However, individuals often report that existing scars appear significantly faded or virtually invisible once healing is complete. With the closed technique, there should be no visible scarring since the incisions are made internally—the exception is when a patient’s nostrils are narrowed, in which case fine scars at the nostril base are generally required.
The recovery process for rhinoplasty can often be accelerated with plenty of rest and limited movement. Patients may feel minor pain in the nasal area, but this discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication and/or cold compresses applied for the first 24 hours after surgery. Following the detailed post-operative instructions provided by Dr. Joe can typically decrease the risk of complications while you heal.
For more information about rhinoplasty, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice in Burnsville or Edina today.