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Rhinoplasty

What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty (also known as nose job and nose surgery) is a cosmetic procedure which helps to correct and reform the nose.  It can help to correct nasal deformation whether it is caused by congenital defects, injury to the nose, or other causes.  This reshaping of the nose can help to improve the overall facial appearance, giving the patient a more pleasing, balanced, and attractive face.

The History Of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty has a surprisingly long history.  The first rhinoplasties seem to have been performed in Egypt around 1550 BC.  These surgeries were often performed in order to help recreate noses on people who had had their noses amputated as a punishment criminal behavior.  Similarly, there is evidence that rhinoplasties were performed in ancient India around 800 BC by a doctor named Sushruta.  However, it wasn’t just Egypt and India which had the idea to surgically repair or improve the nose: similar procedures are documented in ancient Roman and Byzantine works.

During the Dark Ages, the knowledge of how to perform cosmetic surgeries such as rhinoplasty was lost, and it was not recovered until the 1200s, when Arab physicians began to revisit the ancient Indian texts.  This knowledge gradually spread, and it seems to have reentered Western European medicine around the 1500s.

From the 1600s to the present, surgeons have continued to develop and perfect rhinoplasty techniques.  Doctors all around the world have contributed to techniques that make rhinoplasty safer and more effective.  Today’s surgeons have an unprecedented ability to improve the appearance of the nose.

Rhinoplasty Techniques

There have been a wide variety of rhinoplasty techniques practiced over the years.  However, these days rhinoplasties typically fall into two basic categories: open rhinoplasties and closed rhinoplasties.  These two techniques each have unique pros and cons.  Depending on your own circumstances, one may work better for you than the other.

Closed Rhinoplasty

A closed rhinoplasty is one in which all of the surgical incisions are hidden inside the nose.  This means that there will be less visible scarring, providing fewer aesthetic blemishes and fewer tell-tale signs of surgery.  However, the placement of the incisions can be a double-edged sword.  A closed rhinoplasty does not allow the surgeon as much freedom in completing the operation, and it also does not allow him or her to visualize the internal nasal structures as completely.

Because of this, closed rhinoplasties are not quite as versatile as open rhinoplasties.  There are some problems that they are unable to treat which an open rhinoplasty could easily improve.  However, for people who have problems that a closed rhinoplasty can treat, this lack of versatility is not an issue.  This is one of the reasons why closed rhinoplasties are more popular than open rhinoplasties.

Closed rhinoplasties can frequently help with minor issues with the bridge or nasal tip.  During the surgery, the surgeon may remove bone or cartilage to decrease the size of the nose.  He or she may also add some sort of filler to increase the nose’s size.

Open Rhinoplasty

An open rhinoplasty is one which employs incisions both on the inside and outside of the nose.  Typically, in addition to the incisions inside the nostrils, a slit will be cut in the columella (the column tissue which separates the nostrils).  This allows the surgeon to peel back the nasal skin entirely during the surgery, allowing for ultimate surgical freedom and for an unrivaled ability to see and alter the underlying nasal structure.

Many people worry that an open rhinoplasty will result in excessive scarring.  However, in many cases the scar is not very conspicuous.  A small scar on the underside of the nose is frequently not very visible.

Open rhinoplasty can help to address problems that closed rhinoplasty cannot.  For example, many people with overly long, crooked, or drooping noses cannot fix all of their problems with a closed rhinoplasty.  An open rhinoplasty, on the other hand, can address these issues.

There is not typically much of a difference in recovery times between closed and open rhinoplasties.  Although an open rhinoplasty does involve additional incisions, it is the cartilage and bone that require most of the healing time, not the nasal skin.

Benefits Of Rhinoplasty

By improving the shape of the nose, rhinoplasty can not only make the nose more attractive, it can improve the appearance of the entire face.  Because rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery, it is typically more interested in improving nasal appearance than in performing nasal repair to improve breathing, etc.  However, in some cases functional nasal surgery can be performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty.  If you have questions about this possibility, please speak with your surgeon.

What Kinds Of Problems Can Rhinoplasty Treat?

Rhinoplasty can help with a number of different nasal problems.  Some people have nasal issues that they have struggled with their whole lives.  Rhinoplasty can help to alleviate these problems and provide an improvement in appearance.  A number of people have nasal problems which they have developed gradually over time.  For example, people’s noses tend to grow with age, and even if a person has a completely proportionate nose at 12, there is no guarantee that he or she still will at age 50.  Rhinoplasty can also help to deal with this.

Additionally, there are a number of people who have malformed noses due to some traumatic event.  For example, people who have had nasal cancer frequently end up with some sort of blemish.  Similarly, people who have broken their noses due to accident often experience a change in the appearance of their nose.  Rhinoplasty can also help these people.  Rhinoplasty can also be used to help offset problems caused by a previous, unsuccessful rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty can help to alter nasal size, and it can help to adjust the width of the nose at the bridge.  It can similarly alter the nasal profile, and it can be especially helpful with removing visible bulges or indentations on the bridge.  The nasal tip can also be altered.  Drooping noses can be corrected, and upturned noses can also be fixed.  Noses with tips that are too bulbous may be trimmed, and asymmetrical noses can be made more balanced and symmetrical.

If you have questions about whether rhinoplasty could help your own unique nasal issue, please speak with your surgeon.

Are There Any Problems That Cannot Be Fixed Through Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty can help to fix a wide variety of nasal problems, and it can provide very real improvement for people.  However, there is a common conception that cosmetic surgery can offer perfection, and this is simply not true.   You can and should expect that you will look better after your rhinoplasty.  However, if absolute perfection is your goal, you are likely to be disappointed, no matter how skilled your surgeon is.

Also, some people go into their surgery hoping to get their nose to match their favorite movie star’s.  This is often a mistake.  Although a celebrity’s nose may work beautifully on his or her face, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be a good match on yours.  Everyone’s face is different, and facial beauty is a matter of balance and proportion, not of cut and paste.  If you think that a certain celebrity’s look would match yours well, you can certainly feel free to let your surgeon know.  However, if he or she thinks otherwise, you should strongly consider rethinking your goals.  Don’t feel compelled to make yourself look like somebody else.  Even when you are getting cosmetic surgery, let yourself be your own sort of beautiful.

Are The Results Of Rhinoplasty Permanent?

Rhinoplasty results are permanent for a given value of permanence.  Your nose will not magically change back to its pre-nose job state, and the changes that are made will definitely be long-lasting.  But it is important to remember that the human body ages and changes and that there is nothing that can prevent that, not even cosmetic surgery.  Even after a rhinoplasty, your nose will be affected by age.  With time, it will lengthen and droop to a certain degree.  Actually, this is good news, because it means that it will match the rest of your face as it ages.  A completely youthful nose on a face that is beginning to show some wrinkles and lines would actually be a strange sight.  However, if your nose job is performed correctly, it should always look younger and better than it would if you had not undergone the surgery.

Drawbacks And Risks Of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, like all cosmetic surgeries, involves both benefits and drawbacks.  It does involve some amount of pain and expense, and it has something of a recovery time.  There is the potential for some amount of scarring, although little of it is likely to be very visible.  Furthermore, there is the risk of an unsuccessful surgery or unpleasing results.  In these instances, a secondary rhinoplasty may be necessary to help fix the problems caused by the first rhinoplasty.

Similarly, some people complain that their rhinoplasties have cause them difficulty breathing through their nose.  This is a possibility, although sometimes a rhinoplasty can actually help deal with nasal issues.  Similarly, there is always some risk of serious complications including blood clotting and anesthesia allergies.

Preparing For Rhinoplasty

Just like everything important in life, a rhinoplasty requires some amount of preparation.  The first step in the preparation is learning.  As a prospective rhinoplasty patient, you want to know everything that you can about the surgery.  This knowledge will help you to know what the surgery could do for you.  Knowing the risks and benefits will help you to make the best decision for you.  This knowledge will also help you as you decide which surgeon to use.

Picking the right surgeon is another crucial part of preparing for your rhinoplasty.  Not all cosmetic surgeons are created equal.  Some are very skilled and very able to sculpt your body into exactly the shape that you want it.  Some others are more apt to make potentially dangerous and costly mistakes.

Do yourself a favor and research a number of different surgeons.  Look at their credentials and ask yourself which surgeon seems best-suited to performing your surgeon.  Compare before and after pictures, and see if there are surgeons who consistently provide results that you would like to see on yourself.

Ultimately, which surgeon you select may be the most important decision you make with regards to your rhinoplasty.  If you get the right surgeon, he or she can help you to know all of the things you will need to do to make your surgery a success.

With regards to physical preparation, follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter.  People who smoke should be aware that their surgeon will almost certainly require them to quit before they are allowed to undergo the surgery.

During Rhinoplasty

On the day of your surgery, you will arrive at the surgical center.  Beforehand, you will need to arrange with someone to drive you to and from your rhinoplasty.  Once at the center, you will be prepped for your surgery.  You will be anesthetized, most likely with local anesthesia and iv sedation.  Then, the surgeon will make the appropriate incisions and reshape your nasal tissue.

When the surgery is over, you will be monitored to make sure that you are healthy and stable.  If everything looks good, you will probably be able to return home after just a few hours.

Recovering From Rhinoplasty

When you return home, you will most likely have some form of splint on your nose.  Leave it on until your surgeon allows you to remove it.  Take it easy for a few days, and keep your head elevated when you sleep.  Some amount of discomfort is common, but it should be controllable.  Do not take aspirin or NSAIDs.

Some amount of bruising around the cheeks and eyes is common.  Don’t be scared if you find that you look like a raccoon!  The bruising will go down with time.  Your nose is also likely to be very swollen at first.  This will fade as well.

Most people can return to work within a week or week and a half after surgery.  However, patients should wait longer to resume exercise.  Most people can return to strenuous activity after about three weeks.  However, it is important to avoid bumping the nose while it is still healing.

Rhinoplasty Cost

Rhinoplasty costs can vary widely.  Each rhinoplasty bill is made up of a number of different, smaller bills.  The surgeon will need to be paid for his time and talents, a surgical center will need to be rented, an anesthesiologist will need to be paid, and much more.  A change in any of these individual costs will affect the overall price of the surgery.

In general, rhinoplasty costs will land somewhere between $4,000 and $9,000.  However, if the surgery is extremely complicated (as in a secondary or revision rhinoplasty), it could cost more.

Surgeries performed in large cities tend to cost more than similar surgeries performed in smaller, less populous areas.  Also, more experienced surgeons tend to demand larger surgeon’s fees than newer, less experienced surgeons.

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