Cosmetic rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It can reshape, reduce or augment a person’s nose to achieve facial harmony and boost self-confidence. It may be performed as a reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect or an injury such as a broken nose.
Rhinoplasty may be performed for functional rather than cosmetic reasons as well. Combining nose reshaping with septoplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery can effectively treat certain breathing problems, such as those caused by a deviated septum.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most frequent procedures that Dr. McCluskey performs and he tailors every operation to the individual patient. He spends a great deal of time with rhinoplasty patients, first gaining an understanding of their needs and expectations, then explaining the refinements necessary to meet their expectations. Common requests from patients include reducing a dorsal hump or narrowing a wide nasal bridge. Many patients desire refinement of the nasal tip, or feminization of a masculine-appearing nose.
Nostril reduction, or alar base resection is another nasal procedure frequently performed alone or in conjunction with rhinoplasty.
Many patients come to Dr. McCluskey for revision rhinoplasty, also called secondary rhinoplasty. These patients have previously had nasal surgery by other surgeon or undergone rhinoplasty in other countries and are seeking further refinement. These revision procedures are more difficult and require more time because of scar tissue other changes to the postoperative nose.
What can rhinoplasty do for me?
Rhinoplasty is an excellent procedure for achieving the following:
- Balance the size of the nose with the other facial features
- Modify the width of the nose at the bridge
- Improve the nasal profile, including removing humps or depressions
- Contour a nasal tip that is too large, “boxy,” drooping or upturned
- Change the angle between the nose and the mouth
- Narrow and reshape the nostrils
- Correct asymmetry or deviation
Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?
The best candidates for rhinoplasty:
- Are at least 13 years old
- Have finished facial growth
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not pressure from others
- Have realistic goals for the procedure
How is the procedure performed?
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Dr. McCluskey uses one of two techniques when performing nose surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, the incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. With both methods, Dr. McCluskey gently lifts the soft tissues covering the nose. He sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. Any additional cartilage needed to augment the nose can often be taken from the septum.
If the patient has a deviated septum, Dr. McCluskey will adjust the septum and the inner structures of the nose to improve breathing. Then the tissues are re-draped and stitched closed. If the patient desires nostril reshaping, this is done as the final stage of rhinoplasty. The entire procedure generally lasts two to three hours.
What is the recovery from nose surgery like?
For a short time after surgery, patients may experience puffiness, nose ache or a dull headache, some swelling and bruising, bleeding or stuffiness. Most patients feel like themselves within two days and return to work in about a week.
The results of rhinoplasty become gradually apparent as the days pass after surgery and swelling recedes. Swelling may reappear from time to time in the first year after the procedure. It is typically more noticeable in the morning and fades during the day.
Contact lenses can be worn immediately, but glasses may need to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to seven weeks.
Will I like the results of my nose surgery?
Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape of their nose. The exact results depend on the patient’s nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age. Most importantly, the final results take months to achieve. Patients will see a big difference in the first days/weeks after surgery but this result will continue to improve for the next six to twelve months.