Beginner’s Guide to Rhinoplasty

The Beginner’s Guide to Rhinoplasty

It’s one of the most prominent features you have: your nose. And many people would prefer theirs be, well, a little less prominent.

Nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, has been popular for decades – and around for much longer. An article on  The Atlantic website says one of the first recorded rhinoplasty procedures was performed in ancient India in the 6th century B.C. The patient had a patch of skin removed from their cheek to sculpt a new nose.

Thankfully, rhinoplasty surgery has evolved since then. Those who want to change the size or shape of their nose now have access to more refined (and safer) surgical techniques and much better results.

If you’re unhappy with the look of your nose, you’ve likely considered this common procedure. But before you bite the bullet and change your appearance for good, it’s important to do a little homework. That’s why we’ve put together your beginner’s guide to rhinoplasty.

 

What It Can Do

The goal of rhinoplasty is fairly straightforward: It’s used to change the size, shape and overall appearance of your nose. Many people are hoping to make their nose smaller, thinner, or straighter, while others want a more defined nasal tip.

According to the website of Dr. Thomas Mustoe, a plastic surgeon in Chicago,  rhinoplasty  is commonly used to:

  • Narrow a wide nasal bridge
  • Alter the angle or shape of the nasal tip
  • Smooth and straighten nasal humps or indentations
  • Reshape nostrils that are wide, large, or upturned

But that’s not all. Dr. Mustoe notes that rhinoplasty can also improve the function of your nose, as well as the appearance. Breathing problems, congenital defects, or damage caused by illness or prior injury can all normally be improved with nose surgery. Revision rhinoplasty can also correct a prior nose job gone wrong.

 

Who It’s For

While it’s easy to think of rhinoplasty as a luxury reserved for the Hollywood elite, it’s actually a very common surgery. Last year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons® reported that  nose surgery was up 2%  from 2015, with 223,018 procedures performed.

Those who are the best candidates for nose surgery are people who want to improve the look or function of their nose (or both), and who have a healthy self-image and realistic expectations. There are a number of circumstances in which a  plastic surgeon won’t operate – including when a patient suffers from a psychological disorder, such as body dysmorphia. But as long as you want what can realistically be achieved, and you have a stable self-image, rhinoplasty should be a good option.

 

How It’s Done

Each surgeon has his or her own preferred techniques for surgery, but typically, rhinoplasty can be performed using an open or closed approach.

Closed rhinoplasty involves incisions inside the nose. This is advantageous because it results in a faster recovery and less scarring, but it also does not allow the surgeon full visibility into the nose during surgery. This can make surgery more difficult for the surgeon, and may not allow for more precise changes.

An open approach allows the surgeon to see the structures of the nose much more clearly because an additional incision is made along the columella, or tissue between the nostrils. Of course, this could result in a visible scar (although not always, if you choose a skilled surgeon), and may require a longer recovery. The benefit of open surgery is that the surgeon can make more exact changes, often down to the millimeter, because more of the nasal structure is visible.

Both techniques have advantages and disadvantages, but a skilled surgeon should be able to give you the results you want using the best technique for your anatomy.

 

What to Expect after Surgery

Don’t anticipate immediate improvements after your rhinoplasty. In fact, expect the opposite. Swelling, bruising, and soreness will persist for several weeks after surgery. You will likely wear a nasal splint for 1-2 weeks to help stabilize your new nose and hold it in place for proper healing. If you are trying to be discreet, you may not want to schedule any social gatherings for 2 to 3 weeks after your procedure.

Ultimately, it may take up to a year or longer to see your final results. This is because it takes time for all post-surgical swelling to subside and for the final shape of your nose to emerge. However, most people are happy with their results within a few months.

To learn more about the techniques used for rhinoplasty procedures in his practice, be sure to call Dr. Thomas Mustoe at (312) 788-2560 or visit his office at 737 North Michigan Avenue #1500, Chicago, IL.

 

 

 

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