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Nasal Surgery (Rhinoplasty) Can Help Shape And Size Your Nose

Sep 5, 2008
Nasal surgery can improve the appearance of the nose externally as well as the internal function of the nasal airways. Rhinoplasty is the term for surgery of the external nose. Internal procedures correct deformities of the septum or turbinates which can obstruct the nasal airway.

Importance Of Nose Aesthetics
The nose is a very important central feature of the face. In both front and profile views, nasal characteristics affect the overall balance and aesthetic appeal of the entire face.

Rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult procedures in plastic surgery because very small changes can drastically affect the appearance. Careful evaluation, planning, and surgical precision are critically important. Overly operated noses appear unattractive and unnatural.

To preserve your individuality and maintain the uniqueness of your nose, your surgeon will spend a lot of time with you, discussing your desires and explaining how the changes you desire will affect other features of your nose and face. By changing only the negative features and carefully preserving your positive characteristics, your nose will blend aesthetically with your face but not appear overly operated.

In general, features of the nose should blend in a pleasing fashion with other facial features. Overly prominent or detracting features of the nose such as a large hump or an excessively round or bulbous tip which detract from a pleasing balance can be improved by rhinoplasty.

Improving The Airways
Difficulty in breathing can be caused by deformities of the nasal septum. Nasal septal deviation can occur during nasal growth or from trauma to the nose. Internal nasal surgery, if needed, can be combined with surgery of the external nose to improve airway function as well as appearance.

What Can Be Achieved?
The degree of correction achievable in each nose depends to some extent on the characteristics of the skin and cartilage in the nose. For example, when the skin is extremely thick or oily, the degree of definition which can be achieved in areas such as the nasal tip may be limited.

Since many nasal structures are vital to overall support and function of the nose, changes must be made carefully, and in some cases, may have to be limited in order to preserve support.

Your surgeon will discuss any specific limitations with you during your consultation.
During the healing phase after surgery, scar tissue formation can occasionally affect the final appearance of the nose. If undesirable characteristics persist or arise after rhinoplasty, a revisional procedure may be necessary in a small percentage of cases. The extent to which nasal airways can be opened depends on many factors. Internal structures such as the septum are vital to support of the nose, and changes must be limited when the support function is threatened. Surgery corrects structural mechanical problems of the airways. Allergies and reactions of the nasal lining to the environment are not predictably corrected by surgery.

Although the nasal septum can be straightened at the time of surgery, the inherent "memory" of the cartilage or scar tissue forces following surgery can produce a re-deviation in a small percentage of cases.

Other risks common to all surgical procedures such as bleeding, infection and scar tissue formation occur in a very small percentage of cases. We will give you more detailed information about these and other rare risks in our written information, and will discuss any concerns you have during your consultation.

About the Operation
Most incisions for rhinoplasty and internal nasal surgery are placed inside the nose. In certain cases, carefully concealed external incisions may be necessary for the most accurate correction. Your surgeon will discuss incision placement with you during your consultation.

To accomplish changes in nasal appearance, the framework structures of the nose, including cartilage and sometimes bone, are carefully altered or reshaped. The skin is then redraped over the reshaped framework to achieve the desired appearance.

Internally, deviated areas of the nasal septum are straightened to maximally open the airways. Areas of severe deformity which cannot be straightened are conservatively removed to open the airways while preserving the support function of the septum.

To protect the changes made to your nose during surgery, tape and a nasal splint will usually be applied at the end of your rhinoplasty.

Very occasionally in severe airway deformities, a small internal splint may be necessary after septal surgery, but an open airway is always maintained. In most cases, absolutely nothing is placed inside your nose after surgery.

After Your Surgery
You'll have very little pain following your rhinoplasty. Most of our patients describe a feeling of fullness or mild headache for a day or two for which we'll prescribe medication. Most patients require medication for several days only.

You'll be able to see the refinements in your nose immediately after surgery. Some swelling and bruising will develop in the first 24 hours after surgery, but will begin to decrease rapidly by the third day. Any traces of bruising which remain when we remove the tape can easily be covered by makeup.

Stages Of Recovery
Our patients usually want to know about four stages of recovery: hospitalization time, when swelling or bruising is resolved, when they'll be able to return to work or social activity, and when they can return to full aerobic or strenuous exercise.

For rhinoplasty procedures, the average operation is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Bruising and swelling will resolve within 5-10 days (although the tip area looks better immediately after surgery, it will continue to improve in definition for several weeks). Patients can generally return to work and social activity within 7-10 days (or less if you are comfortable with people seeing you with a small amount of tape on your nose). Aerobic or strenuous activity can be performed within 14-21 days.

We encourage immediate return to full normal activity immediately. Just don't do any type of strenuous exercise that would push your pulse over 100 for about two to three weeks. Any aerobic activity that increases your pulse over 100 also increases your blood pressure, and could increase bleeding.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com is an online resource for rhinoplasty in Houston. To learn more, please visit http://smithplasticsurgery.com/pages/rhino.htm and http://www.lookingyourbest.com/facialplasticsurgery/articles/NoseSurgery-Rhinoplasty.
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