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Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery) Can Make Your Nose Look and Function Better

Sep 10, 2008
Rhinoplasty is the most commonly performed procedure in facial plastic surgery. The name is a blend of the word rhino (nose) and plasty (to shape). Rhinoplasty is also often referred to as a "nose job". The goal of rhinoplasty is to create and/or re-shape a nose that looks and feels natural. Rhinoplasty can be performed to meet anesthetic goals or for reconstructive purposes to correct defects or breathing problems.

History:
Rhinoplasty was first developed by Sushruta, an important physician, who lived in ancient India circa 500 BC. He and his later students and disciples performed rhinoplasty to reconstruct noses that were amputed as punishment for crimes. He developed the techniques of forehead flap rhinoplasty which is practiced almost unchanged to this day. This knowledge of plastic surgery existed in India way back in the late 18 century. The first intranasal Rhinoplasty in the West was performed by John Orlando Roe in 1887. In 1898 Jacques Joshep used it for cosmetic purposes to help those who felt that the shape or size of their nose caused them embarrassment and social discomfort.

What can Rhinoplasty achieve?
Many features which are not desirable in a nose may be improved through cosmetic surgery. Noses may be made narrower, straighter, longer or shorter. Humps may be removed and the shape, size and angle and definition of the tip of the nose may be altered. Breathing problems caused by a deviated septum may be corrected. Rhinoplasty may be performed at any time after facial growth has been completed roughly ages 15-16 for women and ages 16-17 for men. The ideal outcome in Rhinoplasty is a natural appearing nose with balance of the rest of the face.

Risks involved:
When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon's instructions both before and after surgery.

Surgical procedure:
Surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. However, rhinoplasty can sometimes be performed under local anesthesia depending on your doctor's preference. Incisions are sometimes made inside the nostrils and tiny incisions are also made on the columella, the bit of skin that separates the nostrils. The surgeon first separates soft tissues of the nose from the underlying structure, then reshapes the cartilage and bone which causes the deformity.

In some cases the surgeon may shape a small piece of the patient's own cartilage or bone to strengthen or increase the structure of the nose. This is done for cosmetic reasons or to improve breathing and function of the nose. In rarer cases a synthetic implant may be used to reconstruct the nose if the normal structure of the bone and cartilage is badly damaged or weakened. Plastic synthetic implants are often used but cartilage from the septum, ear on rib may also be used.

Recovery:
After surgery-particularly during the first twenty-four hours-your face will feel puffy, your nose may ache, and you may have a dull headache. You can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Plan on staying in bed with your head elevated (except for going to the bathroom) for the first day.

You may go home with a tape or splint on your nose which will usually be removed within a week. You'll notice that the swelling and bruising around your eyes will increase at first, reaching a peak after two or three days. Applying cold compresses will reduce this swelling and make you feel a bit better. Most of the swelling and bruising should disappear within one to two weeks or so. (Some subtle swelling-unnoticeable to anyone but you and your surgeon-will remain for several months.)
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com is an online resource for rhinoplasty in San Diego. To learn more, please visit http://www.kearneymd.com/lajollarhinoplasty.html and http://www.lookingyourbest.com/facialplasticsurgery/articles/NoseSurgery-Rhinoplasty.
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