Rhinoplasty, AKA, a nose job is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures currently being performed on patients all across the country. The purpose of rhinoplasty is to alter the appearance of the nose by changing its size or shape while also providing a more balanced appearance to the nose. In addition, rhinoplasty can help improve the ability of the patient to breathe on a daily basis. According to statistics released last year by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are almost 220,000 rhinoplasty procedures performed on a yearly basis.
While rhinoplasty can make aesthetic changes to the nose, one of the most common medical reasons for the procedure (as discussed above) is addressing any difficulty that patients having breathing through the nose. Issues of nasal obstruction can cause patients to have problems such as sleep apnea and fitful sleep. While sleep apnea treatments or nasal sprays might help with breathing issues on a temporary basis, a surgical option such as functional rhinoplasty might be the best solution to any breathing difficulties. In addition, patients might be able to get part of the medical procedure covered as rhinoplasty that is performed for medical reasons is often covered by health insurance.
A functional rhinoplasty surgery is tailored to address the specific issues facing the patient when it comes to breathing normally. If the septum is deviated, AKA the midline cartilage wall that divides the left and right sides of the nose, patients can undergo septoplasty to address the issue and fix the problem.
If the deviation of the septum is more severe in nature, or if the deviation is impacting areas critical for nasal support, a traditional rhinoplasty surgery will be required to help the patient breathe properly and ensure the proper nasal shape for the nose. In general, rhinoplasty addresses septal deformity while also improving and strengthening portions of the nose that are key to the ability to breathe properly by placing cartilage grafts in strategic areas.
For patients that do not need rhinoplasty to make functional changes to the nose, they will undergo cosmetic rhinoplasty to make desired changes in the shape, size and appearance of the nose. Patients should be aware of the fact that cosmetic rhinoplasty is not considered to be medically necessary so it is not covered by insurance. In other words, the patient will have to pay out of pocket to have the surgery. However, cosmetic rhinoplasty can be combined with functional rhinoplasty so there is only one recovery period for the patient.
Rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia and the placement of the incisions depends on which type of rhinoplasty is performed.
No matter where the incisions are placed, they allow the surgeon to have access to the bones and cartilage of the nose. The plastic surgeon will then work on improving the nasal passageways (if functional rhinoplasty is being performed) and nasal reshaping to alter the size or shape of the nose. By making careful and targeted adjustments to the cartilage and bone of the nose, the surgeon will be able to complete the desired changes to the look of the nose.
Patients that have rhinoplasty should plan on taking a week off work after the surgery. It will be difficult for patients to easily breathe through their nose thanks to the splints (thin plastic sheets that are also bendable) placed inside the nose. The splints are put in place in the nose to help keep the septum straight after the procedure.
There will be some swelling after the rhinoplasty surgery but the swelling will decrease on its own within a month. In addition, patients can expect some bruising under the eyes. They will also need to wear a small cast on the nose to keep the bones in place during the swelling process.
About a week after the surgery, the splints and cast will be removed in the office of the doctor. Patients are then able to return to work as well as resume some physical activities such as running and walking. It will be at least six weeks before the patient can resume full contact sports.
There will be some visible results after the swelling goes down but it can take up to a year for the final results to become visible. In order to maintain the final results, patients are advised to avoid any damage to the nose as well as any trauma to the nose that can impact the final results. As long as the patient avoids hurting or injuring the nose, the results should be permanent.