Rhinoplasty is a common surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the nose, correct breathing problems, birth defects or repair an injury. Potential candidates are thoroughly evaluated, which involves analyzing the patient's medical history and nose structure, such as underlying nasal bones and cartilage, overlying skin and other facial features.
The Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers patients a range of options for rhinoplasty to best suit each patient's needs and medical requirements. Surgeons use leading-edge technology and world-class surgical techniques.
Rhinoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia and is usually an outpatient procedure. Surgeons make incisions inside the nostrils to access the bone and cartilage. Depending on the desired outcome, bone and cartilage may be added or removed.
After the nose has been reshaped, a splint is used to support the new shape and allow the nose to heal. Nasal packing also may be used to provide additional support.
Following surgery, bed rest with the head higher than the chest is recommended to reduce swelling and bleeding. There may be bruising around the eyes and nose, which is usually treated using cold compresses.
Additional risks and complications may include:
- Skin problems (such as breakdown of skin tissue and irritation from bandaging)
- Infections (treatable with antibiotics)
- Serious nasal blockage from swelling inside the nose
- Complications from anesthesia
Surgeons may prescribe medication or use other methods to ease these complications. It takes about 10 to 14 days for the swelling and bruising to subside and several weeks before the patient can return to normal physical activities.