Rhinoplasty / Nose Surgery
Rhinoplasty is the name given to the many operations plastic surgeons carry out to improve the appearance and sometime the function of the nose. Some operations improve the appearance of the nasal tip by removal of some cartilage in the tip, or by removing small wedges of skin at the base of the nose. The nasal tip may also be elevated by removal of some of the cartilage at the base of the septum, the plate of cartilage between the nostrils. Other operations narrow the upper half of the nose by repositioning the nasal bones. In a complete rhinoplasty the nasal tip is improved in appearance and the nasal bones are repositioned and narrowed. Sometimes cartilage grafts are placed in the nose to improve contour.
If a patient has difficulty breathing following a broken nose, a portion of the septum may be removed to improve air flow into the nose. This is called a septoplasty and may be covered by health insurance.
The best candidates for rhinoplasty are patients who do not expect perfection in the appearance of their nose following surgery because results may vary under the best of circumstances. If you are healthy, have reasonable expectations as to what can and what cannot be achieved, you might be a good candidate for rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most common procedures that plastic surgeons perform; over 147,500 rhinoplasties were carried out by board certified plastic surgeons in 2013. These operations are usually done as an outpatient in an office operating room suite or in an outpatient surgical facility. Surgery takes about an hour for uncomplicated rhinoplasties, although more complicated procedures can take longer. If the nasal bones have been repositioned, patients wear a splint on their nose for about one week. Bruising is common following rhinoplasty, but this usually disappears within one to two weeks. Patients may be sedated, which means that they are made very sleepy, but are awake and pain free during surgery. More commonly patients are put to sleep.
It may take several months to see the final results from a rhinoplasty, which can be frustrating for patients who want to see immediate improvement. Most patients are satisfied with the results of rhinoplasty if they had realistic expectations before surgery.
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