Rhinoplasty (Nose Reshaping)
Who is a Candidate?
The best candidates are those looking for
improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. Rhinoplasty can
enhance your appearance and self-image, but it will not make you look
like a movie star. Those that are physically healthy, psychologically
stable, and have realistic expectations make the best candidates. Age
can also be a consideration. Most doctors prefer not to operate on
teenagers until after they have completed their growth spurt. It is
also important to consider the teen's emotional state and if surgery
is what they, and not their parents, truly want.
Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is a set of popular
procedures used to either correct nose related health problems or to
reshape the nose for cosmetic reasons. It can correct birth defects or
help to relieve some breathing problems. It can reduce or increase the
size of the nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow
the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between your nose and
your upper lip.
Most nasal surgery is performed on an outpatient
basis. Depending on the procedure the doctor may use general
anesthesia and/or sedation. With local anesthesia, you'll usually be
lightly sedated, and your nose and the surrounding area will be
numbed; you'll be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and
insensitive to pain. With general anesthesia, you'll sleep through the
operation. General anesthesia is usually better for more extensive
rhinoplasty or septal surgery. Local anesthesia is usually better for
small adjustments or hump removal.
Rhinoplasty usually takes an hour or two, though
complicated procedures may take longer. During surgery the skin of the
nose is separated from the bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted
to the desired shape. The type of sculpting will depend on your
problem and Dr. Palma's preferred technique. Finally, the skin is
secured to the new underlying framework.
Recuperation and Healing:
After the surgery you can expect to feel
uncomfortable with a possible headache. Keeping the head and neck
elevated will help reduce swelling and discomfort. An external splint
will support the outside of the nose. Sometimes soft rubber splints
will be used to support the inside. Packing is not necessary in most
cases. Any stitches or splints will be removed in five to seven days
and any swelling or bruising will last about seven to ten days. You
will start to see results in as little as two weeks with further
details revealed over the next six months.
A little drainage is common during the first few
days following surgery, and you may continue to feel some stuffiness
for several weeks. Dr. Palma will probably ask you not to blow your
nose for a week or so, while the tissues heal.
Most rhinoplasty patients are out of bed within
two days, and able to return to their jobs on a limited basis a few
days to a week or so following surgery. It will be several weeks,
however, before you're back to a normal routine.
Dr. Palma will give you specific guidelines for
gradually resuming your normal activities. Avoid strenuous activity (jogging, swimming,
bending, sexual relations-any activity that increases your blood
pressure) for two to three weeks. Avoid hitting or rubbing your nose,
or getting it sunburned, for eight weeks. Be gentle when washing your
face and hair or using cosmetics.
You can wear contact lenses as needed, but
glasses will have to be propped on your cheeks for another six to
seven weeks, until your nose is completely healed.
You will come in for follow-up visits in the
months after surgery so Dr. Palma can check on the progress of your
When nose surgery is performed to improve
breathing function, it is considered reconstructive and
may be covered by insurance. This requires a detailed examination to
verify the cause of your breathing impairment and prior authorization
from your insurer.
specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given
individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All
surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that
do not affect the outcome can occur occasionally. Major complications
Rhinoplasty (Nose Reshaping) Photo
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