Rhinoplasty: Not A One Size Fits All Procedure
A rhinoplasty – often called a “nose job” – remains one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery. The procedure can dramatically alter the size and shape of your nose, but the term “rhinoplasty” itself is very broad. There are numerous types of rhinoplasty surgeries, all designed for specific purposes.
When deciding on the right treatment path for you, your surgeon will take your goals and expectations into consideration. A patient who wants substantial changes will require a longer and more extensive surgery than a patient who only wants minor adjustments. In fact, some people may even qualify for a non-surgical rhinoplasty, a non-invasive procedure that comes with no recovery period.
If you are considering a rhinoplasty, we will provide you with a brief breakdown of the options below.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Rhinoplasty?
Both rhinoplasty surgery and non-surgical rhinoplasty are designed for individuals unhappy about the shape, size, or general appearance of their nose.
Patients may want to decrease or increase the size of their nose, or treat more specific issues like dorsal humps. A rhinoplasty can also narrow the span of your nostrils or change the angle between your nose and upper lip.
In some cases, a rhinoplasty is needed for medical purposes. Those with a deviated septum may require a rhinoplasty to help with breathing, though often these do not have cosmetic benefits.
To safely undergo a rhinoplasty, you need to be in good physical health overall, so you will need to undergo a medical evaluation first. You will also have a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and expectations to determine the best treatment plan for you.
What Are The Types Of Rhinoplasty Surgeries?
During a rhinoplasty procedure, your surgeon reshapes nasal bone and/or cartilage. There are several different ways to do this depending on your desired outcome.
An open rhinoplasty is the best option for patients seeking dramatic results.
During an open rhinoplasty, your surgeon makes several incisions around the nose, tip, and nostrils, allowing them complete access to the nasal structure.
A closed rhinoplasty is a good choice for those seeking only minor adjustments to the shape or size of their nose. During a closed rhinoplasty, your surgeon makes incisions from within the nostril, which minimizes the appearance of scars.
A reduction rhinoplasty reduces the overall size of the nose. It is often used to alter a hump at the bridge, reshape the tip, shorten the length of the nose, or reduce the width of the nostrils. A reduction rhinoplasty can be either open or closed depending on your needs.
What Happens During Rhinoplasty Surgery?
A rhinoplasty can be performed under local or general anesthesia and takes between one to four hours depending on the amount of alterations you are making. You will need someone to take you home after surgery.
Directly after a rhinoplasty, you may need splints placed inside your nose to help with post-surgical congestion. You may also have tape and/or a splint on the outside of the nose as well. This is to help stabilize the nasal bones and cartilage during the healing process. Your surgeon may want you to rest in bed with your head raised higher than your chest for a set period before you are discharged.
What Is Recovery Like?
Any splint or other internal dressings are usually removed within seven days, although the precise length is at your surgeon’s discretion.
Your surgeon will go over aftercare instructions with you in detail, including how to care for your surgical site and any medications you need to apply or take orally. Follow all aftercare instructions closely to avoid complications.
Everyone’s recovery path is different, but patients are typically asked to adhere to the following precautions for a few weeks after surgery:
- Avoid strenuous physical activity
- Take baths instead of showers
- Do not blow your nose
- Avoid smiling or laughing
- Eat a high fiber diet to avoid post-surgical constipation
- Brush your teeth gently
- Avoid wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses
You will experience swelling for the first few weeks after a rhinoplasty. While most substantial swelling should subside within one to two months, it may take up to a year to see the full effects of the procedure.
What Are The Risks?
Every surgery comes with some risks. After a rhinoplasty, some patients experience:
- Numbness near the treatment area
- Difficulty breathing
- Scarring or poor wound healing
In very rare cases, some patients experience a hole in the nasal septum, which may require additional surgery.
The best way to avoid complications is to work with a reputable provider and follow all instructions closely before and after surgery.
What Is A Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty?
Sometimes called a liquid rhinoplasty, a non-surgical rhinoplasty can be an excellent option for those who want only minor adjustments and are hoping to avoid surgery. A non-surgical rhinoplasty uses dermal fillers to reshape and contour the nose.
Non-surgical rhinoplasty is non-invasive and usually takes 15 minutes or less. Your practitioner will apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment site and then inject the fillers. You can resume regular activities right away.
A non-surgical rhinoplasty is not permanent, however, and results usually only last between four months and three years. Regular follow-up treatment may be needed. There is one exception: Bellafill, a permanent filler that can cause long lasting changes. Bellafill is excellent for liquid rhinoplasties and correcting small post-rhinoplasty imperfections.
The Bottom Line
Those who would like to improve the appearance of their nose often benefit from a rhinoplasty, which can yield dramatic results. A rhinoplasty is not a one-size-fits-all procedure, however, and there are numerous treatment routes depending on your individual needs. The best means to determine what type of rhinoplasty is right for you is to book a consultation with a professional.
Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering a rhinoplasty, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.