Improves the external shape of the nose.
When to Consider Nose Surgery
- If you are unhappy with the shape, size or angle of your nose
- If your nose is too large, too small or not in proportion to the rest of your face
- If you have breathing problems resulting from irregularities inside your nose
- If you have a nasal hump or a nasal tip that is drooping, too elevated or wide
Rhinoplasty, also called nose surgery, reshapes the nose by reducing or increasing the size, removing a hump, changing the shape of the tip or bridge, narrowing the span of the nostrils, or changing the angle between the nose and upper lip. This procedure may also relieve some breathing difficulties when combined with surgery performed on the nasal septum.
What are my options?
There are two main incision approaches: the open approach and the internal (endonasal) approach.
In addition to incision options, there are various methods for augmenting your nose or smoothing surface deformities.
- Autologous cartilage grafts taken from your nasal septum (the wall inside the nose that divides one air passage from the other) offers the best chance for a natural result. If cartilage and bone have already been removed from the nasal septum, then ear or rib cartilage and sometimes bone from the skull are other options.
- Although solid silicone implants are available for nasal surgery, these are foreign materials that may become infected or react poorly with your nasal tissues and have to be removed. That is why natural cartilage, if a supply is available, is the most trouble-free option.
- Fillers or fat grafts may also be injected to smooth the nose, to camouflage deformities or indentations, or to add volume in desired areas.
What will my nose surgery incisions and scars be like?
For an open rhinoplasty, the incisions are made outside the nose with a small access incision on the underside of the nose between the nostrils that then connects with other incisions hidden inside the nose.
Advocates for the open rhinoplasty approach say that it fully opens the nose, providing better visualization of the nasal structures and a more direct route for surgical manipulation; the small scar at the base of the nose is barely visible once it heals.
For an endonasal rhinoplasty, the incisions are made inside the nasal passages. Because these incisions are hidden, they are invisible after surgery.
Advocates for the endonasal approach say that it permits more limited dissection of nasal tissues, offers excellent visualization of nasal structures, and eliminates the visible scar at the base of the nose.
Surgery takes approximately two hours or more.
General or intravenous sedation and local anesthesia are used.
This is an outpatient procedure.
Possible Side Effects
Temporary swelling, bruising around the eyes and/or nose, and some bleeding and nasal stuffiness.
Infection, asymmetry, unsatisfactory nasal shape and incomplete improvement (which would require additional surgery) are possible.
The patient may go back to work after one week. Activities that are more strenuous may be resumed after two to three weeks. The patient should avoid any activity that could impact on the nose or allow it to become sunburned for at least eight weeks. The use of a sunblock that provides both UVA and UVB protection is useful. The final results may take one year and sometimes longer to achieve.