What is Rhinoplasty?

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Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping surgery, improves the shape, size, and symmetry of a person’s nose, bringing it into better proportion with the rest of the face. When performed by a skilled, qualified cosmetic surgeon, rhinoplasty can be a rewarding and life-enhancing procedure—patients often notice that their overall appearance has improved, as the nose they see now looks natural, like the nose they have always thought they should have.


Nose surgery is highly individualized, and the exact techniques a cosmetic surgeon will use during a procedure will look a little different each time, depending on a patient’s anatomy and desired changes. In general, however, a cosmetic surgeon’s techniques will fall under one of the following procedural approaches.


Open Rhinoplasty

For an “open” rhinoplasty, a small incision is made under the nasal tip, between the nostrils. This approach allows the cosmetic surgeon more complete access to the nasal structures, where he or she can then sculpt the nose into the desired shape. Because of this increased access, cosmetic surgeons will typically use the open rhinoplasty approach for patients requiring more extensive reshaping. The resulting scars are well-hidden in the natural contours of the nose so they are as inconspicuous as possible.


Closed Rhinoplasty

For a “closed” rhinoplasty, incisions are made inside the nostril. This approach is most commonly used for patients who need more minor adjustments to the nasal structures to achieve their desired improvements. The advantage of closed rhinoplasty is that there is no visible scarring after surgery; however, this approach may not be suitable for more extensive rhinoplasty procedures.


Tiplasty

A “tiplasty” refers to the area of reshaping, rather than the incision techniques. As you might have guessed, tiplasty involves reshaping the nasal tip only, without affecting the other nasal structures. Cosmetic surgeons may use the open or closed approach for tiplasty.


Indications:

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Men and women of all ages who want:

  • Straighten a crooked nose

  • Smooth a prominent bump in the bridge of the nose

  • Reduce the length of an over-protruding nasal tip

  • Refine the size of a bulbous nasal tip

  • Narrow a nose that is too wide for the face

  • Reduce the size of a nose that is too large

  • Restore symmetry to the nose following injury

  • Correct breathing problems by opening up blocked nasal passages


Treatment Timeline:

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  • Most patients feel ready to return to work or school after 1 or 2 weeks, depending on the level of activity required

  • Typically after 3 weeks, most normal non-contact activities can be resumed.

  • Limit activity according to your surgeon’s instructions and do not engage in any strenuous activities until you are cleared to do so


Results:

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The results of rhinoplasty surgery are permanent. While this means your new nose will be with you for a lifetime, it also makes it that much more important to choose a qualified cosmetic surgeon whom you can trust to deliver the results you desire.


Things to Do:

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  • After your procedure, your nose may be placed in a splint. This helps to support your newly reshaped nose and protect it from accidental contact

  • You may also go home with packing inside your nostrils—this can be uncomfortable, but temporary. Packing is typically removed within the first week after rhinoplasty.

  • Your cosmetic surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help minimize discomfort during your initial recovery


Side Effects:

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  • For the first 1 to 2 weeks, many patients experience bruising and swelling. At first, you may not be able to see the improvements made during surgery. But don’t worry—the majority of bruising and swelling should subside after the first 10 to 14 days.