Rhinoplasty belongs among the most demanding aesthetic surgeries and helps the patient to achieve a better shape and proportions of the nose while maintaining its natural appearance.
Nose surgery corrects deformities and the size of both the bone and the cartilage of the nose. The surgery involves either both of them simultaneously or separately. Rhinoplasty may also involve correction of nose septum. The ideal age for nose corrections is above 18, when the skeleton of the face is mature, and under 35-40 years. However, the upper age limit for nose surgery is not clearly defined.
There are two different types of nose plastic surgery:
- Cosmetic rhinoplasty – usually affects the external part of the nose, such as nasal hump reduction or narrowing of the tip of the nose.
- Functional rhinoplasty – aims at improving the functionality of the nose, such as opening of the nasal passages for better breathing. Both aspects are usually dealt with at the same time.
The aesthetic and functional significance of rhinoplasty lies in considerably improving the patient’s mental state, helping them to get rid of their complexes and contributing to their mental and physical well-being.
Before nose surgery
When consulting with the patient and examining them, the plastic surgeon assess the anatomical conditions of the nose and asks the patient why do they want to have the nose operated. After the consultation and the examination, the surgeon and the patient must arrive at a consensus.
Each procedure has its specific features and a good result does not depend only on the professionalism of the surgeon, but also on patient’s compliance with postoperative instructions.
How is rhinoplasty performed?
Nose surgery is performed both under local anaesthetics, and under general anaesthesia. During the surgery, soft parts of the nose – cartilage and nasal bones – are detached and reshaped. It takes 1-2 hours, depending on the extent of reshaping. Access is created through nostrils (nares), so there are no external scars as in case of some other facial surgeries. One day hospitalization is recommended after rhinoplasty.
Treatment after the nose surgery
After the surgery, the nose will be packed with gauze for 7 days and fixed with a plaster splint. Mouth breathing is necessary until the tamponade is removed (3 days). After the removal, the nose should be cleaned several times a day by moist cotton swabs and a nasal spray. Sutures are from absorbable material that spontaneously disintegrates in about 2 weeks.
Swelling and bruising often occurs when the bone and the septum are operated. Postoperative pain is very mild and is easily manageable with standard analgesics. Immediately after the operation, iced pads are applied.
External plaster fixation must be worn for 10 to 14 days depending on the extent of the surgery. Both the skin on the nose and sensible facial skin then need several days to regenerate. Patients may start wearing make-up 2 weeks after the surgery.
Long-term healing after the surgery
With the removal of the plaster, the crucial phase of postoperative healing and scarring begins, in which, however, the surgeon has rather small influence. This process might adversely affect the shape of the nose and have negative impact on an otherwise good result of the surgery.
Although these healing complications are rare, if they occur, it is very important that the patient fully observe the surgeon’s instructions and carefully apply pressure massage on the nose. In most cases, healing complications will be thus successfully resolved.
The postoperative period and the recovery are a long-term, individual process. Naturally, this rather long healing does not hinder the patient’s involvement in everyday life activities. Surgical healing is completed in approximately 4 weeks.
The patient can resume normal life and work activities already after the removal of the plaster splinter. Sports activities or more demanding physical exercise can be gradually started 6-8 weeks after the surgery.
The outcome of the surgery is evaluated 2-3 months after the procedure. The postoperative period ends when scarring and reconstruction of scarred ligaments at the surgical site are completed, which is one year after the surgery. Only then the result is final.