RHINOPLASTY: NOSE SURGERY Procedure Pictures
The nose is one of the most prominent features of our face. A nose that is out of balance and harmony with the remaining face can distract from the more attractive facial features such as the lips and eyes. Many women and some men find themselves unhappy every time they see their reflection in the mirror. A large, deviated, or crooked nose can take a toll one’s self esteem, as well as interfere with sleep and breathing. For many patients in the Siouxland area, a rhinoplasty can be very beneficial.
If you are ready to learn more about how a rhinoplasty can improve your look or breathing, request a consultation online with Dr. Steele, or call our office at 712-224-8677. We serve patients in Sioux City, IA and surrounding communities and we welcome patients who wish to travel from Sioux Falls, SD and Omaha, NE.
What is a rhinoplasty?
Commonly referred to as a “nose job,” a rhinoplasty is a procedure that reshapes the nose. This procedure can reduce, narrow, or increase the size of your nose, as well as improve your breathing. Many patients complain about a nasal “hump” or a wide nasal tip; these features can be improved with a rhinoplasty as well.
When it comes to improving your nasal shape Dr. Steele will take the time to develop a unique surgical plan based on your individual anatomy and goals. Some patients will benefit from a “closed” rhinoplasty, meaning no external incisions. While others will benefit from an “open” rhinoplasty, which places a small scar along the columella, the piece of skin between your nostrils.
- Closed rhinoplasty: Closed rhinoplasty is effective for patients with minimal defects along the dorsum of the nose (nasal hump), or for patients who just need a septoplasty for improved breathing.
- Open rhinoplasty: Dr. Steele prefers the open technique (hyperlink to photos) for patients with multiple concerns or more complex anatomy. The open technique provides better visualization and ease of placing cartilage grafts if needed. The resultant scar heals very well and is seldom visible.
Benefits of rhinoplasty
Both men and women can benefit from rhinoplasty. In some cases, teenagers may undergo rhinoplasty if their facial growth is complete. People choose nasal surgery for a variety of reasons including:
- Making the nose larger or smaller
- Removing a nasal hump, or narrowing a wide nasal bridge
- Reducing nostril size
- Reversing damage to due trauma or improving breathing. Some insurance carriers may provide partial coverage of rhinoplasty surgery.
- Restoring facial harmony
Rhinoplasty surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient. The procedure can last between 1-4 hours depending on the complexity of the case. In some cases, cartilage may be taken from the rib or ear if needed. In some cases, internal packs will be placed to control bleeding. An external nasal splint and tapes are usually worn for about one week.
Nasal swelling and difficulty breathing through the nose is expected. Variable amounts of bruising are common and may affect the eyelids. The splints, packs, and sutures are usually removed at one week. Dr. Steele will often apply a second set of nasal tapes to encourage the resolution of swelling. Sleeping elevated and use of ice packs can help with swelling and bruising. It is common to notice some postnasal drainage and blood. Nasal salt-water spray and nasal decongestants can be helpful when this occurs.
Most patients can return to work within 7-10 days, although makeup may be necessary to camouflage any residual bruising. Swelling will noticeably improve during the first 1-3 months, but usually takes at least one year to resolve completely. You can resume normal daily activities soon after surgery, but no strenuous activity for at least 3-4 weeks. You should avoid any sporting activities in which the nose could be accidently hit for at least 2-3 months.
RHINOPLASTY: NOSE SURGERY FAQS
When will I notice results?
You will notice the greatest improvement after 4-6 weeks, but will notice continued resolution of swelling up to one year. More extensive surgeries will take longer to see the final result. It is important to be very patient with results of rhinoplasty.
What is “functional rhinoplasty”?
This refers to rhinoplasty aimed at reversing the effects of a nasal fracture or to improve breathing. Some patients without a history of nasal trauma have trouble breathing due to deviated septum, narrow internal cartilages, or enlarged nasal turbinates (lining of the nose) that can be made worse by chronic allergies. In some cases, a functional rhinoplasty can be combined with a cosmetic procedure to improve both the nasal appearance and breathing. In some cases, insurance may cover a portion of the rhinoplasty.
How old do I have to be to have rhinoplasty?
There is no set minimal age, but it is important to wait until an adolescent patient is full grown. For young women, this can be around age 15-16, but is typically not until age 18 or 19 for young men. If done too soon, additionally growth of the middle face will alter the results of the rhinoplasty.
Will my nose be broken?
Many patients with wide nasal bones, crooked nasal bones, or a deviated middle portion of the nose will require a nasal fracture in order to straighten or narrow the nose. When done properly, there is no noticeable long-term effect.
What is a nasal pack/splint?
Nasal packing is a gauze or cotton pack that is inserted through the nostril and left in the nasal cavity after surgery. The can be helpful to minimize bleeding and are often used with surgery on the septum or turbinates. Nasal splints are flat pieces of silicone that are placed to help keep the septum straight, or to minimize bleeding from the septum. Splints and packs are usually removed at 5-7 days.
What can I do to speed recovery?
Ice packs and sleeping in an elevated position during the first week will encourage resolution of swelling and bruising. Some patients will notice decreased bruising if they take the herb Arnica Montana around the time of surgery. Dr. Steele also advises patients not to blow their nose and to sneeze with the mouth open during the first few weeks. This helps decrease the risk of bleeding.
How much time do I need off from work?
Most patients can return in 7-10 days depending on the type of work. Patients with very strenuous jobs will need a longer recovery.
When can I start exercising again?
Dr. Steele advises patients to resume light activity as soon as they are comfortable. You should avoid bending or straining for several weeks. Cardio and vigorous activities are safely resumed around 3-4 weeks. Care should be taken to avoid any sporting activities in which the nose could be hit for at least 2-3 months.
Is surgery the only answer?
Not necessarily. For patients with minor deformities or asymmetries, an injectable filler may be an option. However, for patients with wide noses or large humps, surgery will be required.