Rhinoplasty

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What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgery that changes the shape of the nose. The motivation for rhinoplasty may be to change the appearance of the nose, improve breathing or both.

The upper portion of the structure of the nose is bone, and the lower portion is cartilage. Rhinoplasty can change bone, cartilage, skin or all three. Talk with your surgeon about whether rhinoplasty is appropriate for you and what it can achieve.

When planning rhinoplasty, your surgeon will consider your other facial features, the skin on your nose and what you would like to change. If you’re a candidate for surgery, your surgeon will develop a customized plan for you.

Why it is done?

Rhinoplasty can change the size, shape or proportions of your nose. It may be done to repair deformities from an injury, correct a birth defect or improve some breathing difficulties.

Very slight changes to the structure of your nose — often measured in millimeters — can make a large difference in how your nose looks. Most of the time, an experienced surgeon can get results both of you are satisfied with. But in some cases, the slight changes aren’t enough, and you and your surgeon might decide to do a second surgery for further changes. If this is the case, you must wait at least a year for the follow-up surgery, because your nose can go through changes during this time.

As with any major surgery, rhinoplasty carries risks such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • An adverse reaction to the anesthesia

Other possible risks specific to rhinoplasty include but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Permanent numbness in and around your nose
  • The possibility of an uneven-looking nose
  • Pain, discoloration or swelling that may persist
  • Scarring
  • A hole in the septum (septal perforation)
  • A need for additional surgery

Talk to your doctor about how these risks apply to you.

No. Rhinoplasty is a challenging operation. This is due to several factors. First, the nose is a complicated 3D shape that is in the middle of the face. Changes made during rhinoplasty are often very small. But these changes can make a major difference in the way the nose looks and functions. Because these changes are small, so is the margin for error.

Swelling and the placement of local anesthetic in the skin distort the nose during surgery, hiding many of the subtle changes made. Rhinoplasty also doesn’t have a standard plan or set order of steps. Doctors tailor each operation to the needs of the patient.

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