People’s noses come in all shapes and sizes, many of which may not be aesthetically pleasing to the owner. Rhinoplasty, or nose job, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to reshape or repair the nose. A rhinoplasty surgeon can reduce or increase the size of the nose, narrow the nostril openings, alter the shape of the tip or bridge, alter the angle between the upper lip and the nose, or any combination of the above.
Patients should be at least 17 years of age (for girls) or a little bit older (for boys) before undergoing rhinoplasty. This allows for the complete growth of the nasal bone. Nose job patients should also have specific goals and realistic expectations that will be discussed with the plastic surgeon before deciding to proceed with rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient surgery performed under general anesthesia. The rhinoplasty surgeon begins by separating the skin from the underlying framework of the nose. Then, depending on whether the size of the nose is to be increased or reduced, the plastic surgeon will manipulate the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. There are two ways to do this: either by making the incision inside the nostrils or by making the incision across the columella (the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils). The latter nose surgery technique is also known as “open rhinoplasty.” Once the nose has been sculpted, the skin is redraped and a splint is used to hold the new shape.
Rhinoplasty or surgery to reshape the nose can reduce or enlarge the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip of the nose, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change angle between your nose and your upper lip. It may also repair birth defects, injury scars and help relieve breathing problems.
Nose Surgery Risks
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with nose jobs. These include:
- Reaction to the anesthesia
- Numbness of the skin
- Small bursting of blood vessels on the skin’s surface
- Hematoma – a collection of blood under the skin that must be removed
- Small scars on the base of the nose – this occurs when the “open” technique is used or when the nostrils are narrowed
- Follow-up surgery for an under-correction or over-correction