Rhinoplasty or Nose Surgery
By Patrick W. Hsu
The nose is the focal point of the face, and for those who are unhappy with the size and shape of what they were born with, it can be extremely detrimental to their self-esteem. Whether the problem results from birth defects or simple genetics, rhinoplasty surgery can greatly improve a person’s appearance and even correct breathing problems. Teens are best treated after their growth spurt, around age 14 for girls and 15 to 16 for boys.
Before and After for Rhinoplasty
The duration and site of a rhinoplasty will depend on the nature of the desired result. Most are done on an out-patient basis, occasionally Dr. Hsu will recommend a short hospital stay. General anesthesia may be used for more complicated procedures, but local anesthetic may also be used. Incisions are made inside the nostrils or at the base of the septum, allowing the cartilage and bone to be sculpted into the desired form. The nostrils are reshaped by removing small wedges of skin along the facial contour, allowing them to be moved closer together and improving breathing ability. The septum also may be reshaped or partially removed.
Patients most often report a “full” feeling in the face following surgery. Immediately after the procedure, it is important to keep the head elevated to lessen swelling. Most patients remain in bed for the first 24 hours. Bruising and some swelling around the eyes is common and may last for the first few days, but can be treated with cold compresses to lessen their appearance. Depending on the procedure, the sutures, splint, and dressings may be removed anywhere from one to four weeks afterward. Most patients avoid work or social situations during the first week of recovery, and strenuous activity must be limited for the first few weeks.