What makes a “beautiful” nose? It’s certainly not a particular feature or symmetry. The truth is, no one structure is considered beautiful. An appealing nose is one that’s perfectly proportional to someone’s face.
That’s the real aim of rhinoplasty: to create a balanced, proportional nose. Rather than trying to create a wholly new nose, a skilled rhinoplasty surgeon will be able to refine the existing nose based on the patient’s facial features.
What Can a Rhinoplasty Do?
Rhinoplasty can refine many flaws: a bump on the bridge of the nose, a tip that points downward, a tip that’s too large, an off-center nose, an ill-proportioned nose, and more.
But a rhinoplasty can provide more than cosmetic benefits: it can help patients with structural problems caused by lifelong defects or trauma. Of course, functional and aesthetic issues often go hand-in-hand. A broken nose will affect your ability to breathe freely and change the shape of your nose. Thankfully, a skilled rhinoplasty surgeon can create the right results without sacrificing function.
A rhinoplasty can also be combined with a functional procedure called septoplasty. The septum is the partition between the nasal cavities. A deviated septum is one that’s crooked and blocking one side of the nose. It can make it difficult to breathe, make the nose dry, and increase the risk of nosebleeds.
The Ideal Candidate for Rhinoplasty
There are a few qualities that define ideal candidate for rhinoplasty:
- Relatively healthy – have no major diseases
- Facial growth is complete – 15 for girls and 16 for boys
- Wants to fix aesthetic and functional issues with the nose
Last but not least, the ideal patient should have realistic expectations of what rhinoplasty can do. You’re a good candidate if you desire improvement, not perfection.
What a Rhinoplasty Consultation Is Like
Waltzman Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Long Beach is known for their relaxing, supportive consultations. In keeping with our focus on personalized care, each consultation is a one-on-one meeting with Dr. Waltzman.
It’s Dr. Waltzman’s goal is that you leave informed and educated about the rhinoplasty. More than anything, he wants patients to be able to make an informed decision. He’ll explain the various benefits and risks associated with nose surgery. You’ll also learn how to prepare for surgery and the recovery. You won’t be rushed, and your consultation will take as long as you need it to.
Your consultation is where you can discuss your goals and preferences for your rhinoplasty. You and Dr. Waltzman will touch on your aesthetic goals and any breathing issues you may have. He’ll then discuss your various options for your rhinoplasty. After taking some photos to help him plan his treatment, he’ll give a course of treatment.
How a Rhinoplasty Is Performed
Your rhinoplasty will be performed in a hospital where Dr. Waltzman has hospital privileges or a surgery center. It is typically performed under general anesthesia.
In the first step of an “open” rhinoplasty, Dr. Waltzman will make an incision in the columella, the strip of skin between each nostril. He’ll then lift the skin off the underlying nasal structures. Dr. Waltzman will then shape the cartilage and soft tissues of the nose. If he needs to strengthen a particular structure, Dr. Waltzman will use additional cartilage for grafting and support. The cartilage can come from the nasal septum, the ear, or a rib. Dr. Waltzman will then redrape the tissues over the structure in a way that will look appealing. Dr. Waltzman typically performs open rhinoplasties.
In a closed rhinoplasty, Dr. Waltzman will make the incisions inside the nose.
After your nose surgery, you’ll be able to return home. Patients are required to have a trusted family or friend drive them home after surgery.
How Long Does Rhinoplasty Take to Heal?
After your nose surgery, Dr. Waltzman may place splints inside and on top of your nose. The splints will preserve the new nose shape, protect your nose from trauma, reduce swelling, and hold your nasal bones in place while they heal. The splits will be removed by Dr. Waltzman after a week.
It’s also perfectly normal to experience some drainage in the nostrils for 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Patients should set aside 7-10 days from work to recover from rhinoplasty. However, there should still be some bruising and swelling at that point. Bruising can be covered up by makeup.
While the nose is healing, the patient should do their best to protect the nose. To avoid sleeping on their side or stomach, they can prop themselves with pillows. They should also refrain from wearing glasses for a week. Instead, patients can tape their glasses to the bridge of their nose. Heavy nose blowing during the recovery may be painful, so patients should refrain from it when possible.
A majority of swelling will dissipate after a few months. Residual swelling can remain for up to a year. It’s somewhat common for the tip of the nose to be a bit swollen for up to a year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty
Does Rhinoplasty Hurt?
Patients will not remember their rhinoplasty surgery. As for the recovery, many patients report that it felt much less painful that they thought. Although patients are given prescription pain medication after their surgery, they usually switch to over-the-counter medication after several days.
Is Rhinoplasty Covered By Insurance?
Functional procedures are sometimes covered by insurance. Septoplasty, reconstructive rhinoplasty (nose surgery that reconstructs the nose after skin cancer or trauma) are considered functional procedures. However, cosmetic procedures are elective and won’t be covered by insurance.
How Long Does Rhinoplasty Last?
Rhinoplasty results should be permanent. Of course, the skin will continue to age after the nose surgery.
How Long Until I See My Rhinoplasty Results?
Patients should be able to attend public events after nose surgery 7-10 days after their procedure. However, the full extent of the swelling may not dissipate for over a year. Fortunately, most of the noticeable swelling will be gone after a few months.
What Do Rhinoplasty Scars Look Like?
After an open rhinoplasty, patients will be left with a small scar in their columella. However, this scar will be incredibly and small won’t be visible unless someone is looking up at the patient.
With a closed rhinoplasty, the incisions will be hidden inside the nose and won’t be visible from the outside.