Are you considering changing the size, shape or overall appearance of your nose? You are not alone. Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular procedures year after year. There are many reasons as to why this procedure is so sought after – some want to improve their breathing, while others wish to change the overall look of their face or make subtle changes to their appearance. Whatever the reason behind your desire to change this central feature of your face is, here are a few things that you need to know.
Open vs Closed: Which Technique is Best?
There are two different procedures used to achieve the desired results – open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty. This can be a bit confusing, but both techniques have their unique features.
During the open rhinoplasty a small incision is made on the columella, the skin bridge between the nostrils at the base of the nose. Performed under sedation or general anesthesia, this technique allows for improved accuracy in SOME cases and is recommended for noses with difficult anatomy, or for secondary procedures where the original structure of the nose has already been disturbed. It is important to note that even though the incision is more prominent using this technique, it will only leave a minimal scar under the nose that will fade with time and be almost invisible.
The second technique, the closed rhinoplasty, is an approach that uses only incisions that are completely hidden within the nostrils. This procedure is also performed under sedation or general anesthesia. Being less invasive and creating no visible scarring, this technique is preferred for noses that do not have complex anatomical issues. It is the preferred method for those who seek subtle changes and wish to improve the overall balance of their face.
The recovery time will differ depending on the technique chosen, but most patients can expect a downtime of two weeks. After five to seven days, the splint can be removed but it may take 10-14 days for most of the swelling and bruising to subside. Patients can then go out without worry-ing that anyone will notice they had a surgical procedure.
Contrary to popular belief, pain and discomfort do not play a major role in the days and weeks following the procedure. Most patients describe feeling stuffed-up and more “swelling and dis-comfort” than pain. After four weeks, patients can resume all physical activities. The entire heal-ing process may take up to a year, so one must be patient to see their final result!
Who is a good candidate for a rhinoplasty?
There are a few things a surgeon will want to address with the patient during the consultation. First, the patient’s facial bones have to be fully developed, which can happen as early as 15 years of age in women and 16-17 in men. The most important point is to discuss the patient’s expectation to make sure that it matches the potential surgical result. Setting the goal of the procedure is critical, but the patient must also be aware of its limitations. 3D imaging can be useful in this regard. A thorough examination of the anatomy is also performed and a tailored surgical plan is developed for each patient.
The Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty
An alternative to surgical rhinoplasty has emerged over the last few years: this non-surgical approach involves the use of fillers. Taking as little as 15 minutes, the results include eliminating or reducing the ‘hump’ seen on profile, lifting or refining the tip of the nose, or improving asymmetries. This approach is often the one chosen by people who want more changes. The results will last around six to 12 months.
The decision to undergo a rhinoplasty should not be taken lightly, and consultation with a rhinoplasty specialist like Dr. Schwarz is an important step in the process. He will guide you through all the options/possibilities and answer all your questions.
Contact our team today to learn more about rhinoplasty.