26 Jun What Is Rhinoplasty, And Are There Health Risks Associated With It?
Rhinoplasty is simply the surgical repair or re-shaping of the nose. It is commonly referred to as a nose job, and is one of the most common surgical procedures performed for cosmetic purposes worldwide. The surgery can be used to change the shape, width, or length of the nose. It can be performed to provide a more symmetrical appearance to the nose, to improve the shape of the nostrils, or to re-shape the tip of the nose.
Although it is frequently performed for non-health related reasons, rhinoplasty is sometimes suggested by doctors to treat a number of conditions affecting or caused by the nose. Most of the time, the doctor will recommend alternative treatments before electing to try to correct the problem with an invasive surgery such as rhinoplasty. Some conditions that might result in a rhinoplasty being recommended as a corrective procedure are: congenital abnormalities that affect breathing, deviated septum is either naturally occurring or the result of an injury, skin cancer affecting the nose, and for any injury or nose trauma.
During rhinoplasty, the surgeon exposes the cartilage and bones by the use of incisions that he makes. These incisions are usually made from inside the nose to avoid causing scar tissue to form and disfigure the nose, though in the case of skin cancer and some injuries, it may be necessary to make some incisions on the outside of the nose. Either some bone or cartilage will be removed, or a filler will be added that is either natural or synthetic, depending upon the desired outcome of the surgery. The skin will then be pulled back over the bone and cartilage, and allowed to heal with the aid of a splint that supports the shape of the newly reconstructed nose. Additional support may include nasal packing that is used inside the nose.
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient patient procedure, but the patient should be prepared to stay for at least one night in case any complications arise, or in the event that the surgery to be performed requires more extensive work. Most of the time local anesthesia is used for the surgery, though sometimes general anesthesia is selected.
After the surgery your face will feel sore and puffy. For several days afterward, the area around both your nose, and your eyes, will be swollen and bruised. Most of the swelling and bruising will be gone within about two weeks following your surgery. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication for you to take to lessen the amount of pain that you will feel. If any nasal packing was used, it will be removed typically within two days of the surgery and the bandaging and splint are generally removed within a week of the surgery.
The results of rhinoplasty are permanent, so it is very important that both your doctor and you have an understanding of your goals, particularly if the surgery is being performed for cosmetic purposes only. If your goals are realistic and have been clearly communicated to and understood by your doctor, most likely he will be able to achieve your desired results. Rhinoplasty should never be performed for cosmetic reasons on a nose that is not fully developed. For females, this is typically by the age of 15 or 16 and for males the age of 17 or 18. If performed prior to this age, the nose will continue to grow and form and can impact the results of the surgery, possibly causing complications to occur that will result in the necessity of performing another surgery.
As with any surgery there are always risks involved. The physical risks associated with rhinoplasty are typically not severe and are generally limited to bleeding, injury or holes to the wall that separates your nostrils, skin necrosis caused by the bandages and tape, infection, nasal swelling causing acute blockage of the nasal passages, and complications from the anesthesia. Most doctors will prescribe a medication to prevent the complication of infection from forming.
One of the most significant risks involved is that the surgery may not provide you with the results that you desire to have. The nose is one of the most prominent features of your face and is closely connected with your appearance and self-image. For this reason, it can be very emotionally damaging if the results of the surgery differ significantly from what you were hoping for.
It is especially important when electing to have rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, that you have realistic goals in mind. Your doctor and you should spend as much time as necessary discussing your goals to make sure if he agrees that they are reasonable and attainable. You should look at pictures of faces shaped similar to yours to see what particular shape of nose looks best with the bone structure of your face. There are computer software programs that you can impose a picture of your face into on your own and then try a variety of nose shapes to find one that appeals to you. A picture can then be provided to your doctor to give a more accurate idea of the results you are hoping for.
Most rhinoplasty surgeries are not covered by health insurance. It is sometimes covered if it is being performed to correct a problem caused by disease or injury, but this is not always the case. It is wise to check with your insurance company for approval prior to undergoing the surgery as the costs can add up quite quickly into the thousands of dollars. If you are responsible for paying for the surgery, in addition to your surgeon’s fees, you will need to be prepared to pay for the fees of the operating facility, the fees of the anesthesiologist, for any medications that you are prescribed, and for all the materials used and additional services that were provided.
Rhinoplasty should not be undergone for cosmetic reasons without considerable time allowed prior to the surgery to make sure that you are making the best decision for you and are able to live with the consequences of that decision. Although most patients are very pleased with the results, things sometimes and and do go wrong with any cosmetic surgical procedure.