The nose is the central focal point of our face. Not only does the nose help define your cosmetic appearance, but it also functions as a breathing passage. Many patients who are bothered by the appearance of their nose, as well as those having trouble breathing through their nose, seek out surgical solutions to improve these issues.
Rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as a “nose job,” is a procedure that involves reshaping or resizing of the nose. A rhinoplasty can be performed in an “open” or “closed” fashion, depending on an individual’s needs. When the alterations required in a nose require greater exposure to access all areas of the nose, an open approach is often used. This approach involves making a small incision along the columella, the central portion of skin located between the nostrils. Two other incisions are also made, hidden within each nostril. This approach allows the surgeon to visualize the entire nasal structure. A closed approach involves incisions hidden within the nostrils and allows for changes to be made without any visible scarring. The closed approach does, however, limit exposure during surgery and is best used when more subtle changes are desired.
Rhinoplasty is not exclusively a cosmetic procedure. The surgery can also serve to improve nasal function, allowing a patient to breathe more comfortably. This is referred to as a “functional rhinoplasty”, and can be performed to improve breathing without greatly changing the outward appearance of the nose.
A nasal splint and sutures remain in place for one week after surgery. The total downtime following surgery is approximately one to two weeks, depending on the individual’s level of swelling and bruising. Healing is not complete until one year following surgery, however most swelling has resolved by 3 months. If you are interested in a lifelong solution to improving the appearance or function of your nose, a rhinoplasty may be the procedure for you!