In its central location on the face, the nose has two functions. The obvious primary function is the respiratory or airway function. The secondary function is involved with overall facial form and balance.
Plastic surgery involving the nose can involve one or both of these functional aspects of the nose. In its central location, the nose has a very large bearing on facial proportion and balance. Certain structural aspects of the anatomy of the nose can be “out of balance”, and these structural elements can be surgically corrected. These elements include cartilage and bone, which can be manipulated to produce desired shape. These small changes can be made very precisely, producing subtle change that can make a big impact regarding re-establishing facial harmony. Precise surgical reduction or re-arrangement of these structural components can improve problems such as a dorsal “hump”, an excessively “long” nose, a large or prominent nasal “tip”, or a “crooked” nose.
Additional procedures in the nasal airway can be performed to improve airflow through the nose if necessary.
A thorough analysis of the nose and the face is performed before surgery, including measured assessment of photographs. This is performed to precisely measure structural elements that need modification to produce the desired changes in the nasal shape. The surgical maneuvers employed to produce these changes are very precise down to the millimeter level.
Most rhinoplasty procedures are “open”, elevating the outside of the nose to reveal the fine structural elements of the nose. This technique allows the most precise modifications necessary to produce a predictable outcome following rhinoplasty.
The procedure is typically done under a general anesthetic, and is usually an outpatient procedure. The procedure usually takes 2-3 hours to perform. The experience that the patient can expect following the operation depends completely on the complexity of the procedure. “Packing” is not employed, but soft splints inside the nose can be used if extensive modifications of the nasal septum are performed. Some swelling is expected, especially if substantial changes are made to the nasal bones. Swelling diminishes over the first week or two, but may persist for several weeks to some degree depending on the procedure performed.