Commonly known as a “nose job” rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that focuses on improving the look and function of your nose. It is a challenging procedure that some cosmetic surgeons opt to avoid performing, due to the intricate connection between form and function in our noses. Treatments that are intended to improve the appearance of our nose can impact function, while those aiming to improve function can impact its appearance. As a result it’s critical that you find a skilled and qualified cosmetic surgeon when seeking to have this procedure performed.
Rhinoplasty is often used for medical as well as cosmetic purposes
The Two Types Of Rhinoplasty And What They’re Used To Treat
While there are a range of different procedures that fall under the practice of rhinoplasty, they are all performed using one of two techniques. These techniques are known as open (or external) rhinoplasty, and internal rhinoplasty. These terms described the approach taken in treating the nose, and where the incisions are made to reach the treatment area.
- Closed Rhinoplasty – During a closed rhinoplasty an incision is made inside the nostril to reach the target area. These surgeries tend to be shorter, leave no external scarring, and tend to produce less swelling than the external counterpart.
- Open Rhinoplasty – This procedure starts with an incision made in the flesh between the nostrils known as a columella. This approach is used when a clear view of the nasal structures are needed, and is often used when working to correct deformities or as part of a revision surgery. While many worry the external incision may cause scarring, its often impossible to see when the incision has been carefully closed.
Rhinoplasty is typically thought of as a purely cosmetic procedure, but it has many medical applications as well. Whether for medical or cosmetic reasons, the procedure is almost always performed by a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in the procedure. Common concerns that are addressed with rhinoplasty include:
- Breathing Difficulty – One common ailment treated with rhinoplasty is difficulties with breathing. It’s not uncommon for those undergoing a cosmetic procedure to also have this condition treated, or vice versa. A common cause of breathing difficulty is a crooked septum, which can lead to postnasal drip, congestion, and snoring.
- Wide Nasal Bridge – Cosmetic surgery can reshape the nose, reducing the breadth of your nasal bridge to produce a narrower ridge.
- Large Nose – Those who find their nose unappealingly large can often have its size reduced through the use of rhinoplasty.
- Unappealing Features – Is your nose too hooked? Bulbous? Does it turn up unattractively at the end? Rhinoplasty can help.
Rhinoplasty procedures are performed over 85,000 times every year in the US
Recovery and Risk of Scarring From Rhinoplasty
One concern presented by many rhinoplasty patients is that of scarring. As mentioned above scarring is essentially a non-issue during a closed rhinoplasty, and there is minimal concern with an open rhinoplasty when the procedure is performed by a skilled physician. Recovery times are typically short, with no time off work needed for the majority of procedures. Your recovery process will be discussed with your surgeon prior to the procedure.