Nose Surgery (RHINOPLASTY)

Rhinoplasty is surgery to correct the shape or size of the nose. It is the most common type of cosmetic surgery and, although it may not seem so, from a technical perspective, the most complex.

Candidate

Men or women 18 years of age and older who want to enhance the harmony of their face by modifying the shape or size of their nose and individuals with a history of nasal trauma or respiratory problems. Today, rhinoplasty is geared toward achieving an aesthetic and functional result: The nose must be attractive and function perfectly.

Preoperative Period

During the first visit, the surgeon will examine the skin, bone and cartilage structure of the nasal pyramid and, critically, its functionality (how the patient breathes).

He or she will establish the patient’s needs, concerns and expectations and will advise him or her on the most appropriate technique and the results that he or she can expect to achieve.

Surgical Technique

The surgery is performed in an operating room, usually under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.

Rhinoplasty surgery tends to last between 1 and 2 hours.

The procedure consists of making an incision to separate the skin from the osteocartilaginous (bone and cartilage) structure and, from there, carrying out the appropriate reshaping. With most procedures, the incision is made inside the nasal cavity (closed rhinoplasty), cutting the mucosa a few millimeters away from each nostril’s edge.

Sometimes, however, due to the complexity of the operation, the incision is made outside the nasal cavity (open rhinoplasty) in the form of a small cut in the columella, the thin wall that separates the nostrils. This region heals quite well and within a few weeks the scar is usually imperceptible.

There are three basic areas to be treated, depending on the patient’s specific needs: the nasal bridge, which can be reduced, enlarged or narrowed; the tip of the nose (alar cartilages), which can be reshaped to give it the appropriate length and which plays a key role in the aesthetic definition of the nose as a whole; and the septum, which can be corrected to improve respiratory function and which today can be used to obtain cartilage. Thanks to modern surgical techniques, this can be used as a graft for the creation of a new framework for the dorsum (back) and tip of the nose to ensure a completely natural look.

Postoperative Period

The patient will leave the operating room with a small plastic splint and packing material, which will remain in place two to four days.

He or she will be treated with the appropriate postoperative medication to relieve any pain, discomfort, swelling, etc. The first week or, at most, ten days, the nasal splint will be removed. The swelling and remaining ecchymosis will be monitored over the following weeks and months although patients will be able to return to work relatively quickly, after a period of approximately 2 weeks.

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