A rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery performed on the nose. It's usually done to correct and restructure the nose, or to restore damaged functions, but can also be performed for aesthetic enhancement. In this article, we’re going to discuss the 3 key steps in a rhinoplasty procedure. These steps are incision, reshaping, and suture.
Step 1: Incision
There are two places where incisions can be made; in an open rhinoplasty, the incisions are made right between the nostrils, and in a closed rhinoplasty, the incisions are made to unexposed skin inside of the nose. These incisions are made so reshaping, the second step of the procedure, can take place.
Step 2: Reshaping
This is the crucial step, and it determines what the shape of your nose will be. If the nose is too big, doctors will remove cartilage, or sometimes bone, to get a more desirable shape. If the nose is too small, doctors will take cartilage from other parts of the body, and actually add it your nose. While this might sound surprising, cartilage from the ear or rib is indistinguishable from nose cartilage, so there is no need to worry. Also, sometimes during the reshaping phase, the septum is straightened and the nose is restructured to improve breathing.
Step 3: Suture
To seal the reshaping, doctors close the incisions with stitches. Stitches may also be placed inside the nostrils to further stabilize the nose. Although this sounds painful, keep in mind that during surgery patients are heavily anesthethized, so you shouldn’t feel a thing.
The whole procedure, from start to finish can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on the amount of changes being made. After surgery, the patient is monitored at the doctor’s discretion. The doctor may release the patient after a few hours, or the patient may stay overnight depending on the situation.
In the days following surgery, patients are advised to take it easy. For a few days, swelling, bleeding, and headaches may appear, and for a few weeks, the patient should avoid strenuous activity. Makeup shouldn’t be worn for two weeks, and eyeglasses can’t be worn for up to six weeks after the procedure. Patients may not be 100% healed for up to 1 year after surgery. In the US, a rhinoplasty procedure typically costs around $5,000-10,000.