Rhinoplasty

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What is it?

Rhinoplasty is the surgery that changes the shape and size of the nose; it is a common procedure in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of the nose, change the shape of the tip or the back, narrow the nostrils or change the angle between the nose and the upper lip. It also corrects the congenital problems, trauma and some respiratory problems.

Procedure

Rhinoplasty is always performed in the operating room, within a clinic or hospital. It is performed under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on each case.

During surgery, the skin of the nose is separated from its support that is composed of bone and cartilage, which is sculpted to the desired shape. Finally, the skin is redistributed on this new support.

When surgery is completed, a plaster cast or other material is placed, which will help maintain the new shape of the nose. Nasal packing are also placed in both nostrils to prevent bleeding and to stabilize the nasal septum.

Post-operative

After surgery, the main effects are puffy face, nose discomforts and headaches, which will disappear with medication. The swelling and the hematomas will increase until reaching a maximum after 2 or 3 days, but they will disappear in about 2 weeks. It is also normal to have a slight nosebleed for the first few days. After a week, or at most two, the cast will be removed as well as the stitches, if any.

Back to normal life

Most patients who undergo rhinoplasty are quite healthy in two days, being able to go back to work after the removal of the cast. However, some activities should not be carried out until after a few weeks.

Results

During the first days after surgery, the face is swollen and with hematomas. Day by day, the appearance improves and 1 or 2 weeks afterwards, the swelling and the hematomas will disappear. The improvement is progressive and gradual, although a minimal swelling might prevail, especially in the tip, for several months. The final result is obtained in about 1 year.

In some of the most complicated cases, perfection (asymmetries, irregularities in the nasal contour, etc.) is not achieved. Therefore, a surgical retouching might be necessary and this one will be held within a year.