Rhinoplasty

Nose reshaping, otherwise known as a nose job or rhinoplasty, is a surgical procedure done to to reshape and restore the nose in order to improve its function. Through rhinoplasty, the size and shape of the nose and nostrils are manipulated to create an overall better appearance and facial harmony. A nose job can narrow the nasal bridge, widen or narrow the nostrils, straighten a crooked nose, reshape the nasal tip and alter the angle between the nose and the upper lip.

Who is a good candidate for a nose job?

A nose job changes the aesthetic appearance of the nose. If you have a wide nose or a large dorsal hump, a nasal tip that droops, an enlarged nose or a nose that is too small in comparison to the rest of your facial features these factors will make you eligible for rhinoplasty. Furthermore, noses that are crooked, off-centre or asymmetrical can benefit from nose reshaping surgery. Anyone who has experienced nasal trauma like being hit during a sports game is also a good candidate for rhinoplasty.

Moreover, you must be in overall good health in order to undergo this procedure. If you smoke, you will be asked to quit at least two weeks before your procedure. Smoking hinders the body’s natural healing process and it’s important that you remain smoke free as you heal from your surgery.

Your surgeon will need a detailed list of any medications you are currently taking and they will also review your medical history. In doing so, this allows them to determine if you are a good candidate for nose reshaping surgery.

What is recovery like after a nose reshaping procedure?

After your nose reshaping surgery you will need to take time to recoup. You will experience swelling and bruising in the area and around the eyes. This is a normal side effect of nasal reshaping surgery and these symptoms will resolve themselves on their own. Some people also report skin numbness after undergoing a nose job but this should subside in a day or two. Nasal splints may be inserted during surgery to protect the septum. Your surgeon will remove the splint after about a week. You will probably feel stuffed as if you have a cold or allergies in the first week following your procedure. This is another normal side effect of a nose job and usually disappears as the healing begins.

Ideally, you should take two weeks off work. However, everyone heals differently and some people are able to return to work after one week. Also, your surgeon will prescribe painkillers and antibiotics (if needed) to help control pain. Do not take any medications that were not cleared by or prescribed by your doctor. Finally, do not perform any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least three weeks after your rhinoplasty procedure. All the same, you can go for light walks during your recovery period to stimulate blood flow and stay active.

What to look for in a rhinoplasty surgeon

There is only one recognized body of plastic surgeons in Canada, the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (CSAPS). You will need to find a surgeon who is recognized by CSAPS and board-certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Besides the aforementioned credentials, you must feel that you can trust your surgeon. Establishing a rapport is important and your surgeon should make you feel at ease as you prepare to undergo your surgery.

Here are three questions you can ask potential surgeons to help you decide if you want them performing your nose job:

1. Where did you complete your training?

2. How many rhinoplasty procedures have you done?

3. How long have you been a practicing surgeon?

What happens during this procedure?

Prior to the procedure you will be given anesthesia to ensure that you are comfortable while your nose is being operated on. Your surgeon will make small incisions inside the nose in order to remove or manipulate excess cartilage or bones in the area. Then, the structure of the nose is altered in accordance to what is necessary. For example, if the base of the nose and nostrils are too big, both will be narrowed and small pieces of skin will be excised. If you have a large dorsal hump it will be greatly reduced to give your nose a straighter appearance.

Surgeons recommended that girls wait until they are 15 before undergoing rhinoplasty surgery. For boys, they should wait until they are at least 17 to have a nose job. The reason that teenagers must wait until they are a certain age to have a nose reshaping procedure is because the nose needs to stop growing before it can be successfully operated on. Any malformations that a teenager finds with their nose, may actually disappear as the nose fully grows and sets in its contours.

Minimal scarring does occur after a nose job but it is generally hidden inside the nose. In some cases, incisions are made outside the nose but they are small. The scarring caused by these incisions does fade over time.

If you suffer from a deviated septum, there is a specific nose job procedure called a septoplasty that can help. A traditional nose job is not designed to correct a deviated septum only to repair the form of the nose. However, if you do have breathing issues, your surgeon can perform a septoplasty in conjunction with a nose reshaping procedure.