Rhinoplasty surgery is an ancient surgical practice that’s been used for centuries to correct nasal injuries, realign the nose after an injury, and fix natural abnormalities that could be hindering normal nasal functions. While its primary purpose was purely medical or surgical, it’s now often used for more cosmetic reasons. In fact, next to breast augmentation, rhinoplasty or a nose job is one of the top types of plastic surgery performed in North America. In many cases, it can help to significantly improve a patient’s self esteem and confidence if the procedure is performed correctly and by a certified professional.
Are you considering getting rhinoplasty surgery? Here are a few important facts you might find interesting.
Why Rhinoplasty Is Considered Plastic Surgery
The concept of plastic surgery originated in the ancient Latin and Greek languages and it comes from the terms “plasticus” and “plastikos” respectively. Roughly translated, these terms mean “to mould or shape” or “relating to moulding or shaping”. Given the current definition of plastic surgery and its generalized use of plastic substances like silicone to enhance various body parts, it’s understandable that most people make the assumption that rhinoplasty uses some form of plastic. The reality is that rhinoplasty or nose reshaping treatments actually use cartilage and bones that are safely derived from other parts of the patient’s body.
Restructuring of the Cartilage and Bones
In some cases, depending on the type of rhinoplasty procedure taking place and the extent of the damage to the nose, surgeons are able to simple reshape or restructure the nose using existing cartilage and bones. For more complex procedures however, or in cases where the nose doesn’t already have sufficient cartilage or bones to begin with, surgeons will have to extract them from other parts of the body such as from behind the ear or, as a last resort, from the ribs.
Types of Rhinoplasty Procedures
As with most other types of surgical procedures, rhinoplasty has multiple variants. There are four different types of rhinoplasty your surgeon may recommend depending on your reason for doing the procedure, your medical history, and other mitigating factors. These include the following: open rhinoplasty, closed rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty (also known as secondary rhinoplasty or revision surgery), and lastly, filler rhinoplasty.
- Open rhinoplasty: this procedure is reserved strictly for severe nose reshaping and it involves making an incision in the columella (the piece of skin at the bottom of the nose that connects the two nostrils.
- Closed rhinoplasty: this is generally used for more minor procedures and the incision is usually made through one or both of the nostrils. These surgeries can typically last anywhere from one to three hours depending on the complexity and the patient’s natural bone structure.
- Revision rhinoplasty: this is a secondary procedure or series of procedures that are required after the initial surgery. In most cases, there’s about a 10-15% chance that the nose will simply absorb the work that’s already been done and won’t need a revision surgery until about a year after the initial procedure.
- Filler rhinoplasty: this is perhaps the simplest of all of the procedures as its sole purpose is to smooth out bumps and create facial symmetry.
Recovery Time, Bruising, and Swelling
Depending on the type of procedure you’re having done and the technique used, your recovery time could take anywhere from six weeks to one year. In that time, you will inevitably experience a few different side effects including bleeding inside the nasal passages as well as external bruising and swelling on the face. You may be required to wear a splint during the first few days of the recovery period, but this will help the bleeding subside faster. Bruising should only last for a few days, but the swelling will take at least a full year to go away.
Before you commence any kind of long-term treatment or have surgery done, your doctor will usually provide you with specific instructions on what you should and shouldn’t do prior to and post surgery. One of the most important preparation tips when it comes to rhinoplasty is for smokers to either completely quit smoking (highly recommended) or at least temporarily quit. The numerous toxic chemicals in cigarettes prevent your blood from receiving sufficient amounts of oxygen it needs in order for your body to effectively heal itself. This will not only prolong the recovery process, but it could also grossly hinder it and negatively affect your end results. If you haven’t already quit smoking and are considering any form of cosmetic surgery, then this is a good excuse to break the habit once and for all.
Rhinoplasty Is Popular During the Winter
The reason for this is quite simple: people generally have more time off to recover from the initial pain and discomfort of the surgery during the winter months due to the holidays. Also, it’s been reported that post surgery recovery is generally a lot easier when it’s cold outside because the frigid temperatures help to numb some of the pain. So, if you’re planning on scheduling a consultation or rhinoplasty operation in the winter, now is the best time to make the appointment!
Founded by Dr. Andres Gantous, MD, FRCS(C) in 1994, Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery specializes in a full range of facial cosmetic and facial plastic reconstructive procedures for both adults and children. Our state-of-the-art tools, impeccable expertise in the field of facial plastic surgery, and unwavering dedication to ensuring the satisfaction of our patients makes us the right choice for anyone considering rhinoplasty. For more information about our clinic or to schedule an initial consultation, please contact us today.