What is a rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty (nose job) is a procedure that corrects and/or reconstructs the structure of the nose for cosmetic or medical reasons.
Cosmetic: A cosmetic nose job is commonly performed to create facial harmony.
Deviated Septum: Structural defects can cause breathing problems which can be corrected through surgery.
Anesthesia – general anesthesia is preferred for most rhinoplasties as they often involve deep structural work to reshape bone and cartilage.
Incision – There are 2 type of nose jobs, “closed” and “open”. Although both involve an incision of some sort, closed is hidden inside the nose and is the perfect approach for simple nose jobs like shaping a dorsal hump or for removing the portion of crooked septum with patients with breathing difficulties. This approach can also be used for crooked noses where the bones need to be reshaped to make the nose more narrow or straight again.
Open rhinoplasties involve a V shaped or zig-zag stair step incision on the underside of the nose in the area of skin and cartilage between the nostrils (columella). This will extend into the nose and from this open approach, you can have complete access to all nasal structures to reshape the bone, cartilage, and tip.
Reshaping the nose structure – The nose is comprised of bone, cartilage, skin and nasal lining. Small changes can make a large difference in the nasal shape and consequently, the face as a whole. There are many variable to consider when reshaping the nose (narrowing, widening, reducing, augmenting, and tip position changes, to name a few). Dr. Hustak will go over your desires and own anatomy, often with pictures, to give you an idea of what to expect as your final outcome.
Correcting a deviated septum – This can be approached with both the closed (inside nose incisions) or open incision as part of a total rhinoplasty. ONLY the central portion that is deviated is removed during septoplasty. The septum is needed to maintain open paths for breathing inside your nasal passages and is also the main internal support structure for the nose.
Closing the incision – all sutures inside the nose are absorbable and will go away within 2 weeks on their own. Nasal saline will be provided for nasal rinses as nose blowing is prohibited during the healing phase. The incisions on the outside of the nose will be removed in 1 week. Rarely is nasal packing used and if so, it will be removed in the first 1-2 days. If your nose was broken in order to reshape it, an external splint will be placed and removed in the subsequent weeks.
During the initial recovery you will have a splint and/or packing placed to support and protect the new structures of your nose. Swelling and bruising is normal and will subside within a couples of weeks as your nose heals. Your nose will continue healing for months up to a full year. Be patient and communicate with Dr. Hustak about any concerns.
When can I go back to work?
Once the external and internal splints are removed, one can usually resume light duty activities. This is usually 1-2 weeks.
When can I workout again?
It is important that the nose stabilizes before strenuous activity so the delicate sutures and bones can heal properly. Normal workout routines usually don’t commence until 4-6 weeks after surgery.
What do I need to be cautious of during recovery?
Your nose is very fragile during the initial recovery. Be sure to avoid crowds and situations where your nose can be bumped. Do not bend over during the initial recovery this will cause more swelling. Nose blowing and strenuous activity is prohibited early in recovery until the internal healing is stabilized.