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Rhinoplasty FAQ

will my nose be packed?

In the past, surgeons would pack the nose with gauze to prevent bleeding after surgery. Currently, with self-dissolving materials and newer techniques, nasal packing is almost always avoided.

does insurance pay for the surgery at all?

Insurances pay for functional surgeries. When patients have nasal obstruction due to a deviated nasal septum or turbinate hypertrophy, they may need nasal surgery to relieve their symptoms. Repair of nasal fractures are also frequently covered by insurance. Most insurances do not cover cosmetic procedures. Most patients prefer to have their functional and cosmetic surgeries to be performed at the same time shortening the anesthesia and recovery time.

will everyone know that i had my nose done?

The art of rhinoplasty (cosmetic nasal surgery) is to bring out the patient’s best features and give the patient a natural, non-operated look. A good surgeon has to have the skill to tailor the surgery to the patient. One type of “nose job” does not fit all patients and can give the stereotypical artificial look. The key to a successful surgery is discussing with the patient what they want and bringing those dreams to reality.

what kind of anesthesia do i need?

General anesthesia is my choice for nasal surgery. General anesthesia allows for the patient to be comfortable and fully monitored for the utmost safety. Occasionally limited nasal procedures, such as small adjustments to the tip, can be performed under local anesthesia.

i’m looking into getting my deviated septum fixed in the near future. would that be considered cosmetic even though i have trouble breathing and therefore makes it seem medically required?

Correcting a deviated septum is a medical not cosmetic procedure. When a patient has nasal obstruction despite medical therapy such as nasal steroid sprays, that patient may need to turn to a surgical approach to straighten the septum and improve the nasal airway.

Usually correcting the septum does not change the cosmetic appearance of one’s nose. Consult with your local board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT) surgeon. If you are interested in having a rhinoplasty to change the cosmetic appearance of the nose and the septoplasty at the same time, then consider visiting a double boarded ENT-facial plastic surgeon.

when i smile, my nose tip droops down. i read about the depressor septi being cut but i think my doctor does not want to cut any muscle. he wants to attach a cartilige or something to the septum. which way is better? my sister had the muscle cut and her results are good. her nose tip no longer drooped, but that was 8 years ago and things have changed.

A nice alternative to try before surgery is a small injection of Botox. A skilled physician who understands Botox and facial anatomy can put a small amount of Botox into the muscle and this can give you the “fix” you are looking for before turning to surgery.

As a facial plastic surgeon, I can recommend rhinoplasty as the more permanent alternative. Of course, cutting the muscle is one option but muscles do heal. There are pros and cons to putting a cartilage graft to elevate the tip. It really depends on your individual nasal tip. Factors like skin type, shape of your nasal cartilages, septal deviation can all play a role. You can try the Botox and schedule your consultation with an expert.

hi. i’m a 24-year-old woman of african heritage, and while i’m proud of that, i feel like my nostrils are too large and detract from my overall appearance. i don’t want to sacrifice my ethnic appearance. is there something i can do to improve my nose and still honor my ethnicity?

Yes! My own background is culturally mixed, so I have always taken pride in helping my patients preserve the distinct characteristics of their ethnic heritage while making subtle changes to improve overall facial balance.

The procedure you’re looking for is an ethnic rhinoplasty, and it can address a number of issues for someone of African descent, including the size of nostrils.

Other concerns might include reducing thick nasal sin, redefining the nasal tip, correcting a short nasal bone, and increasing nose support.

You’ll want do consult a board-certified surgeon who is well experienced in performing ethnic rhinoplasty for African Americans, because your surgery requires an understanding of the unique characteristics of your facial structure.

Keep in mind that post-operative swelling may mean that you don’t notice an immediate improvement, but as the swelling subsides you will gradually see the subtle changes that will show a change in your nostrils and bring balance to your facial features.

i am a 31 year old father who volunteers as a basketball referee for my daughter’s team. i broke my nose when i was recently hit with a ball and now am told i have a deviated septum. please explain how this is repaired during a rhinoplasty procedure. we live in queens county in new york.

The septum runs directly down the center of the nose. A deviated septum can occur naturally or after trauma to the nose and face. The repair really depends on the level of deviation. Visit a board certified facial plastic surgeon for a consultation and more specific information.

where will incisions be made for my rhinoplasty? will they leave noticeable scarring?

Tiny incisions will mainly be made inside the nose so scarring will not be visible or noticeable.

if i get a nose job, will it be obvious that my nose isn’t natural?

No, I pay great care and attention to natural aesthetics and rules of beauty to help all of my patients achieve a natural looking nose that is fitting.

my nose is unnaturally small for my face. is there any way to make it bigger?

You can undergo rhinoplasty or nose surgery to reshape your nose and increase its size. By adding bone or cartilage, it is possible to restructure and enlarge your nose.

since my rhinoplasty, one side of my nose has been much more swollen than the other.

After a rhinoplasty, swelling can go down faster on one side than the other. One should definitely consult their facial plastic surgeon to determine whether swelling in a certain area can be injected with steroids to resolve faster or if there is an underlying structural cause for the swelling. It can take close to a year for a lot of the swelling after a rhinoplasty to resolve. The best thing to do is to consult with your surgeon who would be happy to explain your individual case.

how will my new nose be made with a rhinoplasty procedure?

Rearrangements will be made in the bridge or tip of the nose by removing or adding to the existing bone or cartilage. The nose will be resized or reshaped to achieve natural looking results.

how long will it take before all of the swelling from my rhinoplasty subsides and for my nose to fully heal?

It usually takes about a year for the residual swelling to completely subside and for your nose to be completely healed. However, after about three months there should be no more visible swelling.

where does the extra cartilage come from to make the grafts that will be used to rebuild my nose?

Most often cartilage is taken from another part of the patient’s body. Cartilage is taken from the inside of the nose, the ear, or even sometimes from a rib.

will i have black eyes after rhinoplasty surgery?

It is common for some discoloration to occur around the eyes after rhinoplasty surgery. However, each patient will experience different intensities of discoloration, which often clears up in ten days but can last for up to three weeks.

how long will rhinoplasty surgery take to complete?

It generally takes between two to three hours to complete a rhinoplasty surgery.

my friend’s nose became really runny after her rhinoplasty surgery. is this common? will this happen to me?

This does happen to some patients after rhinoplasty surgery but it is not common. This generally clears up after nine months, however in some patients a runny nose has been known to last for two or more years.

what does nasal packing refer to?

Nasal packing refers to packing the nose with gauze or cotton after surgery to prevent or stop bleeding. It is also sometimes used to support the septum. Nasal packing is often removed a couple days after a rhinoplasty surgery.

i am a 44 year old woman and had a rhinoplasty about eight years ago. i am pretty happy but the tip is still too bulbous for my liking. is a tip-plasty a better option than a rhinoplasty?

There is a fine art form to Rhinoplasty procedures. All of the parts work together and if the tip is to be refined, even slightly, the nasal dorsum may likely need to be tweaked and adjusted ever so slightly. One area may require the majority of the work but the focus is on the overall facial harmony. However, if after careful evaluation by your facial plastic surgeon, you both decide it’s just the tip, then a tip-plasty is a great option than can even be performed under local anesthesia.

as a 37 year old woman in manhattan, i decided to undergo a rhinoplasty. it has been three weeks and there is a small bump emerging from my bridge. i am concerned as initially when the cast came off my nose was swollen but completely straight. should i be worried?

Your nose is still healing at three weeks so this is most likely inflammation. Give your surgeon a call and schedule an appointment sooner than later. If there is something going on your surgeon may be able to intervene and help.

does rhinoplasty hurt afterwards and how long does it take to heal from a nose job?

After a rhinoplasty procedure, you may experience a little discomfort and pressure. You should not experience any pain, as this is not typically a painful procedure. However, there will be some swelling and bruising as you heal. It will take about 7- 10 days for the bruising to recede, and the swelling will subside in about two to three weeks. Once the cast or stiches are removed 7 days after surgery, you can begin to enjoy the sites of New York City confidently with you’re new and improved profile.

i had a rhinoplasty a couple of years ago and i hate the results. can i get another rhinoplasty to fix it?

This second rhinoplasty, called a revision rhinoplasty, can be performed. Make sure you visit a board certified facial plastic surgeon with lots of experience to perform your revision rhinoplasty because it is a more complex procedure and extra care needs to be taken.

Written by Dr. Halaas

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