What Is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a popular facial plastic surgery that can reshape the nose to improve its appearance and function. Patients may choose to have nasal surgery for cosmetic reasons or to address functional concerns, like a deviated septum. Many patients decide to undergo surgery to address both cosmetic and functional concerns simultaneously. By altering the size and shape of the nasal tip, contouring the nasal bridge, and making alterations to nostril shape, rhinoplasty can be an ideal solution for enhancing facial balance and symmetry. Treatment can also correct structural problems to help restore proper nasal airflow. Nasal surgery is extremely complex and highly customizable, which is why our board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Emily Hrisomalos, carefully works with each individual to create a treatment plan that is best suited for their unique needs and goals.
If you are interested in rhinoplasty, we encourage you to read the information provided below.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplsty can be the optimal treatment option for patients who have concerns about the appearance of their nose, and/or have a structural nasal deformity that makes it hard to breathe. Common concerns addressed with rhinoplasty include the following:
- Wide or “flared” nostrils
- Wide or prominent nasal bridge
- Wide or irregular nasal tip
- Drooping nasal tip
- “Crooked” nose
- Deviated septum
Ideal candidates should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty is to set up a consultation with Dr. Hrisomalos.
If appropriate, 3D imaging software will be used as a communication tool that allows for outcome projections to ensure goals are effectively communicated and agreed upon. This imaging is used along with physical exam findings in order to project a feasible and desirable result. In-depth discussion will take place at your consultation including pre-operative requirements and guidelines, what to expect on the day of surgery, and what to expect postoperatively.
How Is the Rhinoplasty Procedure Performed?
Rhinoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Dr. Hrisomalos uses the “open” technique for the surgery. She places a small incision on the underside of the nose between the nostrils that somewhat resembles a z-shaped pattern and makes other internal incisions when needed. The open approach allows Dr. Hrisomalos to better visualize the underlying anatomy of the nose which allows for precise alterations to be made directly. Dr. Hrisomalos also uses a structural and aesthetic grafting technique during the procedure to ensure longevity and stability of the result. Residual scarring eventually becomes inconspicuous during the healing process secondary to strategic placement and closure technique.
What Is Recovery from Rhinoplasty Like?
The recovery process for rhinoplasty is different for every patient. The majority of swelling and bruising usually subsides within the first few weeks following surgery, and gradually disappears over time. This process depends highly on post-operative care and activity. Keeping the head elevated and applying ice to the nose consistently, particularly during the first week after surgery, greatly speeds up resolution of bruising and swelling. Any pain or swelling can often be easily managed by taking over-the-counter pain medications. Patients can usually return to school or work after about a week; however, individuals with physically strenuous jobs may need more time to heal.
In general, this first week is considered the “physical” recovery period, and the subsequent weeks are more of a “social” recovery period during which patients are feeling well and able to perform day-to-day activities but may not be able to hide the fact that surgery was performed in social situations. After the procedure, Dr. Hrisomalos will provide specific and detailed post-operative instructions to help ensure a smooth recovery period. With any rhinoplasty, final results will take up to a year to be fully realized. In revision cases, this timeline may be extended. Fortunately, by about three months after surgery, the vast majority of swelling has resolved and the changes that take place thereafter are subtle.
How Long Do Rhinoplasty Results Last?
When performed by an experienced surgeon, the results of a rhinoplasty should remain stable for a lifetime. The structural corrections made during surgery, either for cosmetic or medical reasons, are considered permanent once fully healed. This is the reason Dr. Hrisomalos takes a structural open approach to surgery so that all changes can be precisely made and stabilized. Some breathing issues are influenced by the swelling of the nasal lining, which can be contributed to by other factors, including allergies. In these cases, there may still be fluctuations of breathing with the changing of the seasons, and medical treatments may still be required in order to reduce congestion. Making structural changes to the inside of the nose often allows for these topical treatments to work more effectively. Following the post-procedure care instructions provided by Dr. Hrisomalos is the best way to support a proper recovery and ensure the most successful long-term rhinoplasty outcome.
Will I Have Scars After Rhinoplasty?
Patients typically report that rhinoplasty scars are virtually invisible once they are completely healed. Dr. Hrisomalos takes great care to minimize rhinoplasty scarring by utilizing meticulous incision and suture placement during her preferred method of “open” rhinoplasty. This technique calls for the placement of a small incision on the underside of the nose between the nostrils, meaning any scarring would be on the under-surface of the nose where there is natural shadowing. Dr. Hrisomalos will be able to demonstrate exactly where incisions will be during an initial consultation so there is a clear understanding prior to surgery.
What Will My Rhinoplasty Results Look Like?
Rhinoplasty results can vary significantly based on the custom treatment plan created by Dr. Hrisomalos for each individual. Furthermore, rhinoplasty addresses the nasal bones, cartilage, and overall nasal structure. This structure, and the healing process, vary widely based on a variety of factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, past injury or trauma, tissue integrity, post-operative care, scarring potential, and skin thickness, among other things. VECTRA 3D imaging is used during consultations as a communication tool to discuss cosmetic goals. This system does not account for these different tissue types and is never used as a guarantee of outcome, as the imaging program cannot account for variations in tissues and healing. Having access to this imaging is a wonderful tool to ensure realistic goals are communicated. Dr. Hrisomalos performs every rhinoplasty with the goals of the patient in mind, striving to create balance with the surrounding facial features to achieve beautiful, natural-looking results.
In addition to natural anatomical variances, patients often have different cosmetic interests. Rhinoplasty is far from a “one size fits all” procedure, and each patient’s unique features and goals are taken into consideration. For example, those who prefer a masculine aesthetic typically gravitate towards broader noses, wider bridges, and thicker skin around the nostrils and nasal tip, while those who prefer a more feminine appearance to the nose often desire a narrower nasal bridge and a thinner tip with increased rotation. Additionally, individuals may wish to retain certain ethnic features while still refining the overall appearance of their nose. Dr. Hrisomalos invites you to view her rhinoplasty before-and-after photos for examples of previous patients that she has helped achieve their aesthetic goals.
How Much Does Rhinoplasty Cost?
The price of rhinoplasty varies depending on the patient’s unique treatment plan. At our practice, the total cost of treatment generally ranges between $9,000 to $12,000. This includes surgery, anesthesia fees, facility fees, and all post-operative follow-up appointments. There are many factors that can influence the full price of rhinoplasty, including:
- Complexity of treatment
- Surgeon’s fee
- Anesthesiologist’s fee
- Surgical facility fee
- Grafting materials
- Post-operative medications
During your consultation, a member of our team can provide an accurate price quote and go over available financing options that work best for your budget. Nasal surgery for cosmetic reasons is typically not covered by medical insurance. For functional reasons, such as nasal obstruction secondary to a deviated septum or fracture, some medical insurance plans may cover part of the cost. We encourage you to contact your insurance company about possible coverage for rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty can provide a variety of aesthetic and functional benefits and can be truly life-changing. If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hrisomalos, please contact us today.