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We all know that “nose job” or rhinoplasty is the name of the operation performed on the nose to change its shape, its size, or both. Could it be true what we heard some people have experienced, and what might we expect after having a rhinoplasty?
Since this is such a common surgical procedure, or at least one that many people are considering having, info about this topic is always very valuable. In most cases, postoperative consequences are a common problem and many people would like to hear as much about this as possible.

What is rhinoplasty?

The nose is a dominant feature on the face, which is why all operations to change it must be planned with reference to other facial features in order to achieve facial harmony. To understand what surgery can achieve, an understanding of the basic anatomy of your nose is necessary. The bony part of the nose is in the upper third, nearest to the forehead. This part is much like the sloping roof of a house, with two bony sides and a central vertical sheet called the septum. The septum contains both bone and cartilage. The tip of the nose is largely cartilage, and these components exist in a complex arrangement. This arrangement maintains the integrity of the structure and allows the nostrils to flare during the intake of breath without collapsing.



Reductive rhinoplasty procedure

The most commonly requested cosmetic operation to the nose is a reduction in size. Three principle areas are of concern: the hump, the tip, and the width of the nose. An individual may be concerned about one or all these features before the surgery. In order to reduce the hump of the nose, a combination of the bony and cartilaginous apex must be cut away by your doctor. This leaves a flat top to the bridge of the nose, and so the nasal bones on each side divide and move in to recreate the rounded apex of the nose. The nasal tip consists of two pieces of cartilage on each side, known as the upper lateral cartilage and the alar cartilage respectively. These pieces of cartilage your surgeon can trim in order to reduce the size of the tip.
Most straightforward rhinoplasties go through scars placed inside the lining of the nose, so that there are no visible external scars. However, it is sometimes necessary to create scars in the nasal skin for complex problems requiring an open rhinoplasty. It is also a common situation when patient needs reducing the size of the nostrils.

Anesthesia and postoperative consequences

Surgeons in the UK conduct rhinoplasty under general anesthesia. However, the more straightforward procedures are common under local anesthesia supplemented by intravenous sedation, known as twilight anesthesia. After a rhinoplasty one will either have tapes or a plaster over the nose. A patient might sometimes have packs within the nose as well. Usually the packs are removed two days after the operation whilst the tapes or plaster are left on for up to 2 weeks. There may be considerable bruising after rhinoplasty along the sides of the nose. It could also happen beneath the eyes, which produces black eyes. The operations are not without discomfort, but usually it is possible to control the pain with tablets starting with the day after rhinoplasty. You will be adviced to sit up and to avoid blowing your nose. You should clean the nostrils with a cotton bud instead.
After your surgeon removes the plaster or tapes, the overlying skin may be swollen and discolored. This discoloration and bruising may persist for a total of a month. However, the swelling may take a full 3 months to settle and reveal the final postoperative appearance you expecting. If one has had nasal augmentation there will of course be scarring and bruising around the donor site. This is more likely to occur if the doctor used one’s own bone or cartilage. There is a small but definitive risk of bleeding from the nose that can occur 7-10 days after a rhinoplasty.
Finally, you might also consider the risks from the anesthetic itself. Individuals with heart or lung problems should receive careful monitoring by their family doctor before a rhinoplasty.

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