Structural problems of the nose, both congenital and acquired, can induce problems with sinuses, chronic rhinitis, breathing difficulties, and aesthetic problems. Rhinoplasty ("nose job") is a type of surgical procedure aimed to reshape structures of the nose (bone, skin, cartilage) for aesthetic or functional reasons. As with any other surgery, it carries a risk of certain complications, such as functional, related to infection, aesthetic, and psychological.
What Makes Rhinoplasty a Difficult Procedure?
For every plastic or maxillofacial surgeon, rhinoplasty is one of the most challenging procedures. This may sound unusual, as nose is a prominent, easily accessible organ, that does not look so complex from the outside. However, in order to make changes and keep a natural look, symmetry, and proper function of nose structures, it takes not only surgical, but also artistic skills. Prediction of results after the swelling goes down is very hard, and there is also the problem with scar tissue formation, which is completely unacceptable when it comes to facial structures. Furthermore, people with aesthetic problems related to appearance of their nose are usually psychologically affected by that issue from the childhood and any complication that may occur appears to them even worse than it really is.
Types of Complications after Rhinoplasty
Right after the surgery, the most common complications reported include bleeding, airway obstruction, and vision problems. These complications happen while patients are still in hospital and they are consequences of local anesthetic and incisions. Bleeding can be stopped by endoscopic cauterization or local vasoconstrictors.
Wound infection is not very common after rhinoplasty, but if it occurs, it can affect severely the results of the surgery. It can cause improper wound healing and increase the tendency to scar. Infection is treated with systemic and local antibiotics in order to prevent further tissue damage and generalized infection.
If the openings of sinuses are blocked by blood clots or swelling, this can cause acute or chronic sinusitis. Risk of bacterial sinusitis is much higher if sinuses do not have the ability to drainage spontaneously.
Scar formation is a huge aesthetic problem after rhinoplasty, and it often requires multiple surgical corrections. It is a vicious circle, as the more incisions you take, the higher the risk of scar tissue. Some people are more prone to scar formation than others. Scarring can lead to unsatisfying aesthetic results. Still, there are some topical agents that can slow down the scar formation process. Consult your doctor about all the topical agents that you plan to use postoperatively.
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