The nose is one of the most striking features of the face. Correcting the deformation of the nose can improve facial aesthetic appearance to a great extent. Rhinoplasty improves the appearance and proportion of your nose, enhancing facial harmony and self-confidence. Surgery of the nose may also correct impaired breathing caused by structural abnormalities in the nose. Alarplasty is the reduction of the width of the nostrils to match proportionally with the overall contour of the nose and be in perfect symmetry - a perfect nose speaks in volumes for the face. Surgery of the nose is performed either using a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils. Through these incisions, the soft tissues that cover the nose are gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose. Surgery of the nose can reduce or augment nasal structures with the use of cartilage grafted from other areas of your body. Most commonly, pieces of cartilage from the septum, the partition in the middle of the nose, are used for this purpose. Occasionally a piece of cartilage from the ear and rarely a section of rib cartilage can be used.
The surgical techniques employed will depend primarily on the goals established by you and your plastic surgeon. In many instances, all of the incisions will be placed inside your nose, where they will not be visible. If the base of the nose is narrowed or the nostrils reduced, small wedges of skin at the base of the nostrils will be removed. Incisions are hidden in the natural crease where the nostril joins the cheek. If the septum is deviated, it is now straightened and the projections inside the nose are reduced to improve breathing. Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue is redraped and incisions are closed. Additional incisions may be placed in the natural creases of the nostrils to alter their size. Splints and internal tubes will likely support the nose as it begins to heal for approximately one week. While initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome. Swelling may come and go and worsen in the morning during the first year following your nose surgery.
The Post-Operative Care
- Apply cold compress over the operative site for 2-3 days. Sleep on a high back rest at 30 degrees and do not sleep flat on your face.
- Do not worry about slight bleeding; use a clean cotton bud soaked in saline solution or antibiotic ointment to clean. Bleeding will usually stop one day after the surgery.
- Refrain from nose picking or blowing the nose forcefully. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, fermented foods and spicy foods at least one month from the surgery.
- Refrain from strenuous activities for 14 days after the surgery, as this may increase the swelling.
- A plaster cast or splint may be place over nose which will be removed three days after the surgery.
- You can use both your forefingers to straighten the nose during the first month. A little pain may be elicited.
- Swelling will subside and complete healing is expected in as early as 3 months.
- During the first two weeks after the surgery, you should be careful not to touch or move the area around the nose and should avoid sleeping on one side of your body for a month.
- There may be bruises on some patients, this will gradually diminish and be gone within two weeks.
- Soluble sutures are used to close the incision and are expected to dissolve in about 1-2 months.
- Use cotton buds soaked in saline solution to remove the scabs and blood, and then apply antibiotic ointment 2-3 times a day.
- As much as possible avoid smiling, laughing or heavy chewing for about a month, as the wound may open resulting to scarring. Use both hands to hold your cheeks when talking, smiling or laughing.
- Scars will disappear in approximately 3-6 months.