If you’re unhappy with the size, shape or even the function of your nose, nose surgery may be right for you. Also known as rhinoplasty, nose surgery is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. Here, we break down why people seek this surgical procedure and what you can expect from the surgery and recovery.
There are many reasons why someone would want a nose surgery. Appearance is a major reason, as disliking your nose can negatively affect your self-image. In most cases, the nose is out of proportion with the rest of the face, it’s crooked, the tip droops or is bulbous, there are bumps, humps or depressions on the bridge of the nose, the sidewalls are depressed or the nostrils are excessively flared.
Sometimes a sports injury or accident such as running into a wall can break the nose, leaving it permanently crooked or misshapen. Or the structure of the nose is such that its function is impaired. This is often due to restricted or blocked nasal passages that can affect your sleep and quality of life. Opening the nasal passages to improve airflow is a secondary goal with the cosmetic procedure as well.
There are two types of nose surgery. With closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made inside the nose. With open rhinoplasty, incisions are made in the tissue between the nostrils, leaving behind a small scar that heals and fades from sight. During either method, the soft tissues covering the nose are lifted, and the bone and cartilage are sculpted. Cartilage to augment the nose can be taken from the septum or other areas of the body depending on the extent of repair. Nasal bones are repositioned if necessary, and the septum and inner structures of the nose will be adjusted to improve breathing. Nostril shaping is the final step, if necessary.
The recovery from nose surgery isn’t overly painful. Most of the pain resolves after a few days, and the majority of swelling resolves three weeks after surgery. Some swelling can come and go for several weeks or months as you heal. Final results can take several months or up to a year.
Most patients return to work one to two weeks after surgery. You can return to light activities in three weeks and should avoid strenuous activity for six weeks.