Rhinoplasty, which is commonly referred to as a “nose job”, is a cosmetic procedure done under general anesthesia that changes the shape of the nose. It’s often unfairly stigmatized as a vain and shallow attempt to alter one’s facial appearance. While this might be the case with some patients, it’s important to realize that the procedure does reach out to a much larger patient population. It’s normal to be wary of the procedure because of possible scrutiny and judgment; however, it’s important to realize that the nose you were born with might not be the right one for you.
The nose is the organ responsible for smell. It plays a critical role in aesthetic appearance by being the focal point of the face. It’s divided into equal right and left sides by the cartilaginous and bony nasal septum. The nasal septum can commonly be pushed to the right or left of the midline in what is commonly referred to as a “deviated septum”.
As previously mentioned, rhinoplasty procedures need not be stereotyped as serving one type of patient. Many patients have seen tremendous, life changing benefits from the procedure. A rhinoplasty is worthy of consideration should you have any of the following:
- A crooked or bent nose
- A birth defect or bump
- A deviated septum
- Recurring sinus infections
- Problems with snoring
Preoperative planning for a rhinoplasty involves a detailed discussion of the risks and benefits. Your goals should be taken into consideration to ensure that both you and your physician are on the same page. A full medical history should be obtained to ensure you’re healthy enough for surgery and a consent form should be signed.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia at a surgery center or hospital. It usually takes 1-2 hours and doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay. The procedure consists of the opening of the skin, shaving and re-sculpting of the cartilage and bone, and closing of the skin. A good surgeon will balance physiological importance with physical appearance by creating a naturally shaped nose with subtle modifications.
Following the procedure, you should expect to wake up with a plastic splint over your nose. The splint serves to protect the nose and allow proper healing. Bruising, puffiness, and soreness are all to be expected. Some results will be seen after only a few short weeks of downtime; however, it might take 6-12 months for the full results to be seen.
In the end, the decision to go forward with a rhinoplasty is ultimately yours to make. Hopefully, you now have the information you need to make an informed decision that isn’t based on fear. Know that if there is something wrong with or personally displeasing about your nose, it doesn’t mean you are vain or arrogant. Rhinoplasty might very well be a justifiable option to give you the right nose rather than the one you were just born with.