What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty, nose surgery, is one of the longest-tenured procedures in cosmetic surgery, the first recorded nose surgery being performed in 1887. That makes sense because the nose is a focal point of the face. Nose surgery with Dr. Hunsaker can change the way you see yourself.
If your nose has seemed out of proportion with the rest of your face, if you hate that bump on the bridge, even if your nostrils flare more than you’d like — you don’t have to live with a nose you don’t like. Trust Dr. Hunsaker to utilize his extensive experience with this surgery to give you the nose you like to see every morning in the mirror.
Would I Be a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
When it comes to nose surgery, the reasons fall into three categories:
- Appearance — Not liking your nose can really impact your self-confidence. That’s why aesthetics are the reason for most nose surgeries. These are some of the issues usually addressed:
- There is a bump or depressions on the bridge of the nose
- The tip is enlarged or bulbous
- The tip droops
- The nose is out of proportion with the rest of the face
- The nostrils are excessively flared
- The nose is crooked or off-center
- Injury — From a stumble in the dark to a “touch” football game, impact on your nose can leave it crooked or misshapen.
- Function — Whether the problem is congenital or a result of trauma, nose surgery can open restricted nasal passages and improve your breathing.
Patients must have finished their facial growth to have nose surgery. For girls (who mature a little faster than boys), this will be at age 14 or 15 at the earliest. For boys, the minimum age is 15.
Dr. Hunsaker feels it’s important for his patients to want nose surgery for their own personal reasons, not for a partner or other person. And it’s important to be realistic about what this surgery can and cannot do.
Before & After Rhinoplasty
What Are the Benefits of Rhinoplasty?
This is hard to quantify, as this is a very personal procedure. What’s the value of looking in the mirror every morning and liking the nose you see? If you’ve always thought people meeting you fixated upon your outsized nose, what’s the value of ending those anxieties forever? Or, if your breathing passages have always been too narrow, nose surgery can change your sleep, ability to go really hard in exercise or sports, and who knows what else?
It’s hard to place a value on such things, but these are the true benefits of rhinoplasty.
How is Rhinoplasty Performed?
Dr. Hunsaker performs nose surgery using either of two methods: open or closed. During your consultation, he will discuss your options with you. Generally, the open method allows more dramatic changes, but it does create a small scar. Rhinoplasty can be done with the patient under IV or general sedation. The surgery usually lasts from one to two hours.
- Open rhinoplasty — In open rhinoplasty, Dr. Hunsaker makes a small incision across the columella (the small strip of skin between the nostrils). He then lifts the skin and soft tissues up and back from the tip of the nose to expose the bone and cartilage. Whether building up or reducing the bridge, the open method provides excellent access. Once the changes are made, the skin and tissue are re-draped over the new underlying structure. This method leaves a small scar on the columella, but it is innocuous and becomes almost invisible over time.
- Closed rhinoplasty — Dr. Hunsaker uses the closed method where possible, as all of the incisions are made within the nose, eliminating any outer scarring. The closed method is effective when the size of the overall nose is being changed, and to address breathing problems. Once the incisions are made, the soft tissues are separated from the bone and cartilage. When the nose is being made thinner or smaller, the nasal bones will be fractured to allow reduction. If increasing the size, Dr. Hunsaker can use cartilage or bone from the patient’s septum, ears, or ribs, or he can use synthetic material.
What Will My Rhinoplasty Recovery Involve?
After your surgery, Dr. Hunsaker will have your nose splinted to support and protect it. There will also be packing in your nostrils to absorb fluids and provide support. There may be significant swelling and your eyes will likely blacken due to the tissue trauma. Dr. Hunsaker will prescribe pain medication, which will also help manage the swelling. Over the first few days, you’ll need to keep your head elevated, even when sleeping.
After around one week, your splint will be removed, but your nose and areas around your eyes will still be swollen. This will begin to improve in 10-14 days, but there will be times of swelling for a few weeks, particularly later in the day and at night.
You can wear contact lenses immediately, but if you wear eyeglasses, they will need to be taped to your forehead or propped up on your cheeks for up to seven weeks. Obviously, you’ll have to avoid any activity that can bump your nose for six weeks, especially overly strenuous exercise.
How Long Before I Am Healed from My Rhinoplasty?
Because of the swelling, you’ll have to be patient when anticipating your results. It can take up to six months to fully realize your new nose, although this varies between patients. You can’t get frustrated at periods of swelling, as this is completely normal due to the tissue trauma involved with nose surgery. But when all is said and done, you’ll be pleased with your new nose and your results will last the rest of your life.
What Are the Risks with Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a very common aesthetic procedure, but it is surgery and carries with it the risks involved with any surgery. These include infection, excessive bleeding, anesthesia reactions, and poor healing. Specific to nose surgery are the risks of nasal septal perforation, difficulty breathing, skin discoloration, enduring swelling, and a lack of satisfaction with the appearance of your new nose.
In general, however, nose surgery with Dr. Hunsaker is very safe, carries very low risk, and is ultimately satisfying in its final results.