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Rhinoplasty, more commonly called a “nose job,” is performed for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common reasons include to adjust aesthetics (appearance) and to treat a health issue.
In either case, rhinoplasty is not a simple or easy procedure. Even small changes to the structure of the nose itself can, in turn, create major alterations in the patient’s appearance and respiratory health.
It is vital to understand how a nose job can impact facial structure and appearance as well as overall health and wellness before undergoing rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty.
In this article, learn more about both procedures, what is involved, how to choose the right surgeon, recovery outcomes and more.
Why Is Rhinoplasty So Popular?
According to Harvard Medical School, nearly a quarter of a million rhinoplasty procedures are performed each year.
The two main reasons that patients request a rhinoplasty procedure is to change their appearance or to improve their health. Sometimes both goals contribute to a patient’s decision to undergo rhinoplasty.
For example, perhaps a patient is having trouble with persistent allergies or sinusitis, but that patient is also dissatisfied with the appearance of the nose. Here, rhinoplasty can often address both issues at once.
What Health Conditions Can Rhinoplasty Treat?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), rhinoplasty can treat several different health concerns.
This is because rhinoplasty is designed to alter the structure and shape of the parts of the nose, whether for health or appearance purposes.
Deviated septum is one of the most prevalent health issues that rhinoplasty can correct. When a patient has a deviated septum, it means the airway is obstructed to some degree.
If the patient has disfigurement from trauma or congenital reasons, this can also cause breathing problems or chronic infection that rhinoplasty can treat.
Will Corrective Rhinoplasty Change Nose Shape or Size?
According to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, rhinoplasty is an effective surgical intervention to treat nasal obstruction due to functional abnormalities or structural issues.
Yet while rhinoplasty can be very effective to treat a variety of respiratory and health issues, it is normal to be concerned that corrective rhinoplasty may change the shape or size of your nose.
This is especially the case if you are entirely pleased with the appearance of your nose as it is right now.
The good news here is that a health-related rhinoplasty procedure focuses on changing the internal structure of your nose, not the outward appearance.
While there will inevitably be some temporary swelling that could briefly change the shape or size of your nose, these side effects are normal and quite short-lived. After your health-related rhinoplasty procedure, your nose will look as it did before on the outside and function much better on the inside.
What Is Rhinoplasty Recovery Like?
Daniel G. Becker, leading expert of rhinoplasty in New Jersey, notes it can take up to a full year following any type of rhinoplasty procedure for the full healing process to be completed.
However, most visible temporary side effects such as bruising and swelling will be gone within the first few weeks and all such visible effects are typically gone within a few months.
Why does it take a full year for a rhinoplasty procedure to heal completely, you may be wondering? The reason is that, despite what it may look like from the outside, on the inside, the nose is actually one of the most intricate, complicated and delicate structures of the whole body.
As an article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from the Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery states, the nose contains both bone and cartilage along with the tissue. Each heals at a different rate.
As well, the skin itself can be different thicknesses at different points – the skin along the bridge is typically thinner than the skin at the bridge. Thicker skin will take longer to heal than thinner skin and may also experience more swelling.
Another factor that can increase recovery and healing time is the use of artificial materials for implants. If artificial materials are used and the body’s immune system tries to reject them, there is a greater risk of infection and complication (Dr. Becker is not a proponent of the use of artificial materials during rhinoplasty for this reason).
How to Choose Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Altogether, the nose is a very complicated structure and is also absolutely integral to both facial appearance and symmetry and overall health and wellness.
Your choice of surgeon can absolutely affect your outcome and your satisfaction with your rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty procedure.
There is no substitute for the trifecta of education, training, and hands-on expertise. You want to choose a surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. You also want your surgeon to be able to answer the questions you think to ask and also the questions you don’t know to ask.
Whether your goal is to improve your overall health or to adjust the appearance of your nose or both, your choice of surgeon will have the most direct impact on whether or not you can achieve your rhinoplasty goals.
If you are interested in learning more about health or appearance-related rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty, the first step is to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Becker.
About The Rhinoplasty Center
Dr. Daniel G. Becker, M.D., is the founder and medical director for the Becker Rhinoplasty Center, a Penn Medicine affiliated Ear, Nose and Throat Network center. Dr. Becker specializes in rhinoplasty and the more difficult revision rhinoplasty procedures. He is dual board-certified in Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.