Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

nose-surgeryIf you dislike the look of your nose, have injured your nose, or suffer from breathing difficulties, nose surgery (rhinoplasty) can make a big difference in how you look and/or breathe. This surgery can correct a number of abnormalities and undesirable characteristics of the nose, as well as issues like a deviated septum and turbinate problems. Functional and cosmetic issues can usually be addressed in a single surgery.

Dr. Ledding has been performing successful rhinoplasties for his patients for many years. Every patient is unique, however, so he will spend time with you during your initial consultation and examination to discuss your options and his recommended surgical plan for you.

Who is a Good Candidate for Nose Surgery?

Rhinoplasty is effective for most people who are dissatisfied with how their nose looks and/or have breathing problems. It can make your nose shorter or narrower, correct a drooping or bulbous nose tip, improve a crooked or humped nose, and generally reshape your nose so that it is in better balance with the other features of your face.

Correcting nasal obstructions through functional nose surgery can improve snoring, sleep apnea, and the ability to smell, as well as possibly reduce the occurrence of sinus infections.

Is Rhinoplasty an Outpatient Procedure?

Rhinoplasty may be performed with the patient under general anesthesia or using a local anesthetic and sedation. You can go home the same day, but someone must be available to drive you.

What Incisions Are Used For Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is performed either “open” or “closed.” In open nose surgery, an external incision is made across the columella – the skin that separates the nostrils. The remaining incisions are inside the nose.

In closed nose surgery, no external incision is made. The surgeon attains access to the internal structure of the nose through the nostrils only. This can make the surgery more difficult, so it is usually only used for simpler cases.

What Happens During Nose Surgery?

In order to reshape your nose, Dr. Ledding might need to shave the bone, reshape the cartilage, or remove cartilage. In some cases, cartilage must be removed from one part of the internal structure of the nose and grafted into another area. If there is not enough cartilage within the nose for the graft, cartilage can sometimes be taken from the ears or rib. This will be discussed with you prior to your surgery.

If functional rhinoplasty is to be performed with your cosmetic rhinoplasty, blockages to breathing will be corrected. Dr. Ledding might rebuild a collapsed nasal valve or perform a septoplasty, which corrects a deviated septum (the “divider” between your nostrils). Another possible procedure involves turbinate reduction. Turbinates exist on the inside walls of the nose and can obstruct airflow when swollen, often as a result of allergies.

What Happens Immediately After Nose Surgery?

After some time spent in the recovery room following your surgery, a splint will be taped to the outside of your nose to help it hold its new shape until the healing process is complete.

Occasionally, the nostrils need to be packed. We will give you full instructions for taking care of your nose at home, and we will make follow-up appointments with you to monitor your progress.

When Can I Return to Work After Nose Surgery?

Most people take one to two weeks off from work and resume exercise, swimming, or sports activities in about six to eight weeks. If your occupation is physically demanding, you may need six to eight weeks off work.

What Post-Operative Symptoms Can I Expect After Nose Surgery?

Your recovery will include some bruising and mild pain for a couple of weeks. Your nose may feel stuffy, and there may be some bleeding from the nostrils. You can take prescription or non-prescription medications to ease you through this period.

Swelling takes a bit longer to resolve, gradually improving over a period of months. If you sleep sitting up for a few nights, you will probably feel more comfortable and might even reduce the initial swelling. You might also need to lie only on your back for a period of time in order to avoid pressure on the sides of your nose. You must also avoid blowing your nose for a week or two.

It can sometimes take up to a year for effects of a functional rhinoplasty to be at their best.

Are There Scars After Nose Surgery?

Open rhinoplasty involves a slight scar on the underside of the nose, but it will fade and is usually not very noticeable. Closed rhinoplasty does not create any visible scars. Sometimes, other incisions may be necessary during your rhinoplasty, which Dr. Ledding will discuss with you.

Contact our office for a consultation to discuss nose surgery with Dr. Ledding, and enjoy a more attractive nose and/or improved breathing.