Nose Surgery or Rhinoplasty
Birmingham, Alabama Nose Reshaping at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery
Rhinoplasty, also known as Nose Surgery or Nose Reshaping, is designed to enhance facial harmony by improving the nose's appearance and proportions, bringing it into better balance with the other facial features. Rhinoplasty is also used to correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects of the nose.
Rhinoplasty can change the width of the nose at the bridge and nose profiles with visible humps or depressions; correct nasal tips that are enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked; and change the size and position of nostrils that are large, wide or upturned. Nose surgery can also make the nose more symmetrical.
The Birmingham, Alabama plastic surgeons at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery have the skills, the experience and the artistic eye to create a more pleasing profile with nose reshaping. For people with functional problems such as a blockage or deviated septum, Dr. William Hedden and Dr. Stephen Gunn perform rhinoplasty to clear the airways and nostrils for improved breathing.
You may be a good candidate for nose surgery if:
- Your facial growth is complete.
- You are physically healthy.
- You don't smoke.
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for improving your appearance.
Some nose surgery patients choose Nasal Implants to clear nasal obstructions, enhance the shape of the nose, correct malformed areas and improve the symmetry of the face.
Your Rhinoplasty Consultation
By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for your nose surgery procedure, you can be assured that you are choosing a highly-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon. ASPS Member Surgeons must meet rigorous standards for training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery.
During your rhinoplasty consultation, be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals with regard to both appearance and breathing.
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical treatments.
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
- Previous surgeries.
Your rhinoplasty surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
- Explain the available options for nose reshaping.
- Examine and measure your face.
- Take photographs.
- Discuss your options for facial rejuvenation and recommend a course of treatment.
- Discuss the likely outcomes of nose surgery and any risks or potential complications.
Be sure to ask questions at your consultation. It is very important to understand all aspects of your nose surgery procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether preoperative stress or excitement about your anticipated new look. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
Rhinoplasty Risks and Safety Information
The decision to have nose surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits of rhinoplasty will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain the associated risks in detail.
The risks of nose surgery include:
- Anesthesia risks.
- Bleeding (hematoma).
- Poor wound healing or scarring.
- Change in skin sensation (numbness or pain).
- Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the nasal septum) is rare. Additional surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the septum, but it may be impossible to correct this complication.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Unsatisfactory nasal appearance.
- Skin discoloration and swelling.
- Possibility of revisional surgery.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks or potential complications.
Preparing for Rhinoplasty
In preparing for nose surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get a lab test.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.
Nose surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night.
Anesthesia choices for nose surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Nose Surgery Incisions
Rhinoplasty is performed using either a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella (the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils).
Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose.
Open rhinoplasty incision across the columella:
Reshaping the Nose Structure
An overly large nose may be reduced in size by removing bone or cartilage. Nose surgery sometimes requires the addition of cartilage grafts, most commonly using cartilage from the septum (the partition in the middle of the nose). Cartilage from the ear or, rarely, a section of rib cartilage is occasionally used.
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue is redraped and the incisions are closed. Additional incisions may be placed in the natural creases of the nostrils to alter their size.
Correcting a Deviated Septum
A deviated septum is one of the most common causes of breathing impairment. Nose surgery performed to improve an obstructed airway requires careful evaluation of the nasal structure as it relates to airflow and breathing.
Correction of a deviated septum is achieved by adjusting the nasal structure to produce better alignment. The septum can be straightened and the projections inside the nose can be reduced to improve breathing.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your nose surgery and recovery. These instructions may include:
- How to care for the surgical site.
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
During initial healing, a splint and/or packing will likely be placed inside your nose and a splint or bandages placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures. Initial swelling should subside within a few weeks.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your nose surgery recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery, and when will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed, and when?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
It may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully emerge. During this time, you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome. Swelling may come and go, and worsen in the morning, during the first year.
The results of rhinoplasty surgery will be long-lasting. As your body ages, it is natural to have some gradual changes to your face, including your nose. However, most of your improvement should be relatively permanent. A healthy lifestyle and life-long sun protection will help extend the results of your new appearance.
Everyone's face is asymmetric to some degree. Results may not be completely symmetric, although the goal is to create facial balance and correct proportion.
Rhinoplasty Words to Know
- Cartilage: Connective tissue that forms the structure of the nose.
- Columella: The narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.
- Deviated septum: Misalignment of the cartilage that separates the nostrils, which may cause partial nasal airway obstruction.
- General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection to help you relax.
- Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision to relieve pain during an operation.
- Rhinoplasty: Surgery to reshape the nose.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Rhinoplasty or Nose Surgery at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery enhances facial harmony by improving the appearance and proportions of the nose.
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Questions About Facial Rejuvenation?
To find out more about Nose Reshaping or Rhinoplasty at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery, please contact our Birmingham, AL practice today.
To schedule your consultation at the earliest possible date, please call 205-980-1744.
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