Rhinoplasty, or Nose Re-Shaping surgery, as it is also known, has been one of the most common surgeries in medical history, mainly due to its double application: serving both a cosmetic and a strictly medical purposes. In the first case, Rhinoplasty is used to resize the nose (reduce or increase to balance face proportion), change the shape of the tip of the nose or the nasal bridge, narrow the nostrils (in this case, called Alarplasty) or even correct the position of the nose in the face for uniquely aesthetic pleasing purposes. This type of surgery has a huge impact on one’s appearance, as the nose is the central feature of one’s face. It is common also to perform this treatment in conjunction with a facelift or other rejuvenation surgery to correct ageing effects and provide an overall fresher look to the complexion. When performed for strictly medical purposes, a Rhinoplastly aims to improve or recover a defective nose function, by reconstruction of the nose, correcting birth defects or injury, and solving or relieving breathing problems (like in the Septoplasty, in wish are corrected defects in the nasal septum). It is also common for cosmetic rhinoplasty to be done at the same time as an intervention to correct breathing problems, in order to avoid the patient the discomfort of a second procedure. A closed or an open approach can be used, depending on the type of correction that is required. On a close approach the incisions are hidden, made inside of the nose, with no visible scars remaining from this type of approach. In an open procedure, very small incisions we’ll be made running across the base of the nose, so, although there might be some small scars, they will be hidden in the natural nose crease and will be inconspicuous. This procedure consists of the cutting of cartilage, skin and soft tissue, or even bone to obtain the intended results. The surgeon may need to harvest cartilage from the ears, nose septum or ribs, or even use a synthetic implant to re-design the shape of your nose. Many surgeons do not like to perform cosmetic nose surgery until the nasal bone has finished growing (around age 14 or 15 for girls, a bit later for boys). As an aside, Rhinoplasty was first developed in ancient India by the ayurvedic physician Sushruta (ca. 800 BC). This physician and his medical students developed and applied plastic surgical techniques for reconstructing noses, genitalia, earlobe and others, that were amputated as religious, criminal, or military punishment. Sushruta also developed the forehead flap rhinoplasty, in wish skin from the forehead above the eyebrow is placed vertically to replace missing nasal tissue, procedure that remains contemporary plastic surgical practice. Recommendations and the Aftermath As usual you will be asked to discuss your medical history with your doctor. If you’re a smoker, you’ll probably be asked to try not to smoke before and after surgery, because it interferes with the healing process (great moment to try to quit for good). Suspending the use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs will be recommended, since they can cause increased bleeding. Other preoperative instructions will be given by your doctor. Normally this is a type of procedure that utilises local anesthesia and intravenous sedation, although general anesthesia may be desirable in particular cases. The patient is usually released on the same day as surgery and can make a full recovery from the comfort of their own home, after being prescribed the necessary medication. Like in any surgery, there could be some complications. Hematoma, infection or reactions to anesthesia may occur, but in rhinoplasty, luckily, they are rare. The first days after surgery (normally, up to a week) may be quite uncomfortable. Some swelling, bruising around eyes and cheek, and pain will be noticed. Headaches are also common. The patient will be required to use supportive splints on the outside and maybe also on the inside of the nose to protect from any accidental bumps. Straining, bending and lifting are advised to be avoided. After this period, once the support pack is removed, one will feel more comfortable. After a week to ten days you’ll be able to return to work and within three weeks resume your normal activity. Be aware: full recovery will take several weeks, during which you must follow up with your surgeon, with swelling and numbness possibly lasting endure for some months. The final results are to be appreciated in around a year from the date of initial surgery. Read the Rhinoplasty Guide by BWMC here Have a question? Ask here

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