Rhinoplasty Corrects Shape & Size of the Nose

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Rhinoplasty, commonly called a ‘nose job’, is one of the most popular procedures in cosmetic surgery. There are many types of rhinoplasty, which can be modified to meet the needs of the specific individual. The most common procedure is a reduction rhinoplasty, which addresses the large ethnic nose with a prominent hump or bump.
The surgery can be done through incisions inside the nose. Many surgeons use an open approach to better visualize the anatomic structures and their steps to correct them. The two approaches look very similar except the open approach has a small incision across the skin bridge (columella) that separates the two nostrils.

Both approaches allow trimming of the nasal tip cartilage but the open approach also allows better visualization for the placement of sutures to shape the cartilage and narrow the nasal tip.

Reduction of a prominent nasal bump requires careful removal of the projecting cartilage and bone to obtain a straight profile. This can also create a wide flat surface, which is corrected by cutting the nasal bones and moving them closer together.

A long nose can be shortened and the tip lifted by removing a small amount of the tip of the cartilage that separates each side of the nose. On the other hand, the nose can be made more prominent with cartilage grafts from the ear, or in nasal reconstruction rib cartilage. This is done to change a flat profile as found in the Asian or African American population.

Recovery from nasal surgery is fairly quick. The nose is frequently packed with special gauze or foam packing, which is usually removed within 48 hours. A small plastic or aluminum splint is also applied to protect the healing nasal bones. This is usually removed after 10 days. Most patients return to work after a week, and resume their regular, more vigorous activity after 3 weeks.

Dr. Henry G. Wells, Jr.
Article by
Lexington Plastic Surgeon