Rhinoplasty, also known as a “nose job,” is a very common operation that changes the size and/or shape of the nose. Common requests include decreasing the size of the nose, changing the size and shape of the bridge, sculpting and refining the tip, and altering the nostrils.
While most plastic surgery procedures are geared towards making patients look younger, better, or more refreshed, rhinoplasty has the potential to fundamentally improve a patient’s attractiveness. The reason is that most procedures focus on the soft tissue (skin and fat) and alleviate the signs of aging by smoothing skin, improving wrinkles, removing sagging, and improving complexion. Rhinoplasty addresses the underlying structure of the nose and improves the aesthetic balance and contour of the face, thereby affecting attractiveness.
Rhinoplasty can also address breathing problems caused by a deviated septum or other problems with the nasal passages caused by a nasal facial fracture. As a result, rhinoplasty can have very positive effects on a person’s self-image and appearance. Hence, it is extremely important for the patient to have realistic expectations and a genuine understanding of the operation. For that reason, Dr. Liu often requires two consultations for rhinoplasty patients to ensure clear communication between the patient and the plastic surgeon, and for all questions and concerns to be adequately addressed.
Why People Choose Rhinoplasty
Patients choose to have rhinoplasty to address specific concerns about the nose. Common complaints include:
- a nose that is too large
- a dorsal hump (bump on the bridge of the nose)
- a bulbous tip (tip too round or amorphous)
- a nose that is too wide (nostril flare)
- a flat nose (lack of a bridge)
- a crooked nose (deviated septum or nose)
- inability to breathe through the nose
All of these issues (and more) can be addressed during a rhinoplasty. Often, problems that affect breathing (deviated septum or hypertrophied turbinates) will be covered by insurance. Aesthetic (cosmetic) enhancements are NEVER covered by insurance.
About Rhinoplasty Surgery
Rhinoplasty can be either “open” or “closed.” Closed rhinoplasty is performed through multiple incisions inside the nostrils and can be used for very limited operations. Open rhinoplasty separates the skin of the nose from the underlying framework and offers excellent exposure of the nose to allow for precise sculpting and shaping. Dr. Liu is trained in both closed and open rhinoplasty and will use the technique best suited to the patient.
During the operation, Dr. Liu will sequentially address each element of the nose. These include the bridge (dorsum), removing any humps or bumps, addressing the width of the nose and the nostrils, sculpting or refining the tip, straightening the nose (if necessary), and improving the nasal airway. Each component is custom tailored to the individual.
A consultation for rhinoplasty will take approximately 1 hour. Because the nose is central to the face, Dr. Liu will perform a complete facial analysis as part of the decision making process. Important considerations include the size and shape of the nose, relative size compared to the length and width of the face, and the position of the nose relative to the eyes, chin, lip, and forehead. In addition, the structure of the nasal tip and the overall contour of the nose will be evaluated. An intranasal exam will be performed to examine the septum and other components of the nasal air passages.
There is also necessary evaluation of the chin during a rhinoplasty consultation. Because of the nose’s position on the face and its intimate relationship to the bony contour of the face, changes in the shape and projection of the nose go hand in hand with changes in the shape and projection of the chin. Although chin enhancement is not always necessary or mandatory, it should always be discussed so that the patient is well informed. The ultimate decision regarding chin procedures always resides with the patient.
The goal of the consultation is for you to obtain all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding rhinoplasty. Dr. Liu is dedicated to educating patients about the anticipated changes following rhinoplasty. As part of the consultation, we will help you with the decision making process and answer all of your questions. We pride ourselves on building a “partnership” with you, the patient, during the consultation. Often a second visit is required to review your pictures and to give you an idea of what your nose may look like following surgery.
Approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery, you will have a pre-operative appointment. At this time, you will sign the surgical consent, have photos taken, and receive an information packet.
The pre-operative packet includes detailed instructions for before and after surgery. It is important to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and other blood thinning medications for at least two weeks before surgery. Also, do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the evening prior to surgery.
About the Operation
Rhinoplasty (nose job) is an outpatient operation and is performed at an accredited surgical facility. There is always an anesthesiologist present, whether under general anesthesia or local with sedation. Having an anesthesiologist present allows Dr. Liu to concentrate on attaining the best cosmetic result instead of dividing his attention between the operation and monitoring the vital signs of the patient. The operation takes between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the complexity of the operation. Dr. Liu’s goal is always for a natural and refined appearance of the nose.
Patients go home on the same day as surgery but should have a responsible adult stay with them for 24 to 48 hours. The recovery period following rhinoplasty ranges from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the amount of swelling and the magnitude of the operation. Most patients are able to resume routine activities immediately following removal of the splint, packing, and sutures at 1 week.
The edema and swelling from rhinoplasty is often not recognized by strangers after 1 to 2 weeks but will be noticeable to the patient for several months. Patients are asked to refrain from strenuous activity or contact sports for 3-6 weeks. The final appearance takes approximately 6 months to emerge.
Contact Our Practice
Whatever the reason, rhinoplasty (nose job) surgery can provide psychological, aesthetic, and personal benefits for the right candidate. To find out if rhinoplasty (nasal surgery, nose job) is right for you, please make an appointment with Dr. Jerome Liu or Dr. Tom Liu.