It’s more than uncomfortable to have a facial feature that doesn’t quite feel “you.” Many adults dislike their noses because of their size, shape, or misaligned features. If you’ve considered getting a nose job, you might be wondering if you’re a good candidate for rhinoplasty. It’s never a bad time to find out if a nose job is right for you, and Hanna Facial Cosmetic Surgery, located in Hinsdale, IL, is here to answer your questions and guide you through your experience.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Before we dive into the different kinds of nose jobs and what to expect from the process, let’s learn about who makes a good candidate for this surgery.
It’s important to note that the only way to absolutely determine if you are a good candidate for a nose job is to have a consultation with your plastic surgeon and discuss it. Generally, there are a couple of criteria we use to determine who is a good candidate for nose jobs.
Good candidates for a nose job are generally healthy and don’t have serious medical conditions or illnesses. A good candidate either does not smoke cigarettes or have shown that they can stop smoking cigarettes for prolonged periods of time. Another key component of a good candidate is that they have realistic aesthetic goals. While plastic surgeons are masters of remaking facial features, there are limits to what a plastic surgeon can do. It’s important that the candidate is realistic about their expectations so they are happy with their amazing results.
Types of Rhinoplasty
What’s your reason for seeking a nose job? Are you more concerned with form or function? Your answer will help determine which type of nose job you are going to get. However, it’s important to remember that form and function are deeply intertwined. You might have an issue with the shape of your nose, and that misshapen area may also be causing breathing issues.
Functional Nose Job
If you’re seeking a nose job because you are having trouble breathing through your nose, you’re seeking a functional nose job. One of the most common reasons people seek a functional nose job is a deviated septum. This means that the line of cartilage, also called a septum, that separates the two nostrils, is crooked, and prevents correct breathing.
Another common reason that people seek functional nose jobs is that their nasal passages are too narrow and don’t allow enough air to pass through easily. Allergies, hormones, and sinus infections can also cause issues that require surgical intervention. These things can cause the turbinates, also known as nasal conchae, to become enlarged and inhibit airflow.
It’s possible that a functional nose job, particularly one to treat a deviated septum, may have cosmetic benefits as well.
Cosmetic Nose Job
If you are seeking a nose job for purely aesthetic reasons, you are looking to get a cosmetic nose job. Asymmetry is one of the most frequently cited reasons patients give for wanting this type of nose job. The nose might tilt or lean to one side or the other.
Other common reasons for getting a cosmetic nose job are a nasal tip that is pinched or bulbous or nostrils that are overly large. Generally, people who feel that their nose is “too large” can narrow it down to one particular feature that is out of proportion. As the surgeon fixes this one nose feature, the whole nose appears in better balance with the other facial features.
There are two main approaches that surgeons use when performing a nose job: the endonasal, or closed, approach, and the external, or open, approach. Depending on how extensive the changes to your nose are going to be, your plastic surgeon will determine which approach is the best for your unique needs.
In the closed approach, all surgical incisions are made inside the nostrils. This means that all the scars are hidden within the nostrils and aren’t visible externally. While this surgical approach has the benefit of no visible scarring, it has limitations.
Because the incisions remain separate, the surgeon doesn’t have much ability to reposition the nasal skin. Additionally, the whole procedure has to be done through narrow surgical openings with rather limited visibility. If the underlying structures of your nose need some major work, it can be difficult to do with this approach.
The open approach allows the surgeon much more access to the bone and cartilage structures that lie beneath the skin. In this approach, the surgeon makes what is called a trans-columellar incision to connect the incisions in the two nostrils. Once these incisions are adjoined, the nasal skin can be folded upward to allow for complete access to the lower nasal structures.
Although this approach does include a small scar on the outside of the nose, most of these scars actually heal completely with nearly no visible scarring afterward.
What to Expect
Before starting the process of getting your nose job, it’s important that you know what to expect from each step.
Prior to scheduling your nose job, you will have a consultation with your plastic surgeon to discuss the surgery.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including any history you have breathing problems, nasal obstructions. Your doctor will want to know if you have any surgical history and will also ask about any medications you take.
It’s important that you tell your doctor about any over-the-counter medications and supplements you take, in addition to prescriptions, as all of these can have an impact on how surgery and anesthesia will affect you.
Your doctor will perform a full medical exam to ensure that you are healthy enough to be a good candidate for the surgery. They may run laboratory tests, including blood tests. An important part of the physical exam is to determine how a nose job will impact your breathing. Bandages after surgery can obstruct breathing through your nose, so good candidates for the surgery must be able to easily breathe through their mouth.
Your doctor will closely examine your facial features, giving special attention to the inside and outside of your nose. This physical examination helps your doctor determine which changes to your nose need to be made. They will also examine specific aspects of your nose, such as the thickness of your skin and the strength of the cartilage at the tip of your nose, to help them predict how your healing will go.
Your consultation appointment will also include your doctor taking pictures of your nose from several different angles. These photos are used to assess the long-term results of your nose, before and after surgery. They also are used for reference during surgery.
Motivations and Expectations
Your doctor will have a discussion with you about what you are expecting from your surgery and what your motivations are for seeking surgery. It can be uncomfortable to talk about parts of your body you are self-conscious about, but it’s important that you be as open and honest as possible so you can receive the perfect results.
Your plastic surgeon may also suggest other minor procedures that could be done at the same time as your nose job to better achieve facial symmetry. For instance, you might have a rather large nose in addition to a small chin that makes your nose appear even larger. In this case, augmenting your chin in addition to the work done in a nose job may do more for facial symmetry than a nose job alone.
Preparing Your Body
When you have your consultation with your plastic surgeon, they will tell you which of your prescription medications are okay to continue taking before surgery. It’s important that you also avoid medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for two weeks before and after surgery as these can increase bleeding. You should also avoid any herbal remedies or over-the-counter supplements.
If you do smoke cigarettes, it’s imperative that you stop smoking prior to your surgery because it slows the healing process. You will also want to avoid any sun damage for two weeks before surgery. If you’re spending time in the sun, you should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
The Day of Surgery
It’s important that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. You will need to arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital afterward. You’ll want to wear loose-fitting clothing that you can easily change into and out of without disturbing your nose. You should leave your jewelry at home and not put on any makeup. You can wear glasses, but you will want to avoid wearing contacts.
When the surgery takes place, your doctor will use either local or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is usually used in outpatient settings and is limited to a specific area of your body. Doctors use a sedative in addition to the local anesthesia so that you are groggy but not completely asleep. General anesthesia, on the other hand, causes you to be unconscious during surgery. Your doctor will decide which anesthetic to used based on the extent of your surgical interventions and your history with anesthesia.
After surgery, you will be monitored for several hours in a recovery room before being allowed to go home. Because anesthesia takes a while to wear off, you should have someone stay with you your first night after surgery. You likely will have a splint on the outside of your nose to help it retain its new shape. You may also have splints inside your nasal cavities to help support them and your septum.
As you rest in bed, you’ll need to keep your head elevated above your chest to help your nose’s healing. For several weeks after surgery, you will need to avoid strenuous activities. Try not to blow your nose as the excess force on your nose can be counterproductive to your healing.
Do your best to avoid extreme facial expressions, like smiling or laughing, especially in your first few days after surgery. Try to wear clothes you can easily get on and off without disturbing your nose, and don’t rest glasses on your nose for at least four weeks after your surgery.
Whether you have difficulty breathing or are uncomfortable with the size or shape of your nose, getting the results you want is easier than you might have thought. In no time, you’ll have the nose you’ve always wanted.
If you have any further questions about rhinoplasty, or you want to schedule a consultation, contact us at Hanna Facial Cosmetic Surgery, in Hinsdale, IL.