By Denise Freese
Although the word “rhinoplasty” conjures up images of large-horned beasts in Africa, the term actually refers to a surgical procedure that reshapes the nose; it can improve both its appearance and proportion, and in many cases can also correct breathing issues associated with the nose.
Candidates for rhinoplasty surgery may desire the procedure due to aesthetic concerns. These patients are unhappy with their nose, claiming it is too large, too wide or has a large bump. Some don’t like their profile, or believe the tip of their nose isn’t defined enough (too bulbous). Some feel their nose has a “boxy tip”, where the cartilage configuration is spread too far apart. The surgery addresses these issues, enhancing facial harmony along with correcting the proportions of the nose in relation to the face.
Rhinoplasty surgery can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose, according to Dr. Robert Paresi, Plastic Surgeon. “The bone and cartilage between the two sides of the interior of the nose, called the septum, may be deviated, which obstructs or narrows the nasal airway,” said Dr. Paresi. “This can cause snoring or situations where the nose collapses with deep breaths. Adjusting the nasal structure in these cases helps produce better alignment to relieve breathing difficulties.” While rhinoplasty for functional reasons is usually covered by insurance, cosmetic surgery is typically not.
The surgery itself is an outpatient procedure, with the patient receiving general anesthesia. Recovery time is 4-6 weeks for the bones to heal, but can take up to 6 months for minor swelling to disappear. Fortunately, 90-95% of patients have no swelling after just 4 weeks. Dr. Paresi has his patients return for a follow-up visit one week after surgery. Stitches usually dissolve on their own, so no removal is necessary. For more information about rhinoplasty, please contact: