Rhinoplasty is plastic surgery performed to alter the size or shape of the nose or to restore proper function to the nasal structures. Many people turn to rhinoplasty when they are unhappy with the look of their noses and want a more aesthetic appearance.
If you are thinking about getting rhinoplasty, it may be comforting to know you’re not alone. Over 220,000 people had surgical nose reshaping procedures in 2013.
The most common rhinoplasties are called Open Rhinoplasty and Closed Rhinoplasty. A plastic surgeon may also be required to perform a Revision Rhinoplasty, also called a Secondary Rhinoplasty. For minor changes to the nose, there is also a non-surgical procedure called Filler Rhinoplasty.
Here are the four basic cosmetic and medical nose reshaping procedures:
The Open Rhinoplasty procedure is used for major nose reshaping. During this surgery, the doctor will make an incision in the strip of skin separating the nostrils. With the skin and soft tissue lifted off, the surgeon can see and work with the underlying nasal anatomy.
The advantages of Open Rhinoplasty are giving the surgeon a direct visualization of the cartilage and other nasal anatomy, and the ability to manipulate nasal shape with more control and precision.
With a Closed Rhinoplasty, the incisions are made within the nose. Then, as in an Open Rhinoplasty, the skin is separated from the bone and cartilage, allowing the surgeon access to the underlying structure. The bone and cartilage can then be reshaped, removed or augmented to achieve the desired shape or structural correction.
In addition to the location of the incision, and the small resultant scar closed rhinoplasty has the advantage of decreased amount of time in surgery, less swelling and less postoperative healing time.
(Your surgeon will discuss these procedures with you and tell you which one he or she thinks is right for the surgical work needing to be done.)
Revision Rhinoplasty is also known as Secondary Rhinoplasty because it’s a second surgery performed to correct problems that have developed and persist after a previous surgical procedure on the nose.
The problem could be one of appearance. Perhaps the patient does not like the outcome of the first surgery. Or a revision rhinoplasty may have to be performed due to some structural difficulty or because of a trauma to accident occurring after a person has already had nose altering surgery.
Sometimes it is a minor problem that can be easily fixed in an office visit. Other times the problem can be complex, making the correction more difficult to perform than the initial surgery. Secondary rhinoplasty can be done either with an open or a closed procedure.
In a Filler Rhinoplasty procedure, your doctor will use injectable fillers to change the shape of your nose. With this non-surgical approach the doctor can smooth out sharp angles and bumps, change the shape of the tip of the nose and restore a certain amount of symmetry. Since filler rhinoplasty is an augmentation procedure, that is, material is being added, it cannot reduce the size of someone’s nose.
Some commonly used fillers for this non-surgical rhinoplasty are hyaluronic acid (Restalyne, Juvederm) or calcium hydroxyapatite (Radiesse).
Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure and will not correct medical problems such as a deviated septum.