Rhinoplasty is intended to improve the form or external appearance of the nose to achieve a better facial balance and allow enhancement of other facial features, such as the eyes or mouth. In experienced hands, surgery to achieve such changes can lead to functional problems specifically related to nasal obstruction and a diminished sense of smell and taste. It is therefore critical to preserve, and at times strengthen the structural support of the nose during the Rhinoplasty procedure. Dr. Roy’s unique training in Otolaryngology – Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery in addition to Facial Plastic Surgery puts him in a unique position to achieve the aesthetic changes his patients’ desire while maintaining or enhancing the function of their nose.
A rhinoplasty consult with Dr. Roy is a very informative and illustrative experience, utilizing a variety of communication tools, including 3-D imaging software, to present treatment options and expected improvements.
When possible, Dr. Roy will utilize an endonasal technique (only internal incisions) for the procedure. In many cases, an open approach (adding a single external incision) is required in order to precisely contour the nose (especially when tip modification is sought) and reduce the risk of revision surgery.
Rhinoplasty sutures and splints are typically removed one week after surgery. Patients can resume low impact activities at 2 weeks, and high-impact activities (like running) at 3 weeks. Activities that have the potential to bump the nose should be avoided for 6 weeks.
Limited bruising and swelling is expected after the procedure, but significantly improves over the first two weeks. Minor residual swelling can be present up to 1 year following the surgery, but a final result can be appreciated between 6 weeks- 3 months following surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of anesthesia is used for rhinoplasty surgery?
Rhinoplasty is generally performed under general anesthesia, although in certain healthy patients undergoing a limited primary rhinoplasty, the procedure can be performed under IV sedation.
2. How does Dr. Roy perform rhinoplasty surgery?
Dr. Roy typically performs an open rhinoplasty procedure where a small external incision along the columella is connected with incisions on the inside of the nose to gain access to the underlying supportive network of nasal cartilage and bone under the skin. The cartilage and bone are then sculpted to match the patient’s desires, and the skin redraped. Stitches are used to close the incisions, and are removed approximately 6-7 days layer. Whenever possible, the procedure is performed through an endonasal or closed approach (only internal incisions). Dr. Roy will explain these options during the consultation.
3. How long does rhinoplasty surgery take to perform?
Rhinoplasty usually requires between two to three hours, but this varies slightly depending on each individual case and if any functional nasal surgery is performed at the same time.
4. Where are the incisions for rhinoplasty and will there be visible scars?
Dr. Roy utilizes two approaches for the rhinoplasty procedure. Closed or endonasal rhinoplasty uses incisions on the inside of the nose only. For open rhinoplasty, which allows better, undistorted visualization of the underlying nasal framework, an additional incision is made on the underside of the nose between the nostrils on the columella. This incision typically heals up beautifully and is barely perceptible. Dr. Roy has extensive experience with both approaches, and can adapt rhinoplasty techniques to match the specific needs of each case, including minimal refinement as well as more extensive work.
5. Will rhinoplasty surgery be painful?
Under general anesthesia, no pain is felt during the procedure. After your surgery, you may experience some discomfort, particularly in your nose, head and upper teeth. Dr. Roy utilizes the most advanced rhinoplasty techniques to minimize post-operative pain. Pain medication will be prescribed as needed to relieve discomfort.
6. What is recovery like after rhinoplasty surgery?
After your rhinoplasty surgery, there will be a moldable foam and aluminum splint on top of your nose. A small intranasal non-stick dressing is removed at home on the first post-operative day. The external splint and sutures are removed from the nose after 7 days. You might experience some minimal swelling, a dull headache and some nasal stuffiness and discomfort. Minor bleeding may be experienced, along with puffiness and bruising on the nose and under the eyes. These symptoms gradually fade within one week, and your results will become apparent in two to three weeks with continued improvement after that. Minor swelling may be experienced for the first year.
7. How much time off work will I need after rhinoplasty surgery?
This is generally dependent on the patient but most are able to return to work after 1-2 weeks (depending on type of work). The nose should be protected from any impact for several weeks after surgery to allow for appropriate healing.
8. When can I exercise after rhinoplasty surgery?
Light walking can be resumed after 1 week. Low impact physical activities (such as elliptical, weight lifting, exercise bike etc) can begin after 2 weeks while high impact activities need to be restricted for 3 weeks. Activities that could result in impact to the nose should be avoided for 6 weeks.