Rhinoplasty: Balancing Out the Face

Millions of people every year turn to cosmetic surgeons to correct issues with the most central feature on the face – the nose. Some feel their nose is too large; others, too small. An unsightly lump or dip in the bridge of the nose may be the issue being addressed. For others, trouble breathing is what has driven them to seek help. Whatever the reason, rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a “nose job” or “nose reshaping” by those who have the procedure performed, is how many people seek to restore balance to their face.

Why should I consider rhinoplasty?

Since the nose is the largest, single feature on the face, it draws a lot of attention. If it seems out of balance with the rest of your face, you may feel self-conscious. Maybe an injury from an accident or playing sports or an issue you were born with makes breathing difficult. All of these problems and more can be addressed through rhinoplasty. A skilled cosmetic surgeon can correct

  • Nose size that may be creating an unbalanced look to the face.
  • Width of the bridge or nostrils.
  • Profile bumps or depressions on the bridge.
  • Nasal tip issues that create an unusual appearance.
  • Nostrils that may be unusually large, wide, and upturned.
  • Nasal asymmetry, although complete symmetry is not the goal since no one is completely symmetrical.
  • Obstructed airways that make breathing difficult.

Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

Those who are considering nose enhancement surgery to either correct the appearance of the nose or to improve their breathing need to consider whether they are a good candidate for the procedure. In order to ensure the best results, candidates should

  • Have a face that is no longer growing. For boys, that generally means being sixteen or older, and for girls, that means being fourteen or older.
  • Be healthy.
  • Be non-smokers.
  • Have an overall positive outlook and realistic goals for cosmetic surgery.

What kind of surgeon should I look for?

When choosing your cosmetic surgeon, keep in mind that your nose is the central feature of your face. You want to pick a surgeon that performs rhinoplasties on a regular basis as a good portion of their practice. Be sure to ask to view before and after pictures of previous patients, looking to see if the results are natural and aesthetically pleasing. Dr. Tolson is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, taking care to make sure that the results are both pleasing to the eye and completely natural in appearance. He is also certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons.

What is involved in a rhinoplasty?

Consultation

One of the first things you will do is schedule a consultation with Dr. Tolson. During this consult, you need to be prepared to discuss

  • The goals for breathing and appearance you expect to achieve through the procedure.
  • Your medical history.
  • Any current medical conditions you have.
  • Any drug allergies you may have.
  • The medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements.
  • Your alcohol and tobacco use.

Once Dr. Tolson has a complete understanding of your goals, he will discuss your reshaping options. He will examine and measure your face, take photos, and discuss the likely outcome of the procedure, including the potential risks that come with surgery.

Procedure

The procedure itself will be performed in Dr. Tolson’s AAAASF-certified operating room in Cumming, Georgia. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home after the surgery and remain with you the first night. Either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation combined with a local anesthesia may be used so that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Depending on exactly what is being done to your nose, Dr. Tolson may use one of the following procedures:

  • Open rhinoplasty. The doctor will place the incision under the tip of the nose between the nostrils. This is used when extensive reshaping of the nose is required. Scars are easily hidden within the natural creases of the nostrils and nasal tip.
  • Closed rhinoplasty. The incision is placed inside the nostril. A closed rhinoplasty can be used only for minor adjustments. Its advantage is that no visible scar is left.

To reshape the nose, cartilage may be either added or removed as needed. Usually, the cartilage that’s added is taken from middle of the nose (the septum), but it may be taken from the ear or rib cage if necessary. Absorbable sutures are generally used, so you won’t need to have any removed. When the doctor is finished, packing is generally placed in the nose to help support it; a splint may also be used. You will be taken to recovery and monitored before being released to return home.

What should I expect during the recovery process?

Before being discharged to go home, Dr. Tolson or a member of his staff will go over what to expect during the recovery process, proper care of the surgery site, and any warning signs of something being wrong. Some of the side effects you can expect are

  • Swelling around the nose and possibly the eyes is common. This should subside within the first two weeks. An ice pack may help reduce some of the discomfort and swelling. Please note that for the first year, you may experience some swelling around the nose first thing in the morning, but it should dissipate throughout the day. To help reduce this, sleep with your head elevated.
  • Also common, bruising may extend up to the eyes but should disappear within the first two weeks as well.
  • Difficulty breathing. Because of the packing in the nose and the swelling, having difficulty breathing is common for the first few days. As the swelling begins to subside and the packing is removed, breathing becomes easier.

Generally, patients can return to work within one to two weeks of surgery and can resume regular activities, minus impact activities, within three weeks. Be careful to avoid

  • Blowing your nose.
  • Hitting or jarring your nose.
  • Heavy lifting or exertion.
  • Sun exposure.
  • Pressure from glasses on the bridge of your nose.

Although the full results of your rhinoplasty may not be seen until the end of the first year, the results should last a lifetime. As your body ages, the shape of your nose will change some: This is only natural, but it should continue to be in balance with the rest of your face. If you’re considering a rhinoplasty, contact Dr. Tolson today, and place your nose in the hands of someone you can trust.

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Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Michael Tolson is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Put Dr. Tolson's years of cosmetic plastic surgery experience to work for you.

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