Nose Surgery: Rhinoplasty & Nasal Airway Surgery

Rhinoplasty is the art of reshaping the nose; the goal of the operation is to improve the shape and function of the nose.

The nose is located in the center of the face and is more prominent than the other parts of the face, which makes even the most minor nasal deformities so obvious that it tends to dominate the scene.

Every day my patients bring me pictures of movie stars and cover girls with beautiful noses, to me a beautiful nose is a nose that “fits” your face; which means it should look natural and in harmony with all your other facial features.

There is no “best” age for rhinoplasty but there is a “minimum” age that you can’t go below. The reason for that is you can’t operate on a nose which is still growing so you have to wait till the nose is fully developed before planning any rhinoplasty. Usually, the nose is fully developed by the age of 15 in girls and 17 in boys.

That is a very important question because people tend to forget that the main function of the nose is breathing. Nasal airway reconstruction should be an integral part of any rhinoplasty, as the operation is considered successful only when the patient will look better and breathe better after surgery.

Generally the fewer people you tell about your proposed operation the better. By all means discuss your decision with close friends, as they will be in a position to give you sympathetic and unbiased advice. In contrast to this, your family members; having known you from childhood, usually are emotionally inclined to advise you against having any facial alterations despite your wishes.

With your consent, we will take photos of your nose which will help us to do computer imaging during your consultation. This gives you the chance to see how your nose will look after surgery and the effect it would have on your overall facial appearance. For the surgeon, computer imaging helps to get an idea of what the patient likes and dislikes about his nose because at the end of the day many noses can fit a patient’s face but there is only one nose that would make him happy. Computer imaging can help the surgeon find that nose.

Rhinoplasty can be done under general or local anesthesia, it takes an hour and a half on average and the patient is discharged on the same day of surgery.

The patients are usually surprised by the fact that they don’t experience any pain after surgery. Your nose will be covered by a nasal splint and there may be a small pack in the nose (if you had nasal airway surgery), this pack is removed the next morning and you will be shown how to apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment in the nostrils which will keep the inside of your nose clean and comfortable. You will be advised to sleep with the head of the bed raised for 3 days to avoid facial swelling.  Bruising and discolorations should not usually occur but in case they do; they should disappear within a few days.

One week after surgery the nasal splint is removed, your nose will be a little puffy but will look very acceptable and you will be able to return to work. You will be most surprised to find that most of the people will not recognize that you had a nose job although everyone will comment on the improvement in your appearance. For the first 6 weeks, you should avoid wearing eyeglasses or getting involved in contact sports to avoid any accidental trauma to the nose.

The success rate depends on many factors; some are related to the patient’s healing criteria and postoperative care and whether the nose was previously operated or not. However, the main factor in the success rate depends on the surgeon’s experience. Our published statistics show that over 95% of our patients thought their results met or even exceeded their expectations.

The best chance to get a perfect result is on your first surgery because all the anatomy is preserved and the tissues are fresh and healing is better. However, more than half of my patients are revision rhinoplasties who had failed surgeries done elsewhere, in many of these cases I find that nothing was done wrong in their first surgery except that the doctor failed to understand what the patient wanted.

I consider good communication between the patient and his doctor to be the first step towards a successful rhinoplasty. Revision cases are technically much more difficult to handle and only an expert rhinoplasty surgeon can improve their complex aesthetic and functional problems.