A nose for aesthetics
Nose correction surgery, also referred to as rhinoplasty, is an invasive and difficult form of plastic surgery because of the complexity of this organ. The enormous psychological impact on one’s self-image caused by a change in shape of the nose makes it a very emotional experience. Careful analysis of the current shape as well as the complaints leading to the decision and the desired change is therefore required in order to obtain the best results.
Who comes under consideration for rhinoplasty?
Any patient who is not satisfied with his nose can undergo rhinoplasty. A nose with a bump, a crooked nose, a big nose and a less attractive nose tip are the main indications for rhinoplasty. The operation can be performed from the age of eighteen up until senior citizens. It is important that the patient has realistic expectations.
The first consultation
During the first consultation, the surgeon listens very carefully to your wishes and makes an evaluation of your expectations. A picture will be taken. These digital pictures can be edited (with computer) in order to show the patient what can be expected from the operation.
You will receive extensive instructions in order to prepare properly for the operation. This includes instructions on what you are allowed to eat and drink before the operation and which considerations to take into account when on medication. If you have unexpectedly caught a cold, the treatment has to be delayed. It is necessary to arrange for someone to pick you up and take you home safely.
You can choose between local or general anaesthesia. Pros and cons are discussed during the first consultation with the surgeon. General anaesthesia is preferred in case of a full nose correction including surgery to the bone. Local anaesthesia is only possible in case of a nose tip correction.
There are two procedures for cosmetic nose reshaping. In the first place, there is the so-called “closed technique” in which the operation is performed through the nostrils. In this case, the scars are located in the nose. The biggest advantage is that there is no scar visible on the outside, but this technique has also many disadvantages. The operation is carried out blindly, so to speak, because the surgeon has a very limited view.
Therefore, the operation is usually performed using the “open technique” where a small incision is made in the skin underneath the nasal septum. The scar will therefore be nearly invisible, as you can see on the pictures. Open rhinoplasty allows a much better view of the nose and this allows for a more precise reshaping with a more predictable result.
When you have trouble breathing through your nose as a result of a crooked nasal septum, this can also be resolved during surgery.
After the operation
After the operation, an internal bandage (tampon) and external bandage (plaster cast) are placed in and over the nose. The tampon is removed after two days. You can also do that yourself. The external bandage is removed after one week. During this period, most of the swelling and possible discolouration of the eyelids and cheeks will have disappeared.
The nose will be stiff, swollen and (in)sensitive after removal of the external bandage. Therefore you will not be able to see the final result of your nose operation. Bruising after surgery disappears within about a week and does not give permanent discolourations. After the operation you can have some discomfort but generally no pain. Exercising is forbidden up to six weeks after the operation. Make sure you do not sneeze or blow your nose too strongly. Glasses with a heavy frame are also forbidden. We recommend you to lift the head of your bed or sleep with some extra pillows to have the swelling disappear more quickly.
The surgeon informs you of the possible complications of this procedure. The risk of bleeding is minimized by using special tampons. Possible infections can be treated with antibiotics. The sense of smell remains unaffected after rhinoplasty. Your nose may remain swollen and sensitive for a long time. The final result is revealed about one year after surgery.
It takes six to twelve months before the feeling and normal flexibility of the nose return and that is a sign that the internal healing is complete. A nose correction is forever. Your nose may slightly change with ageing but the new shape remains.