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How Does Rhinoplasty Work?

Are you unhappy with your nose, or perhaps you experience difficulty breathing? Don’t worry anymore because Rhinoplasty delivers the solution you need. Whether you want reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, getting a nose job gives you a completely different look. No matter what you’re looking for in a new nose, our team at Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI, will give you top-tier care and results.

Rhinoplasty, also called “nose job,” is a standard solution for patients unhappy with their nose’s shape or size. Apart from cosmetic benefits, the procedure has more versatile applications like improving nasal function after an illness or traumatic injury or helping with breathing problems that affect sleep and exercise. Therefore, this surgery aims to revise the nose to suit the patient’s desired functionality and appearance without forgetting skin type and face architecture.

How Does Rhinoplasty Work?

Most patients that get a nose job have their unique reasons. Your specific reason will determine the nose job type you’ll get after an initial consultation with our doctor. It’s vital to note that nose jobs are classified into two: functional nose jobs and cosmetic nose jobs.

1. Functional Nose Jobs

A functional nose job is for those seeking to fix a problem with how their nose works. There are different reasons why a patient will pursue a functional nose job, such as the cartilage septum being deviated or nasal passages being too narrow. Deviated septum usually occurs naturally or as a result of an injury.

Also, patients may seek functional nose jobs due to allergies or sinus infections that cause the turbinates (nasal concha) to become elongated. These shell-shaped structures are made of blood vessels, bone, and other tissues and may become swollen and inhibit airflow. Supposing it turns out to be a chronic problem, a turbinate reduction may help by removing tissue to make more space for airflow.

2. Cosmetic Nose Jobs

Cosmetic nose jobs are for individuals whose noses work just fine but desire to change the shape or size for aesthetic purposes. One main reason for this nose job is an asymmetry of some kind; perhaps your nose size isn’t proportional to your face and throws off your facial symmetry. Maybe you’re not pleased with the size of your nose or the width or the position of your nostrils; fixing a crucial nose area may improve facial symmetry.

Plastic surgeons are skilled in addressing different nose areas at once. There are two practical approaches to nose jobs: the endonasal approach (closed approach) and the external approach (open approach). With the help of a surgeon, you’ll be able to know the best approach for your needs.

I). Endonasal Approach

A closed endonasal approach is perfect for minor changes to a nose. With this approach, all incisions are done inside the nostrils to prevent visible scarring around your nose. Although this approach leaves no visible scarring, it has unique limitations, which you must understand as a patient.

The endonasal approach is excellent for minor, simple fixes since it doesn’t allow the doctor to access the underlying nasal structure fully. Moreover, the skin may not be repositioned fully when the nasal cavities are not attached. However, if you’re only interested in a minor change, this approach is perfect since it doesn’t require extensive repositioning or a full nose view.

II). External Approach

The external approach is mostly suggested for those looking for significant changes to their nose. For an external or open nose job, our surgeon will make a small bridging incision known as a trans-columellar incision that connects the nostrils and allows the nasal skin to be folded upwards, enabling the surgeon to access the underlying structure.

If you need serious changes to your nasal structure or have complicated nasal issues, and an external nose job is a suitable option for you. The best thing is that, when healed, the trans-columellar incision is often invisible.

What To Expect

Before a rhinoplasty surgery, you’ll have to consult with our surgeon to ensure we all are on the same page. Here, you’ll let the doctor know what you’re looking for in a nose job, including what you want to accomplish. Also, the surgeon will examine your medical history and inquire about any medications you take.

The doctor performs a medical exam by closely examining the skin on the inside and outside the nose and letting you know what changes can be made to achieve your desired nose. The doctor will take pictures of your nose from various angles and later use them for reference during the surgery and assessing the results. The surgeon may order a blood test or other blood tests to ensure your body is ready for surgery.

Health Precautions

Patients are advised to avoid painkillers that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for at least two weeks before and after the surgery. Medications with these substances may slow down your body’s blood-clotting process, leading to more bleeding. Being open about the supplements and medications you take will help your doctor advise you on the ones that are safe to continue and those you should avoid using before surgery.

In general, smokers have more difficulty recovering from surgeries, and nose jobs are not an exception. Cigarettes slow down the recovery process since the nicotine constricts your blood vessels, leading to less oxygen and blood circulating and healing the tissues. Smokers are encouraged to stop smoking before and after the surgery to help with the healing process.

The Day of the Procedure

It’s safe for you to get your Rhinoplasty done in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or in an outpatient surgical facility, but the degree of the work will determine the kind of anesthesia that you’ll receive. A pretty simple procedure may only require local anesthesia to the nose to numb your face. The doctor may give you anesthesia via an IV line to make you groggy, but you’ll still be awake,

In other cases, patients are given general anesthesia to make them unconscious during the surgery. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon will begin to make incisions inside or between your nostrils to separate your skin from the cartilage and start reshaping underlying structures. Depending on your individual needs, a small amount of cartilage needed for reshaping will be removed from your ear or deep inside your nostrils, but if more is required, you may get a bone graft or implant.

Recovering From a Nose Job

After the surgery, the surgeon may place a plastic or metal splint on your nose to retain the new shape during the recovery period. Also, he will insert splints or nasal packs in the nostrils to support your septum (the piece between your nose). You’ll be under doctor’s observation for several hours to ensure you’re doing well; if that’s the case, you may be able to go home later that day.

You’ll need someone to drive you home since you receive anesthesia during the procedure. Supposing the process is more complicated, you may be required to stay in the hospital for a day or two to help you recover. As you rest and recover, make sure your head is kept high above your chest to help yourself heal more quickly.


You’ll need to get lots of rest after your surgery before you can return to your daily activities. Strenuous activities such as running or those that may expose your nose to water, like swimming, should be avoided for several weeks after the surgery. Avoid blowing your nose and eat soft foods only to avoid excessive chewing.

Do not wear clothes that have to be pulled over your head as you might damage your nose. Also, try to reduce the facial expressions you make that require movement, like smiling and laughing. Therefore, how you take care of your nose after your surgery will determine the results — follow your doctor’s instructions for proper aftercare.

Get Your Desired Nose

Nose jobs are the best remedies to change everything you want about your nose. A nose job will reshape your nose to improve facial symmetry and help with problems affecting your breathing. Thanks to Rhinoplasty, you can get your perfect nose, allowing you to reshape your nasal structure completely.

Invest in yourself today and have your nose changed to feel more comfortable and confident in your skin. Talking to a specialist will help you understand how Rhinoplasty works for you. If you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation, call us today at 269-280-2311 to talk to our team or visit us at Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI.


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