What is Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)?
At the literal center of our face, the nose plays a paramount role in the way our face is perceived. Rhinoplasty surgery, sometimes referred to as a nose job or nose surgery, involves reshaping the nose to create a more harmonious balance with the face. Here, millimeters can make dramatic changes. Virginia plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander Sailon pays close attention to detail so that you achieve a beautiful, natural result. Beyond the cosmetic benefits, Dr. Sailon can also address any preexisting nasal breathing issues concurrently.
Dr. Sailon’s additional training in cleft lip and nasal surgery has prepared him well to tackle the challenges of a rhinoplasty procedure. In addition, he is frequently sent patients from all around the DC metro area for nasal reconstruction, usually after removal of skin cancer.
Am I a candidate for a rhinoplasty?
Dr. Sailon believes it is paramount that each successful rhinoplasty surgery begins by carefully listening and understanding your concerns about your nose. Rhinoplasty can address a number of concerns including, but not limited to, a prominent bridge, drooping tip, nasal asymmetry, wide nose, or flaring nostrils.
Dr. Sailon will then carefully examine your nose and face to develop a treatment plan that best suits your needs. Your nasal function and airflow will also be assessed. Often times, rhinoplasty surgery has a two-fold benefit of improving the cosmetic appearance as well as opening the nasal passages to allow more air. Concerns about the nasal appearance and issues with breathing can be genetic or secondary to a traumatic injury.
Does rhinoplasty improve your nasal breathing?
Rhinoplasty surgery can improve the passage of air through your nose if there is a clear, mechanical problem causing an obstruction.
Deviated septum – a crooked septum (the dividing barrier between your right and left nostrils) can cause airflow to be limited on one or both sides. Rhinoplasty allows Dr. Sailon to remove and fix the crooked portions to relieve the obstruction.
Nasal valve collapse – the internal or external nasal valves represent areas of potential restriction within the nose. Hidden cartilage grafts placed during surgery can be used to support the valves and open them for improved breathing.
Enlarged turbinates – turbinates make up the outer wall inside the nose. The turbinates may be enlarged for a number of reasons. In select cases, reducing the size of the turbinates will benefit the nasal airflow.
What are the different types of rhinoplasty?
There are two technical approaches that Dr. Sailon employs frequently in his practice: the open rhinoplasty and the closed rhinoplasty.
Both place hidden incisions within the nose to allow access to the bony and cartilaginous framework of the nose. The open rhinoplasty approach adds a very small, inconspicuous scar through the narrowest part of the columella (the bridge of skin between the right and left nostrils).
Both techniques have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Sailon has been trained in both and will decide which is best for your unique situation during your consultation.
WHAT ABOUT A NON-INVASIVE RHINOPLASTY?
There are some who will be a good candidate for a “liquid rhinoplasty” which entails the use of injectable fillers (such as Juvederm or Restylane) to enhance the appearance of the nose. Please refer to the section on a non-surgical nose job for further information.
WHAT IF I HAVE A WEAK CHIN?
A prominent nose can also be accompanied by a weak chin. To restore harmony to the face, Dr. Sailon can make the chin stronger via a number of techniques. A chin implant is the most commonly used method and allows a customized silicone implant to be placed beneath the skin. This feels and looks very natural and will not move artificially when smiling or chewing. The chin can also be augmented by injecting fillers or fat in certain people.
PREPARING FOR A RHINOPLASTY
Prior to surgery, Dr. Sailon will meet with you and examine your nose and face. Photographs will be taken and a “morph” (or surgical simulation) will often be provided in order for you to have a general sense of what to expect from surgery.
Dr. Sailon believes in providing the greatest level of safety and comfort for his patients and operates exclusively at fully-accredited operating rooms with board-certified anesthesiologists. The operation takes about 2-3 hours depending on the degree of complexity and work required.
What is the Recovery from a Rhinoplasty Procedure?
After your rhinoplasty procedure, you will be cared for in the recovery room. Once your comfort is ensured, you will go home with a friend or relative. You will be encouraged to very gently apply cold compresses around your eyes to minimize swelling and bruising. Sleeping with your head up is preferable during the first few days after plastic surgery. Most take 1 week off from work or school to recover.
To protect the nose, a small nasal splint (or partial cast) will be applied to the bridge of your nose during surgery. You are discouraged from wearing glasses while the splint is in place. The splint is removed about one week after surgery during your visit with Dr. Sailon. Afterward, you may slowly resume exercise. Contact sports or situations where nasal trauma can occur should be avoided for 6 weeks.