What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is cosmetic surgery of the nose. It is also known as nasal refinement or a “nose job.” With rhinoplasty, defects or asymmetries from either birth or trauma can be corrected by breaking the bones of the nose and re-setting them in the desired shape, often narrow and straight. A hump may be removed to give a more pleasing appearance and the nasal bones may be straightened for a more symmetrical.
Who can have nose surgery and when?
Extensive nasal surgery is generally avoided in children. There are major growth centers in the nose that affect the growth of the face. In cases of severe disfigurement due to accidents, surgery is performed in an attempt to restore the alignment of those centers. For lesser deformities, surgery is deferred until after the child stops growing. Rhinoplasties performed on teenagers and young adults, it seems, are often beneficial to the social development and self-confidence of the individual. The aging process is reflected in many ways in the nose, and its correction can add youthfulness and freshness to the appearance.
How is rhinoplasty performed?
First, Dr. Leo Lapuerta will discuss your goals with you and will explain what can be realistically achieved. A good surgeon will not just slim, shorten or lengthen you nose. He will take your facial features and bone structure into account and determine what will benefit them. Some patients require a slimmer, more defined or perhaps more “turned up” nose. Many times, it is only a hump that must be removed, making it unnecessary to even have a full rhinoplasty. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nose surgery.
Usually, light sleep anesthesia or general anesthesia is used. The patient usually arrives early, and oral medications are administered and supplemented with intravenous medication. After you are “asleep” and your vital signs are determined as safe and stable, local anesthesia is then applied to the nose. Surgery generally lasts about one and a half hours. The patient experiences no pain during the surgery. A splint or cast is applied and will be worn for approximately 7 days. Many patients remember very little about the surgery. After the procedure is completed, the patient then recovers in a relaxed environment and is monitored for a couple of hours before being driven home by a companion. You absolutely cannot drive yourself home after any procedure.
What should I expect during recovery?
After your surgery, Dr. Lapuerta will place a pressure dressing over your eyes and a gauze pad underneath your nose to catch blood and mucous. You will remove the pressure dressing after a few hours or as specified by him. You may become sick from ingested blood during the procedure and vomit, expelling a black mixture of stomach acid and blood. This will pass as soon as the blood is expelled. It really isn’t that much so you shouldn’t be sick for long unless you were under general anesthesia and are sensitive to it. If you continue to vomit and/or run a high fever, contact our office immediately.
Your nose will be sensitive for approximately a month and a half although patients report no serious pain or discomfort. However, patients do report the discomfort of breathing with the packing and cast on the nose. Some patients feel claustrophobic feeling as if they cannot breathe. This feeling widely resembles a head cold or sinus infection. Only when the cast is removed do you feel pain again, unless you bump it accidentally.
If you live in the Houston area or surrounding areas such as Pearland, Sugar Land or Friendswood and would like to learn more about rhinoplasty, please contact Dr. Leo Lapuerta, Jr., today to schedule your initial consultation.