Introduction to Rhinoplasty Surgery

Introduction to Rhinoplasty Surgery

Would you like to change the shape and/or size of your nose? Well, in most cases, it's certainly possible, and I'll explain how in a moment. Before that, I want you to know that we are talking about the most common procedure in plastic surgery, considering both male and female populations. It is the most widely requested procedure overall.

This has a lot to do with the position of the nose. Its unique position makes it impossible to hide unless you resort to some kind of mask. However, that's not very practical. So, whether you like it or not, you have to expose it to the public. There are no alternatives.

I can also add that there are various attempts and behaviors aimed at obscuring or reducing its visibility: shadows created by long-brimmed caps, long hair falling loose on the sides of the face, large and flashy glasses taking all the attention, slightly unusual poses in photos and various selfies to avoid showing the profile... In short, the range is wide.

Given what has just been said, I want it to be clear that, more than in any other nose surgery, it is necessary to pursue a natural result. This is crucial to avoid constant puzzled looks.

But what is a "natural result"? I could tell you that it is achieved when you have a nose that is well-balanced and harmonious with the other parts of your face, both in terms of shape and size. In other words, you should have an immediate feeling of pleasantness when looking at it. When these principles are followed, you get a nose that doesn't stand out. The result becomes stigmatizing when these canons are not respected (e.g., a nose that is too small, a tip that is too raised, a dorsum that is too scooped, etc.). In this case, it becomes very noticeable to those who look at it, appearing "strange" or disharmonious compared to the rest of the face.

Therefore, given the delicacy of the issues involved in nose plastic surgery, it is crucial that you seek someone with extensive and demonstrable experience in the field. This does not guarantee a result, but it does substantially reduce the possibility of noticeable alterations that would require revision surgeries later.

How to Prepare for the First Visit for Rhinoplasty

If you've come this far, it probably means that you've been thinking about it for a long time. And perhaps you've been informing yourself, reading here and there or watching the numerous nose surgery videos available online. The time to consult with the surgeon may be ripe.

So, what to do now? What I recommend is trying to visualize and have a precise idea of what you don't like about your nose. This would already be an excellent starting point. It may seem like a very obvious thing, but it really isn't. It's not uncommon for me to receive patients who want to change their nose but don't know exactly what they don't like about it. They can't specify it.

The more precise you are in your request, the more easily I can approach your real expectations. This is a fundamental requirement for a satisfactory result. Bringing photos of noses you like would further help me define what you desire. This does not mean reproducing that particular nose exactly, let's be clear. But it contributes to having an even clearer idea of why you came to me.

The Preliminary Visit for Rhinoplasty: How to Approach It

Here you are in front of me now. Usually, arriving at this point means that exposing your nose daily has become an unsustainable problem. So... congratulations. You have taken an important first step in trying to give a different cut to your life. Especially to your confidence and ability to relate to others every day.

During this visit, after an examination of the anatomical part in question, I will go into details about what could be the improvement achievable with nose plastic surgery. I will propose a possible correction. I will show you photos of noses similar to yours that I have operated on, trying to make it as clear as possible what we can aim for. This is a point I care a lot about; having clear ideas about what can be done is crucial.

How to Prepare for Rhinoplasty

After the preliminary visit, the long-awaited hour is approaching. What's missing? First, you will need to undergo blood tests and an electrocardiogram. Sometimes, an X-ray or CT scan of the facial mass may be necessary. On the morning of the nose surgery, I will ask you to come to the clinic after taking a shower, fasting, with the results of the tests done, an identity document, and your tax code. The informed consent must be signed. It's only after completing these bureaucratic tasks that we will take the essential preoperative photos. Now you are ready for surgery.

What to Know About Rhinoplasty Surgery

Rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Its duration varies from 45 to 60 minutes. In the case of rhinoseptoplasty, it can sometimes last 90-120 minutes.

As for the surgical approach, rhinoplasty can involve only internal scars (closed rhinoplasty) or also require a small external scar at the base of the nose (open rhinoplasty). The choice between the two approaches is purely technical and strictly my prerogative. It has a lot to do with what I will have to do during the surgery. Of course, I will explain the reasons in detail.

Typical correction requests in rhinoplasty are for a smaller and/or more raised tip and for a reduction of the "bump" or "hump" on the dorsum. Sometimes, I am asked to intervene on the septum when it appears deviated. We are talking about rhinoseptoplasty in this case.

At this point, I want to add a couple of concepts. The most complicated noses to operate are those previously operated on (secondary rhinoplasty or beyond) or with sequelae of significant previous traumas. However, the position of "mission impossible" goes to the nose with significant sequelae from prolonged abuse of cocaine over the years. In these cases, sometimes the supporting structures are so damaged or missing that any surgical approach can become truly impossible.

At the end of the nose plastic surgery, I will insert the much-feared nasal packing. In reality, they are simple gauze pads soaked in Vaseline that are removed after 12-24 hours at most, without any related trauma. Discharge often occurs on the same day (only occasionally the next day), with a rigid plate on the nose.

Postoperative Period of Rhinoplasty: How It Unfolds

First of all, I can already tell you that avoiding a certain degree of swelling of the face combined with bruising around the eyes (when the fracture of the nasal bones has been performed) is an impossible task. The advice I can give you is to sleep for the first few days with the upper part of your body elevated. The application of cold compresses under the eyes in the first 24 hours is also important.

The rigid plate is removed after about 7 days, along with any external stitches. Bruises (or ecchymosis) under the eyes regress within 2-3 weeks. Like never before in this type of surgery, you will need to be a "patient" in the broadest sense of the term because the optimal aesthetic result will only be achieved after 8-12 months from the surgery. This does not mean that you won't see the results for this long. Immediately, as soon as you remove the rigid support, you may already notice about 70% of the final result. The rest will manifest progressively during the settling period. Massage on the nose will be necessary starting from the second postoperative week.

Nose plastic surgery is not inherently painful. However, the nose remains sensitive to the touch for a few weeks. Routine postoperative check-ups will be after 1, 2, and 4 weeks, 3 and 6-12 months. If necessary, additional check-ups may be added. You will return to work activities in 1 or 2 weeks. For sports, I recommend a full recovery after 4 weeks.

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