Nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, is an operation performed to change the appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty can involve reducing the size of the nose, removing a bony hump, refining the nasal tip, narrowing the nasal bridge, reducing nostril flare, and altering the angle between the nose and upper lip. This procedure can also correct previous nasal injuries and nasal birth defects. Usually unrelated to appearance, breathing problems can also be addressed during a rhinoplasty.
Our board-certified plastic surgeons—Dr. Brian Braithwaite and Dr. Lorri Cobbins—are highly experienced in performing rhinoplasty to address both cosmetic and functional concerns. By customizing treatment to meet the unique needs and goals of each individual, they can help patients achieve a more desirable, proportionate nasal contour and improved overall facial harmony with natural-looking results.
Determining Candidacy for Rhinoplasty
To determine if you are a good candidate for nose surgery, your doctor will review your health history and perform an examination during your consultation. They will ask you how you would like your nose improved, and also inquire about any allergy history and previous nose surgery. Your doctor will carefully examine both the inside and outside of your nose, assessing skin thickness, bone position, cartilage shape, and any breathing concerns. Preoperative photos will also take during your visit. During the consultation, your doctor will aim to gain a complete understanding your goals and desires, as well as review available techniques and limitations based on your specific case.
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
Dr. Braithwaite and Dr. Cobbins perform both open and closed rhinoplasty. With the open approach, your doctor will make a small incision across the columella, the narrow strip of skin between the nostrils. They will then elevate the nasal skin, providing generous access to the relevant structures. In closed rhinoplasty, or the endonasal approach, Dr. Braithwaite and Dr. Cobbins only make incisions within the nostrils, providing less direct visualization. Each technique has its advantages depending on the desired alterations, and both can be performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. During your consultation, your doctor will discuss your approach options with you to determine the most effective method for your needs and goals.
Recovery from Rhinoplasty
“Dr. Brian Braithwaite is the most competent, concerned, and dedicated physician I have encountered…He is meticulous in his patient care, completely dedicated to their well-being.”
Following rhinoplasty, an external nasal splint will often be applied to maintain the new shape of the nose during the initial healing period, and nasal packing may be inserted inside the nose if needed. Some degree of bruising and/or swelling in and around the nose is typical, though these side effects are temporary and should subside with time. A significant amount of pain is rare, but any soreness or discomfort can usually be alleviated with medication. Most patients may drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medicine. Despite this resumption of normal daily routines, any heavy lifting, intense exercise, and/or other strenuous physical activities will need to be avoided for a minimum of several weeks to ensure the nose heals fully and properly.
Dr. Cobbins and Dr. Braithwaite have answered several frequently asked questions regarding rhinoplasty to help you become more informed about this nasal procedure:
Q: What improvements can be made to the nose with rhinoplasty?
A: The rhinoplasty procedure can be personalized to address multiple areas of the nose based on each patient’s particular needs and goals. The following are specific enhancements that can be made to the different parts of the nose:
- Nasal Bridge: The nasal bridge can be straightened, thinned/widened, or increased/decreased in size.
- Nasal Tip: The nasal tip can be enlarged/reduced in size, and its shape can be made wider or narrower. In addition, the angle of the tip can be raised or lowered
- Nostrils: The nostrils can be reshaped to improve their proportions and symmetry, as well as to enhance nasal breathing.
- Septum: A deviated septum can be repaired and properly realigned to help improve nasal breathing.
Q: Is there a difference between male and female rhinoplasty?
A: The fundamental surgical technique used for rhinoplasty is not different for women versus men—the open rhinoplasty approach will involve a incision placed across the columella, and closed rhinoplasty will be performed through incisions made within the nostrils. That being said, female and male rhinoplasties do often differ in regard to variances among common characteristics and cosmetic desires of both genders. For example, the female nasal bridge is typically narrower and less prominent in comparison to that of males who share the same ethnicity. In addition, the angle between the nose and upper lip is usually slightly greater for most women than it is for males.
It is important to note, however, that regardless of what is considered “normal” for male or females noses, rhinoplasty procedures performed at The Aesthetic Institute of Chicago will always be customized to meet each individual’s needs and desires.
Q: Will I have noticeable scars after rhinoplasty?
A: If an open rhinoplasty is performed, a slight scar may form where the incision is made at the base of the columella. Fortunately, the majority of patients find that this scar is virtually invisible once fully healed. In the event the closed rhinoplasty technique is utilized, all incisions are made inside the nose, so no scarring will be apparent.
Q: How much does rhinoplasty cost?
A: Since every rhinoplasty performed at our practice is individually tailored to suit the patient’s unique needs and goals, the cost of rhinoplasty varies on a case by case basis. Factors that can influence the overall expense of treatment include which technique is performed, how many parts of the nose are being addressed, the overall complexity of the operation, and whether or not rhinoplasty is combined with another procedure. After thoroughly discussing all of these components at the time of the consultation, your doctor can provide a personalized estimate of the total cost.
Q: Can rhinoplasty be combined with other facial treatments?
A: For individuals whose aesthetic concerns are not limited to the nose, rhinoplasty can often be combined with other surgical and/or non-surgical treatments for a more comprehensive facial enhancement. Some of the most common procedures our patients choose to receive along with rhinoplasty include dermal fillers and injectables, eyelid surgery, facial fat grafting, KYBELLA®, and even facelift surgery. After listening to your goals and assessing your specific needs, our doctors can formulate a treatment plan that will help you achieve the facial aesthetic you desire with beautiful, natural-looking results.
For more information about nose surgery or to schedule a consultation at our Chicago plastic surgery practice, please contact us via email or call (312) 361-8108 today.