With nasal surgery, the goal must be a beautiful nose which is natural in appearance. Size and shape should be balanced for the face. The sculptor’s eye is critical!
-Andrew Barnett, MD
Whether due to inheritance or accident, we are sometimes unhappy with the shape of our nose. Rhinoplasty, or nasal surgery, provides a safe and permanent way to change that shape. Using the newest techniques, nasal surgery provides the opportunity to produce a natural appearing nose which is refined and balanced.
How is rhinoplasty performed?
Through tiny incisions, mostly located inside the nose, small instruments are placed under the skin to reshape and refine the bones and cartilage of your nose.
Is there pain during and after the surgery?
As with all surgery, anesthetic is used during the operation. This can be either local or general, depending on your wishes. While you’ll feel stuffy from the swelling inside the nose after surgery, patients generally report that there is little if any pain. Medication for discomfort will, of course, be available, but most patients require very little.
What areas of the nose can be changed?
Concerns about the nose fall into areas of specific concern: ·The tip ·The width ·The profile ·The nostrils Generally, the nose can be made smaller, larger, narrower, or simply given a better shape without changing the overall size. All of these areas can be addressed with nasal surgery, providing a natural appearing nose which fits your face. The goal, after all, is to improve your appearance, to provide better balance and refinement.
What about recovery time?
After surgery, a splint is placed over your nose to support the new shape. This stays on for five to seven days. When the splint is removed, the nose remains slightly swollen for four to six weeks, though this is not generally noticeable after two weeks. Black and blue around the eyes may be present for five to ten days, but if present can generally be concealed after the seventh day with light cosmetics. Most patients plan one week away from work, and three weeks of limited activity.
Will surgery help my breathing?
In many patients, a deviation of the wall separating the two sides of the nose, called the septum, makes breathing difficult. This is due to an obstruction as the curved septum touches the side walls of the nose. Frequently, the stuffiness is worse with mild allergies or a cold, and can be the cause of “sinus headaches”. If this is your problem, a separate procedure, performed either separately or at the same time as the rhinoplasty, can generally eliminate the obstruction. This procedure is called a septoplasty. Other structures in the nose, such as turbinates or polyps, may contribute to the obstruction. If this is the case, they can be altered at surgery.
Does insurance pay for nasal surgery?
Insurance companies will usually pay for procedures which correct a “functional problem”, such as obstruction of breathing. If you have problems with deviation of the septum, you may receive some assistance, the amount depending on the particular company. Also, if the problem with your nose is due to an accident, insurance will generally cover a portion of the cost. We can assist you in the paperwork involved in submitting a claim.
How do I know what shape nose is right for me?
In the past, patients who’ve had “nose jobs” could be easily identified by the standard shape of the nose. Observant people could even identify which surgeon performed the operation by the “signature style” of the nose. Modern techniques of rhinoplasty strive to create a nose which does not appear operated upon and fits well to the face. This means that if you have a large face, a small upturned nose is probably not right for you. Conversely, if you have a large hump, with otherwise classic features, a straight nose with a refined tip is the goal.
Do you have computer imaging?
Computer imaging, a technology whereby a digital photograph of a patient is put on a computer, then manipulated electronically, is an excellent tool for educating the Doctor and the patient as to the expectations and possible results. This technology has been available in our office for the last decade and is an invaluable tool in planning nasal surgery. It is important to realize that results shown on the computer are an ideal, not reality and that your result may differ due to limitations of your tissues and surgical techniques. We work together to provide you with the nose that fits you the best, appearing balanced and natural for your face.
Are there other procedures that can help the appearance of my nose?
It is not uncommon for people with large noses to have small, somewhat receded chins. This produces a profile which greatly exaggerates the prominence of the nose. Along with reducing the nose, a simple procedure can be done to enlarge the chin, dramatically balancing the face. This procedure is called chin augmentation and is done through a small incision inside the mouth or under the chin. Healing time is no longer than with a standard rhinoplasty.
Are there risks to nasal surgery?
While all surgery has risks, and rhinoplasty is no exception, these risks are small. Bleeding, infection and scarring may occur. Irregularities from surgery or your body’s healing process may appear. Secondary surgery is sometimes required. Short-term stuffiness following surgery is expected, while persistent breathing problems are unusual. Risks of anesthesia, while present, are quite minimal. This information is provided not to frighten you, but to help you make an informed decision.
Should I have an operation on my nose?
That’s a question only you can answer. At your consultation, ask questions and explain your desires and expectations. Together, we’ll work to make the decision that’s right for you.
To learn more about what you can expect during a Nasal Surgery, or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Barnett at either his San Francisco or Walnut Creek office, please complete the form on this page or call 415-362-1221