It’s no wonder that rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is an extremely popular procedure, considering our noses are one of our most prominent facial features. When you don’t like how it looks, it can make you feel extremely self-conscious and hiding it really isn’t an option. Sometimes people are born with a nose shape or size they’re not thrilled about and other times, aging or injury causes unwanted changes to its appearance. Nose jobs will produce lasting results that are as subtle or dramatic as you want. The procedure can bring your features into balance by changing the size, shape or position of your nose. Plus, by fixing structural issues, you’ll be able to breathe better and sleep more soundly. That’s not even to mention the huge confidence boost that comes with loving what you see in the mirror. We know the idea of surgery can be intimidating and some people don’t know where to start. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common questions we receive from our Houston rhinoplasty patients to give you some important nose surgery facts.
1. Can doctors perform in-office surgery? If so, what are the licensing and accrediting bodies?
This is a question we love to hear at our Houston cosmetic surgery practice. It shows that the patient did their homework. Safety is so, so important. Nose surgery can be performed in the hospital or in the office. If it will be performed in the surgeon’s office, then the surgery center has to be accredited. Premiere Surgical Arts is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). This means we abide by the AAAHC’s stringent standards for safety and patient care and we engage in self-evaluation, peer review and education to continuously improve. Our surgical facility also receives thorough, on-site surveys by AAHC surveyors at least every three years to make sure we’re upholding the standards. Other governing bodies responsible for accrediting surgery centers include the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO) and the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).
2. Am I a good candidate for nose surgery?
To determine if rhinoplasty is the best course of action for your needs, you’ll have to have a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. It depends on the individual patient, their health and their nose. While patients of all ages have had nose jobs, we usually try to wait until the nose and face are done growing so the results are stable. If your nose is too large or too small in proportion to your face; it’s crooked or asymmetrical; there are structural problems that effect your breathing and cause congestion; you have a dorsal hump (a bump on the nose bridge); the nasal tip is too big, drooping or too elevated; you’ve had an injury and want to restore your nose to how it looked before; your nostrils are extremely flared or you’re just not happy with how your nose fits your face, you could benefit from rhinoplasty.
3. What surgical technique do you recommend for me?
There are several different types of nose surgery and surgical techniques. The exact approach we take will depend on your nose, the extent of surgery needed and your goals for the procedure. Typically, Dr. Jung uses either the open technique or the closed technique with or without grafts. With open rhinoplasty, the incision is made in the skin that separates the nostrils. In closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made inside of the nose so they’re not visible at all. Nose reshaping is achieved by rearranging, reducing or augmenting the underlying bone and cartilage. If the width of the nose is too wide, we may opt to narrow the nasal bones. If the tip is too big, we can sculpt the cartilage to make it smaller. On the flip side of the equation, when areas of the nose are too small, we can utilize cartilage or soft tissue grafts to build them up for better facial balance. We can also sculpt the nasal support structure to alter the angles of the nose.
4. What results can I expect from nose surgery?
You should always ask any prospective surgeon to show you their rhinoplasty before and after photos, particularly ones of patients with an issue similar to yours. This will help you determine if the practice is a good fit. While results vary depending on what we’re trying to correct and what the patient wishes to gain from the surgery, here are some of our nose surgery before and after pictures to give you a general idea of what you can expect:
5. What is the nose surgery recovery process like?
One of the biggest rhinoplasty myths is that it’s extremely painful. The majority of patients don’t report any serious pain and instead just experience mild discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication if necessary. There will likely be some bruising and swelling and you’ll have a stuffy nose for a few days, which gets better as the swelling subsides. You’ll wear a splint for one week after surgery in order to maintain your nose’s new shape and minimize swelling. Dr. Jung removes the splint at your post-operative visit.
6. What are the risks and potential complications?
Almost all patients will have some degree of bruising and swelling. We use splints to control the swelling and recommend cold compresses, keeping your head elevated for the first few days following the procedure and not engaging in strenuous activities until we give you the go-ahead. More serious risks include:
- Complications from anesthesia
While anesthesia always carries risk, the risks can be minimized by opting for local anesthesia and sedation instead of general anesthesia when appropriate. We have a highly trained anesthetist on-hand for every procedure so that anesthesia is delivered properly and safely. We also abide by the stringent safety standards of the AAAHC and follow all of the protocols necessary to avoid infection. You may be given preventative antibiotics to take after your procedure. Bleeding can be controlled by following the post-operative instructions and avoiding strenuous activity before you’ve been cleared. Going with a surgeon who combines technical skill with an eye for proportion and aesthetics, like Dr. Jung, will ensure that your nose is symmetrical and fits with the rest of your face.
7. What are my options if I’m not satisfied with the outcome?
Most rhinoplasties take about a year for the final results to be seen. Be patient during this time since the skin, cartilage, and muscles will be evolving. We’ve had patients from other surgeons visit us for a rhinoplasty revision because they were truly unhappy with how their nose looked more than a year after their initial surgery. Revision is possible. In other cases, bringing your facial features into harmony could create the appearance you’re going for. This could mean combining nose surgery with another procedure like facial implants. Dr. Jung prides himself on being honest with patients about the results they can expect upfront so they have realistic expectations and their nose looks natural and proportionate. This is a key way to ensure you’re pleased with the outcome.
8. When should I see the final results of rhinoplasty?
Another of the common myths about nose jobs is that as soon as the swelling goes down, you’ll see your brand new nose. As we mentioned before, it actually takes about one year for the final results to be apparent since the cartilage, skin, and muscles evolve over this healing period. While, of course, when swelling dissipates you’ll see a big improvement, you’ll have something to look forward to knowing the appearance will continue to get better over time.
9. When can I resume normal activity?
Early in the post-operative period while you’re healing, you’ll want to avoid touching your nose. We’ll let you know when you can start to touch and massage your nose. For the first few days, keeping your head elevated and relatively still will hasten recovery. Most patients can jump back into lighter exercise and movements two weeks after surgery with restricted activities (e.g., biking, intercourse, yoga, jogging). Wait until six weeks post-op before doing anything too strenuous or activities where you can get hit in the face like contact sports, including volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc.
10. How do you reconstruct the nose?
After making incisions and gaining access to the underlying bone and cartilage, Dr. Jung can sculpt and reshape the nose’s structure. He typically reconstructs the nose using the patient’s own cartilage, which is most often taken from the septum. If the cartilage in the septum has already been taken, he can use auricular (ear) cartilage or even a rib graft if he needs a lot of cartilage for reconstruction.
Hopefully, we were able to answer all of your burning rhinoplasty questions. If you’re interested in learning more or finding out if you’re a candidate for nose surgery in Houston, schedule a consultation at Premiere Surgical Arts. Once Dr. Jung has a chance to examine you and discuss your concerns and goals, he’ll be able to give you a clear picture of what you can expect every step of the way, including the nose surgery cost and the technique that will work best for your needs. Contact us today so you can start putting your best face forward.