If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and wished that your nose was smaller, straighter, or different in any other way, you’re far from alone — rhinoplasty is the surgical solution. For many people, the nose is a source of embarrassment, poor self-esteem, and anxiety. For others, it’s simply difficult to breathe due to structural problems. Some people even have trouble with both the aesthetic appearance and function of the nose.
Many people who struggle with these problems choose to live with them. However, if your quality of life is being affected by the appearance or function of your nose, then it may be time to think about undergoing surgical correction. Rhinoplasty, also known as a “nose job,” is a popular and effective procedure for reshaping the nose to resolve cosmetic and functional issues such as breathing. Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS, is uniquely qualified in rhinoplasty and nasal plastic surgery and offers patients his skill as a double board certified facial plastic surgery specialist to bring them the best custom rhinoplasty results in Melbourne, FL, as well as the Orlando/Central Florida area and beyond. Patients routinely travel hours to see Dr. Clevens because they want the best in rhinoplasty.
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is an extremely versatile procedure that has been used since ancient times to reshape the nose. Today, it is mainly used for cosmetic purposes, though many people also seek surgery to correct functional issues, such as difficulty breathing or chronic congestion. Dr. Clevens finds that patients not only want their noses to look better but also to work better with improved breathing and sinus function.
Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure which involves manipulating the skin, bone, and cartilage of the nose to permanently refine and resize the nose. Because there are so many goals that can be accomplished through this procedure, Dr. Clevens and his patients work closely together to customize the procedure and ensure that the new nose is in harmony with the rest of the facial features. The procedure can correct many different issues, including:
- An overly large, wide, or small nose
- A nasal bump or hump on the bridge
- A crooked or misshapen nose
- A poorly-defined nose or uneven nostrils
- A deviated septum or enlarged turbinates (the fleshy radiators inside the nose)
Functional septorhinoplasty is often performed on its own or in combination with a cosmetic rhinoplasty. Many people who need functional septorhinoplasty also elect to have cosmetic changes made to the nose since the surgery is being performed anyway. A deviated septum is the most common reason for functional rhinoplasty. In this case the septum (which separates the nasal passages) is crooked or displaced, which can cause breathing problems. Other patients have enlargement of the turbinates, the shelves that hang down inside the nose, that may block the airway or problems with the nasal valve.
Regardless of the reason for rhinoplasty, the procedure is quite complex, involving a mix of artistry, knowledge, and technique. It takes the skill of a board certified facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Clevens to produce results that patients will be proud to show off.
Benefits of Rhinoplasty
For many patients, rhinoplasty is a life-changing procedure. A successful cosmetic rhinoplasty can boost self-esteem, confidence, and the overall aesthetics of the face. The nose is one of the most prominent facial features, and its appearance affects the balance and aesthetics of the face. By refining and reshaping the nose, patients are often surprised to find that they are happier with their overall facial appearance, not just their new nose. Benefits of functional rhinoplasty include more efficient and easier breathing, less congestion, and improved comfort.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Candidates for rhinoplasty are people who are dissatisfied with the appearance or function of their nose. While rhinoplasty can provide patients with immense physical and psychological benefits, it isn’t the right choice for everyone. Patients will first need to have their candidacy assessed before moving forward with the procedure. Good candidates for rhinoplasty are healthy adults with realistic expectations for the results of the procedure and a commitment to the recovery process.
Though rhinoplasty can produce dramatic results, it can’t always work miracles, and patients need to educate themselves on the limitations of the surgery. Looking at a wide range of before and after photos can help with this process. It is important that patients seek improvement over perfection, to avoid unrealistic expectations. Dr. Clevens will go over your medical history to determine your candidacy prior to scheduling your surgery and will not operate if he feels that the procedure would be unsafe or unsuitable.
Your Rhinoplasty Consultation
In order to discuss your candidacy and goals for the procedure, you’ll need to schedule your private consultation with Dr. Clevens. He will meet with you personally and discuss your reasons for pursuing rhinoplasty, as well as what you would like to accomplish with the procedure. He will also evaluate your nose and make suggestions for the achieving your desired results. You’ll also have your “Before” photos taken, which will be imaged based on your cosmetic goals and presented to you during your consultation, so you can see what your final result might actually look like.
This is a great opportunity to get to know Dr. Clevens and our staff in Melbourne, FL, and plan out a custom procedure that meets your needs. You should come to your consultation with any questions you have about the procedure, your candidacy, or anything else related to rhinoplasty, since you’ll be able to get definitive answers from an expert immediately. Once you’ve been cleared for surgery and you’re ready to move forward, your rhinoplasty will be scheduled, and you’ll be given pre- and post-operative instructions, which should be followed closely.
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
Modern rhinoplasty surgery is almost always performed on an outpatient basis. In some cases, patients prefer to be put under general anesthesia. However, IV sedation with local anesthesia is always an option for most patients.
Once the anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Clevens will make the incision(s). These can be made externally between the nostrils (known as an “open” rhinoplasty), or internally, concealed within the nose (known as a “closed” rhinoplasty). You and Dr. Clevens will discuss which technique will be used for your procedure in advance.
Working through the incisions, Dr. Clevens will achieve your goals using a variety of techniques. These may include reshaping the cartilage, carving and resetting the bones, and using cartilage grafts to change the size and definition of the bones. Grafts may be taken from the nasal septum, ear, or rib, depending on the situation. All of this will be decided in advance of the surgery. Once the reshaping is complete, the small incisions will be carefully closed.
The Recovery Process
Though there will be some discomfort following the procedure, this can be managed with prescribed pain medication, ice packs, and plenty of rest. Dr. Clevens uses special techniques so that packing is usually not necessary. There will also be a splint on your nose during the first few days to help protect the nose from jostling and bumping. Patients will need to sleep with their head elevated to reduce swelling and prevent trauma to the nose.
Most patients return to ordinary day-to-day activities in seven to 10 days. There will be swelling and bruising that will take some time to subside, and while many people feel well enough to return to normal activities quickly, it’s important to follow Dr. Clevens’ instructions and restrictions to promote optimal healing and prevent complications. The initial swelling will subside quickly, but residual swelling can remain for up to a year. After the first few months, it will be barely noticeable.
What are the risks of rhinoplasty?
Since rhinoplasty is typically an elective procedure, it is performed only under the safest conditions. To ensure your safety and comfort, Dr. Clevens brings his patients only to a fully accredited ambulatory surgery center with physician anesthesiologists. However, it does carry some risk, as all surgeries do. Rare risks and complications can include bleeding, infection, scarring, anesthesia complications, nasal blockages, and damage to the nasal septum or skin and failure to achieve a satisfactory aesthetic result.
Are there nonsurgical options for rhinoplasty?
Surgery is the only permanent option for rhinoplasty. However, injectable fillers can provide temporary improvement and may be appropriate for some patients. Dr. Clevens can discuss this procedure with you if you are interested.
Will my bones need to be broken during the surgery?
The nasal bones are often carved, reshaped or reset, depending on your goals for surgery. Don’t worry — this process is less scary than it sounds and allows the nose to heal in the proper shape. All techniques to be used will be discussed prior to the procedure.
Can I wear glasses after surgery?
Glasses put pressure on the nasal bridge and usually cannot be worn during the initial recovery period. Dr. Clevens will give you options for vision during this time.
When will I see the final results of my rhinoplasty?
After the first few months, most of the swelling will have subsided and no one will notice it, though the “final” results will not be apparent for about a year, when the last of the swelling resolves. The final results should be extremely natural-looking and permanent.
Why should I choose a board certified facial plastic surgeon?
Rhinoplasty is a complex procedure and should only be performed by a highly trained, board certified surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery rather than plastic surgery in general. Choosing the right surgeon will help set you up for a successful procedure.
What is the right age for rhinoplasty?
The nose generally stops growing and changing at around age 15-17 in girls and 17-19 in boys. This is why many surgeons won’t operate on people younger than 15-17, even with parental permission. It is best to wait until you and your surgeon are absolutely sure the nose has finished growing.
Will there be any scarring?
Open rhinoplasty produces a very small scar that typically fades very well. No one but you should be able to notice it. Closed rhinoplasty produces scarring that will not be visible externally. Noticeable scarring is a very rare occurrence in rhinoplasty.
Can rhinoplasty change my voice?
Though it is extremely rare, the surgery can sometimes change the sound and tone of the voice. If you are a singer, voice actor or otherwise use your voice professionally, be sure to discuss this concern prior to scheduling your surgery.
Choosing a Surgeon
One of the most difficult aspects of planning a rhinoplasty is choosing a qualified board certified facial plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. It is best to consult with several experts before making a decision. Dr. Clevens, located in the Orlando, FL area, is an accomplished and respected double board certified facial plastic surgeon and rhinoplasty specialist who would be happy to discuss your goals with you. Call 321.312.1365 today to schedule your consultation.