What is a Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty surgery describes operations that alter the shape of the nose. Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed either for aesthetic, functional or reconstructive reasons. Most commonly, for aesthetic reasons, a person does not like the shape of their nose. When thinking about rhinoplasty surgery, and in preparing for your consultation with Mr Eccles, it is important to think about what you do not like, be it the width, your nasal tip, your nostril size, or the relationship that your nose makes with your upper lip . We inherit characteristics of our nasal shape from our parents but these may be modified by injury or previous surgery. The nose ceases to grow at about the age of 16 and surgery is usually best carried out after this age.
Functional rhinoplasty addresses the main functions of the nose which are related to airflow and humidification of the air. Trauma may result in a blockage to the nose, and rhinoplasty surgery can correct this. Mr Eccles can correct these issues at the same time as carrying out rhinoplasty surgery for aesthetic reasons, and he will test the function of your nose when he sees you. If you are taking nasal decongestants please let him know at the time of your consultation.
Reconstructive rhinoplasty operations are performed to to reconstruct missing parts of the nose either following the removal of tumours, following accidents, due to congenital problems or as a result of previous rhinoplasty surgery.
The anatomy of the nose is more complicated than it may seem from the outside. It is a complex arrangement of skin, supported by a cartilaginous and bony framework, with a specialized lining which is important for warming and moisturizing the air we breathe. Surgery may involve reducing or rearranging these tissues, or may require the use of bone or cartilage grafts from elsewhere in the body to rebuild the existing structure.
Rhinoplasty surgery may be done through incisions made on the inside of the nose, or may require an additional incision of the skin between your nostrils called the columnella. Surgery that requires an incision of the columella is described as ‘open rhinoplasty’. The scar on the columella, when healed, is usually very difficult to see. In general, the more complex the surgery, the more likely it is that the ‘open’ approach will be used. When the nostrils are to be narrowed or made smaller, additional small incisions are made in the creases where the nose and upper lip or cheek meet. These usually also heal with fine scars.
Rhinoplasty surgery is complex, and Mr Eccles will take time to ensure that you the procedure is carefully tailored to your needs. He will take photographs preoperatively to show you, and in addition use computer simulation these to give you an idea of what may be achieved. It may not be possible to address all of your needs, and he will also tell you what rhinoplasty surgery can achieve for you.
How long will I need to stay in hospital?
Many people are able to go home on the same day as their surgery, but mr Eccles will discuss this with you at your outpatient consultation.
How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty surgery?
Although there is some minor discomfort after rhinoplasty surgery it is not usually painful. There may be some bruising and swelling of the lower eyelids. This has most often settled by two to three weeks when it should be possible to return to work. There is usually some swelling of the inside lining of the nose leading to a feeling of nasal ‘stuffiness’. This may take up to six weeks to settle.
How long does rhinoplasty surgery last?
For most people, rhinoplasty surgery lasts for the their life time. Mr Eccles will discuss this with you at the time of your consultation