Breathe Better – Look Better
Nose Shaping plays a critical role in facial symmetry and overall aesthetics, in addition to its functional role in breathing. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with a “perfect” nose, and even a slight irregularity in the shape and structure of the nose can have a significant impact on the way you look as well as your ability to breathe normally.
Rhinoplasty is sometimes referred to as a “nose job” or surgical nose shaping – includes an array of surgical techniques designed to shape the nose in a way that’s more aesthetically pleasing and more in balance with the rest of the face, as well as techniques designed to address structural problems that can interfere with breathing. If you’re considering rhinoplasty in San Antonio, here’s what you should know.
What issues can be corrected with rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty procedures are performed to correct issues like:
- a nose that appears too large or too small in relation to the rest of the face
- nostrils that are uneven or overly large
- humps or bumps in the nose
- a nose that’s too wide or too narrow
- problems with nasal tip shape, including a tip that appears bulbous, hooked or drooping
- other cosmetic issues affecting the symmetry and balance of the nose
- breathing problems caused by a deviated septum and some other structural issues
Nose shape is highly variable, and what makes a nose attractive on one person may look out of place on another person. As a board certified surgeon in San Antonio, Dr. Baumholtz is skilled in evaluating each patient’s treatment goals, aesthetic concerns, and nasal anatomy, and then creating custom treatment plans aimed at achieving optimal facial harmony and balance based on each person’s individual needs.
What should I do to prepare for rhinoplasty?
Before your Nose Job, you’ll have a consultation visit with Dr. Baumholtz to discuss all your concerns as well as what you hope to achieve with your surgery. Dr. Baumholtz will ask you to describe two or three things you don’t like about your nose, providing as much detail as possible about how you would like those concerns “fixed.” Having realistic expectations is important to ensure you’re satisfied with your results, and Dr. Baumholtz will carefully review your goals and concerns to ensure you understand the rhinoplasty procedure and what it can achieve. You’ll also be asked to provide a complete medical history, including a list of any medications or supplements you’re taking and a list of your allergies or chronic medical conditions.
Dr. Baumholtz may ask you to stop taking some medications for several days prior to surgery to minimize bleeding risks, and you’ll also need to stop smoking for at least 6 weeks prior to surgery to promote optimal healing and recovery and to avoid serious consequences following surgery. Since most patients who have rhinoplasty in San Antonio have their surgery performed on an outpatient basis, you’ll also need to arrange to have someone drive you home following your surgery, and you’ll probably want someone to stay with you for the first night following your procedure. If your surgery is being performed to correct breathing issues, you may need to have an overnight stay in the hospital.
What happens during a rhinoplasty procedure?
On the day of your nose job, Dr. Baumholtz will meet with you to go over the surgery once more and to answer any questions you may have. Your vital signs will be taken and you’ll be given medication to help you relax and stay comfortable. In a select few, surgery can be performed using local anesthesia to numb your nose combined with IV sedation to help you relax and “doze” throughout the procedure. However, in most cases, your surgery will be performed using general anesthesia. The incisions for nose surgery are made under the nasal tip and between the nostrils (open rhinoplasty). The open approach provides greater access to the underlying structures of the nose for more complex surgeries and the resulting scar is barely noticeable. Dr. Baumholtz will decide on the best technique based on your anatomy and the goals of your surgery.
Once the incisions are made, Dr. Baumholtz will begin to reshape the underlying structures of the nose, removing and refining bone and cartilage as needed or augmenting some areas with additional cartilage, which is usually removed from another part of your body like your ear or the cartilage barrier that separates your nostrils (the septum). In some cases, cartilage obtained from a donor will be used instead. The nose may need to be fractured to enable the bone to be reshaped or repositioned. After the nose has been reshaped, the incisions will be closed using very small absorbable sutures, and a special splint will be placed inside the nose to help control bleeding and to support the nose during the initial stages of healing. A special splint will be applied to the outside of your nose to protect the nose and to provide additional support, helping to ensure the nose adjusts to its new shape and contours. Most nose surgery procedures take from one to three hours, depending on the issues that are being corrected. Revisions surgery to correct or “redo” a previous surgery can often take longer.
What will my recovery from a rhinoplasty be like?
Immediately after surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area for observation and to allow the sedation to begin to wear off before being discharged. During the first week or so following surgery, you’ll need to keep your head elevated as much as possible, including during sleep, to help minimize swelling and discomfort in the midface. The area around your nose and eyes will be puffy and bruised after surgery, and it can take a couple of weeks for bruising and most of the swelling to subside. Cold compresses and pain medication can help keep you comfortable during these early days of healing. Within the first week following your nose surgery, the internal splint and sutures will be removed with the external splint removed about a week later. Most patients having rhinoplasty in San Antonio can return to their normal routine within two weeks of their procedure, but you’ll need to follow your post- operative instructions very carefully before beginning any strenuous activities, especially those that require lifting or bending. You’ll also need to take steps to protect your nose from direct sunlight while it’s healing, and if you wear glasses, you may need to use tape or other additional support for the glasses for a few weeks if the bones of the nose have been reshaped.
For primary rhinoplasty patients (those having nose surgery for the first time), most of the swelling will resolve and the bones will heal within three to six months, at which time most patients will be able to return to sports (although it can take up to a year for some patients). For patients having a revision or “repeat” rhinoplasty, it can take up to a year for swelling to resolve and bones to heal and “knit.” In these cases, return to contact sports will be determined by your body’s healing process and not a set timeline. If you smoke, you must plan to avoid smoking and any nicotine exposure for at least six weeks after your surgery to promote normal healing. Smoking can have a major effect on circulation, which in turn can take a toll on healing, resulting in serious problems even when the surgery itself is normal and uneventful.
When will I see my final results?
The swelling following the rhinoplasty procedure can take some time to subside, but in most cases, you’ll see your “final” nose in about three to six months. During that time, you’ll begin to adjust to the change in your appearance, which can be quite dramatic. If an external incision was used, any resulting scar will continue to fade over time. Very minor swelling can take a year to resolve, but in most cases, it won’t be noticeable to anyone but you and Dr. Baumholtz.
Learn more about rhinoplasty in San Antonio.
Rhinoplasty in San Antonio can be a great option for patients in good general health who have concerns about the shape, size, symmetry or other aesthetic attributes of their nose and its impact on their overall facial aesthetics, or for people with deviated septum or other structural defects that impair breathing. Rhinoplasty permanently alters the shape of your nose, so it’s very important to have clear goals and realistic expectations prior to your procedure. Because the nose can change during adolescence and young adulthood, rhinoplasty should only be performed once your nose has stopped growing – typically by the late teens. As a board-certified, fellowship-trained plastic surgeon in San Antonio, Dr. Baumholtz has extensive experience in rhinoplasty procedures and a deep knowledge of what the surgery can and cannot achieve. If you’re concerned about the shape or size of your nose or your overall facial aesthetics, or if you have difficulty breathing through your nose, Dr. Baumholtz can help. Call our office at 210-880-3708 and schedule your evaluation and consultation appointment today.