Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)

The Centerpiece of the Face

Because the nose plays such a key role in the overall proportion of the face, rhinoplasty—or the so-called “nose job”–has become a very common procedure for Houston rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Charles Polsen. This makes a certain amount of sense: we cannot control the look of the nose through diet and exercise, and traumas such as broken noses can alter the overall proportions of our face. You might be seeking rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, or you might be seeking rhinoplasty because there are surgical techniques that can help you breath more easily.

Houston Rhinoplasty Patient Before and After

There’s no such thing as the perfect nose, and all faces are different. However, often patients will want a smaller nose, or a less bumpy nose, or simply a nose that works better with their overall face. Sometimes, you may simply want a different nose, and if that’s the case, Dr. Polsen can help you determine how to achieve your desired overall look. Changing your nose, after all, changes your face much like a facelift. If you’re in the Houston Area, and thinking about rhinoplasty, don’t hesitate to consult with Dr. Polsen during a low-key meeting. To schedule a meeting, contact us online or call our Clear Lake office at (281) 538-6600.

Rhinoplasty Overview

  • Rhinoplasty is a common cosmetic surgical procedure which reshapes the nose
  • This reshaping is often achieved by restructuring the cartilage in the nose
  • Recovery: Light activity in a day or two; splint must remain for 1 week

Who is a Good Candidate in Houston?

Again, there is no such thing as the perfect nose. Candidates for rhinoplasty in the Houston Area should understand this. Every nose is going to have imperfections, and there are limits to what rhinoplasty can achieve. That said, some candidates seek out rhinoplasty for less cosmetic reasons, for example, to correct a deviated septum.

That said, rhinoplasty can be an exceptionally powerful procedure, capable of making transformations both subtle and bold. In the best cases, results will look quite natural, bringing balance and harmony to the face more broadly. Patients who are good candidates for a rhinoplasty procedure will:

  • Feel a high degree of discomfort with the size or shape of the nose
  • Have some feelings of self-consciousness due to the size or shape of the nose
  • Desire reshaping of the nose
  • Want a nose that is significantly larger or smaller
  • Express interest in addressing a particular aspect of the nose (for example, a drooping tip or a wide bridge)
  • Be generally healthy enough for surgery
  • Have realistic expectations about what a rhinoplasty can accomplish

Candidates should be in good health, generally, as this is surgical procedure that will require some recovery time. You should be prepared to discuss your medical history during your consultation with Dr. Polsen, including any alcohol and tobacco use or prescription medication you’re taking.

During your consultation you will also discuss the changes you’d like to make to your nose, as well as the best way to accomplish those changes. If you think you’re a good candidate for a rhinoplasty procedure in the Houston area, contact the offices of Dr. Polsen today to schedule a confidential, one-on-one consultation.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

Dr. Polsen will consult with you to determine your ideal nose shape and how to best approximate that. You will also work together to determine the extent of work that needs to be done and, therefore, whether local or general anesthesia will be needed. If local anesthetic is selected, you may also be sedated—mostly because the nose surgery will require you to be very still for around two hours.

Once the procedure begins, Houston board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Polsen will make an incision that separates your nose tissue from its supportive cartilage nasal structure (this the soft, almost bony substance that makes up the bulk of your nose). Generally, the cartilage is then sculpted to achieve the desired overall look, which means often it is shaved down. You and Dr. Polsen will agree on the degree of shaving long before your rhinoplasty surgery begins. Nasal passages can be widened for easier breathing as well.

Once the cartilage is of the desired shape, the skin will be placed back on top of the cartilage and stitched back into place (these stitches usually do not require removal, but rather are absorbed into the body).

Types of Rhinoplasty Incisions

During a rhinoplasty procedure, there are typically two incision types available to patients:

  • Open Rhinoplasty: During a so-called “open rhinoplasty,” an incision is made along the base of the nose (that little area of skin between the nostrils). This incision allows surgeons to lift the skin covering the nose out of the way, providing a significant amount of access. Using this large “window” into the nose, surgeons can make significant changes, making an “open rhinoplasty” an excellent option for patients who want to change the nose in big ways.
  • Closed Rhinoplasty: In many ways the opposite of an open rhinoplasty, a closed rhinoplasty is a less invasive approach. When using this technique, a surgeon will make a small incision along the inside of the nose. Any changes made to the nose will then be performed via this tiny “window.” Closed rhinoplasty procedures are excellent for patients who want specific types of subtle changes to the nose or who are looking to limit their recovery time.

Which type of incision is “best” depends largely on your desired final outcome. Dr. Polsen will discuss both approaches with your in order to make the best possible determination.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Timeline

While every patient will recover at his or her own individual pace, there are some assumptions one can make about the timeline for one’s recovery. It should be noted that Dr. Polsen will give all patients their own individualized recovery instructions—and patients will check in often in order to ensure that their recovery is proceeding smoothly.

In most cases, rhinoplasty patients can expect the following general timeline for their recovery:

  • First 7-10 Days: During the first week or so, patients will usually have some form of splint surrounding or protecting the nose. This splint can be made of several materials, and will often depend on what’s best for your particular situation. In most cases, there will also be swelling and bruising around the nose. Once the splint is removed, many patients will feel more comfortable going out in public, as it will be less evident that surgery has been performed.
  • First two weeks: After the first two weeks or so, the majority of swelling should start to subside. This will vary from patient to patient and will depend on the specifics of your case. However, most patients are comfortable gently applying a little make-up in order to hide any bruising that might still be apparent. You should also begin to notice the changes made to your nose at this point.
  • First month: After the first month, swelling should subside to the point where the results of your procedure become quite apparent. At this point, feeling should begin to return to the tip of your nose (although it can take longer for that to happen).
  • Over two months: Total recovery from a rhinoplasty procedure can be a long process. In some cases, patients might notice residual swelling for anywhere between 9-12 months after the procedure was performed. You may notice your results slowly becoming more visible during this time.

Rhinoplasty can results in significant transformations—not just of the nose, but of the face. Patients who once felt self-conscious suddenly feel confident once their results are apparent. For many patients, a rhinoplasty is a perfect way to draw attention away from the nose.

If you want to know more about how a rhinoplasty can change your nose, contact the Clear Lake offices of Dr. Charles Polsen to schedule a confidential consultation.

If you’ve already had a rhinoplasty and have questions about a revision procedure contact our staff for help considering your options.