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Cosmetic changes to the nose can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of the face. Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) is among the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the nation, with 218,924 procedures performed in a recent year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Dr. Matthew White performs primary and revision rhinoplasty with precision and skill. Here we have provided answers to some commonly asked questions about rhinoplasty.

What is rhinoplasty and why is it performed?

Also known as a nose job, rhinoplasty is cosmetic surgery of the nose. It is a plastic surgery procedure to improve the shape and size of the nose and to correct functional problems.

Dr. White performs cosmetic rhinoplasty with the goal of creating balance and harmony with the other facial features. Even a slight adjustment can create a dramatic improvement in overall facial appearance.

Patients undergo rhinoplasty to:

  • Change the size, shape, or angle of the nose
  • Straighten a hump or dip in the nose
  • Create a more symmetrical nasal appearance
  • Improve the appearance of the nostrils
  • Corrected a deviated septum or other structural issues
  • Improve breathing
  • Repair the nose after trauma or injury

Will health insurance cover the cost of rhinoplasty?

Health insurance will not cover nose reshaping performed for cosmetic reasons. However, it may cover septoplasty (surgery to correct a deviated septum) and other procedures performed to correct structural problems and improve nasal function. When functional procedures are performed in combination with cosmetic rhinoplasty, insurance may cover a portion of the cost.

What is recovery like after rhinoplasty?

Compared to other facial surgeries, recovery from rhinoplasty is relatively mild. It is performed on an outpatient basis, so you can return home after the procedure. Have someone with you to drive you home and stay with you for the first day after surgery.

You may experience some discomfort, which can be easily controlled with medications. For the first week after surgery, you will be wearing a nasal splint to protect your nose while it heals.

You can expect some bruising and swelling in the early part of your recovery. It helps to keep the head elevated for at least the first day after surgery. Splints and sutures are typically removed within a week after surgery.

Most patients can return to work in approximately one week after the procedure. However, you should avoid strenuous activities for the first three weeks, or as instructed by Dr. White. Final results of your nose surgery will appear when post-surgical swelling subsides completely.

Can my rhinoplasty be combined with other procedures?

Absolutely! Rhinoplasty may be combined with a variety of surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Some may choose to pair their nose job with dermal fillers to reduce the appearance of lines or wrinkles, or other cosmetic surgical or non-surgical treatment.

Fat injections can be an all-natural alternative to fillers. Fat grafts can be used to augment the chin or cheeks, which may balance the appearance of your nose and limit the surgical changes needed in rhinoplasty.

Surgical procedures that may also complement the results of rhinoplasty include a facelift, eyelid lift, or brow lift. Combining surgical procedures can reduce your overall downtime and help you achieve a more youthful look in just one surgical appointment. Talk to Dr. White about all of your cosmetic concerns and he develop a comprehensive, customized treatment plan.

Will my nose still be unique to me after rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a custom surgery. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Dr. White, a leading facial plastic surgeon, assesses all of your facial features together and develops a surgical plan to address your concerns while still preserving your unique traits.

Certain cultures have specific traits that are passed down through generations. Ethnic patients may be concerned about changing their appearance too much and losing familial traits, but our meticulous and conservative approach to rhinoplasty will help you improve any flaws or imperfections without losing the natural beauty of your unique features.

Is rhinoplasty painful?

You will be given anesthesia to make you more comfortable during the procedure. The surgery itself does not involve pain. After the procedure you may experience some discomfort in the initial stages of healing. Your symptoms can typically be moderated with pain medication which is typically not needed for long.

What can I expect in a rhinoplasty procedure?

Rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia, or under local anesthesia with sedation. Plan on having a friend or family member drive you home after surgery. The procedure typically takes two hours or less to perform.

What is an “open” or “closed” rhinoplasty?

Depending on your nasal anatomy and aesthetic goals, Dr. White will perform either open or closed rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty involves incisions inside the nose and a small incision under the nose between the nostrils. In closed rhinoplasty, all incisions are made inside the nose.

Open rhinoplasty provides better access and visibility and is often recommended in more complex cases. For example, if you are undergoing rhinoplasty after injury or trauma to the nose, or if you want dramatic cosmetic changes, Dr. White may recommend the open surgical approach.

If you only require minor changes to the nose, closed rhinoplasty may be the best option. In either case, incisions are skillfully placed to leave barely visible or concealed incision lines. Through the incisions, Dr. White can correct structural abnormalities, straighten or narrow the bridge, change the shape or angle of the tip, and make a variety of subtle adjustments to enhance the appearance of the nose.

Why is revision rhinoplasty more difficult to perform than primary rhinoplasty?

Revision rhinoplasty is a secondary procedure, performed to correct undesirable results from the original (primary) nose surgery. Patients may seek revision rhinoplasty when they feel their results with primary rhinoplasty are undesirable, unnatural-looking, or out of balance with the face, or because of breathing problems after the original surgery.

Some surgeons choose not to perform revision rhinoplasty because factors associated with primary rhinoplasty make it more difficult to perform. Those factors may include scar tissue from the original surgery, the need to reinforce nasal structure with cartilage and composite grafts, and unknown variables. As a top nose surgeon with the necessary skills and experience, Dr. White is often asked to perform revision rhinoplasty.

What are some additional benefits of rhinoplasty?

In addition to the satisfaction of having a well-proportioned nose that flatters your face, you may also have improved functionality. When you breathe easier, you may notice that you get better sleep and feel more alert and awake during the day. Sleeping better at night may also help reduce dark circles under the eyes and you’ll look brighter, feel better, and be more alert.

Your refined nose will also help you feel more confident. When you feel better about yourself it can bring more confidence and satisfaction to your personal and professional life. It is an empowering experience.

How can rhinoplasty improve the function of my nose?

Although rhinoplasty is often associated with cosmetic corrections for the nose, it can also be used to improve nose function. In some cases, health insurance will pay some portion of the procedure to resolve breathing issues.

Breathing problems are typically caused by a deviated septum or other structural imperfection within the nose. The septum is the cartilage between the nostril structure. A minor deformity caused by an injury or naturally occurring can lead to ongoing discomfort. The symptoms include congestion, sinus infections, headaches, nosebleeds, and trouble sleeping.

To correct the nose structure, Dr. White will treat a deviated septum to clear your airways. You will be able to breathe easier, alleviating unpleasant symptoms and allowing for more restful sleep.

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