Lead Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to change the look of the nose. This can also be used to correct critical nasal functions Image Credit: Shutterstock

Does your nose appear too long or small or a bit crooked when you take a selfie or look in the mirror? If you are concerned about the shape or size of your nose, it’s time to schedule a meeting with a surgeon and get the look you really desire.

Rhinoplasty – often referred to as a nose job – is a surgical procedure performed to alter the size, shape and symmetry of your nose, while improving other critical nasal functions. This can also rectify congenital defects and deformities resulting from trauma or injury.

Whether you want to go for it for aesthetic or medical reasons, here are a few things you must know before you commit to rhinoplasty.

Plastic surgeon or ENT specialist?

Earlier, only plastic surgeons performed rhinoplasty but nowadays we are seeing more and more otolaryngologists (ENT specialists) doing the surgery. With extensive knowledge of nasal anatomy and function, otolaryngologists are well equipped to perform this surgery, reducing the possibilities of any complication during and after the procedure.

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Experts at Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital (HMG) at Dubai Healthcare City can undertake rhinoplasty procedures to fix any nasal deformity Image Credit: Supplied

Several studies have emphasized that patients who have got both contoured nose as well as improved nasal airway function through a rhinoplasty surgery are happier than those who have just corrected their looks but not the nose function. It’s critical to choose a surgeon who can manage both the nasal aesthetics as well as the internal functionality of the nose.

If you’re considering a procedure, check the surgeon’s experience, credentials and references. And before you commit to any treatment, carefully look at the before and after photos of the procedure in their portfolio to gauge their expertise.

A meeting with your doctor will include a detailed discussion about your goals, how you want to look after the surgery, medical history, and what you can expect postoperatively in terms of discomfort, recovery, final outcome and potential complications.

Preparing for the surgery

In a rhinoplasty consultation, your doctor will typically examine the physical features of your nose to understand the irregularities. The next step is to discuss any structural defects that may cause obstruction or difficulty in breathing.

We advise patients to stop smoking, avoid vitamin or herbal supplements, minimize sun exposure and stay away from any skin treatment before the planned procedure to lower the risks of surgical complications.

- Dr Levente Deak, Consultant ENT & Rhinoplasty surgeon at Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital

The doctor will also use photographs of your face, taken from various angles, during the consultation to evaluate the details of nasal anatomy. They may also use computer-generated images to create the treatment plan, giving the patient an opportunity to visualise how he or she will look like following surgery.

We advise patients to stop smoking, avoid vitamin or herbal supplements, minimize sun exposure and stay away from any skin treatment before the planned procedure to lower the risks of surgical complications.

On the day of the surgery, you will see your doctor for a while just for a quick briefing and pre-op marking session. The surgery usually takes between one and three hours and when you open your eyes after the surgery, you will find the nurse applying cold compress on your forehead and/or around your eyes to reduce the swelling. While you can go home after six hours of the surgery, it is better to stay overnight if you live far away from the hospital.

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During the consultation your surgeon may use before-and-after computer-generated images to give you an opportunity to visualise how you will look like following surgery Image Credit: Supplied

What to expect after the surgery

Most patients usually feel fine after rhinoplasty. However, some might get little pain or discomfort. In procedures, where a nasal airway surgery is combined with nose reshaping, a patient may experience partially blocked nose for a few hours.

Follow a few simple steps to expedite the healing process. During the recovery period, especially during the first 24 hours, keep the head of the bed slightly elevated and put on an ice pack around your eyes and forehead to soothe the area. Use a straw to drink cold fluid, such as apple juice, after the surgery to regain strength and stay hydrated.

Don’t blow your nose for at least seven days after surgery, as high pressure can force the air to penetrate under your skin, which can later on lead to infection or cartilage displacement.

The first week at home

You may get blood-tinged discharge for two days, but it will soon settle down. We provide basic saline irrigation to maintain an open and clean nose. After a couple of days, start cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide at least three or four times a day. You may also apply an ointment topically to prevent the formation of a scar.

After the stitches/stents are out, you can wash the area with water and gently pat it dry with a soft towel. Your doctor will remove the nasal cast seven days after the surgery and check how you are healing. You may then resume your daily activities. The shape of your nose will change slowly. Follow up with your surgeon regularly to monitor the healing process. It takes anywhere from one week to six months to see the final results from a rhinoplasty surgery.

Recovery care tips

• Massage the area gently and keep it moisturized

• Avoid hot showers or baths during the healing period

• Blow your nose gently

• Indulge in moderate physical activity

• Don’t wear heavy glasses that could put pressure on the nose

What is liquid rhinoplasty?

This is a non-surgical procedure where fillers are injected into the nose to correct its shape. The new fillers type with increased cross links, can hold its shape longer and is claimed to be safer. It is a perfect tool to camouflage small irregularities and minor depressions. However, injecting any gel into this region has a high risk due to unique blood supply in the area. If the fillers are used properly to camouflage minor problems, it can easily stay up to two years, however, if it is used without a support framework, it will lead to frustration, making the nose appear bigger than it actually is.

Fillers are an excellent tool in the hand of an advanced injector or rhinoplasty surgeon, but for untrained injectors it could lead to disasters. Weigh the pros and cons of traditional rhinoplasty and the non-surgical one and talk to your doctor before taking a decision.

The writer is Consultant ENT & Rhinoplasty surgeon at Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital.

To book an appointment with Dr Levente Deak, Consultant ENT & Rhinoplasty surgeon at Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital, call 044297777; or visit Hmguae.com for more information

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