Rhinoplasty: A functional art

Rhinoplasty surgery is truly a “functional art”, as any surgery that alters the outside appearance of the nose will affect nasal function. This is why it is of utmost importance for your surgery to be performed by a surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery, both inside and outside the nose. Most patients, and experienced plastic surgeons, often fail to realize that even simply taking a bump off of the nose can impair nasal breathing.

A recent review in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy showed that up to 2/3 of cosmetic rhinoplasty patients will have a functional problem with their nose. It is therefore imperative that your rhinoplasty surgeon fully assess your nose externally and with a complete endoscopic exam (Picavet V et al. Rhinoplasty from a rhinologist’s perspective: Need for recognition of associated sinonasal conditions. Am Journal Rhinol Allergy 2012).

How rhinoplasty surgery can improve your nasal appearance and function

The goals of rhinoplasty surgery are to give you a naturally looking nose that works normally (or better) and that does not look operated on.

Rhinoplasty surgery can improve nasal appearance and function by:

  • helping your nose fit your face
  • reducing the width of your nose
  • straighten a crooked nose
  • refine your nasal tip
  • reduce the bump on the bridge of your nose
  • improve nasal breathing by straightening a deviated nasal septum
  • correcting problems from previous rhinoplasty surgery or trauma

A well done rhinoplasty should not draw attention to your nose but should work to highlight the other features of your face!

Who is the best surgeon to do my rhinoplasty?

Choosing the best surgeon to do your rhinoplasty is an important decision to help you feel comfortable and reduce the chance of needing further surgery.

Your surgeon should be able to assess both the outside surface and the internal structures that will affect breathing and external appearance after your surgery.

Choosing a surgeon that makes you feel comfortable and understands your concerns is an important factor for any surgery (not just rhinoplasty).

Dr. Mechor is an otolaryngologist head and neck surgeon and is a fellow member of both the American Rhinologic Society  and Canadian Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery  and has the understanding and training to address all of your rhinoplasty concerns.

How is rhinoplasty surgery done?

Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed by either an open or closed technique.

Dr. Mechor performs the majority of his rhinoplasty surgeries with an open technique. This allows for improved access to the nasal structures and abnormalities to be corrected and better ability to “rebuild” the nose with cartilage grafts (especially important after removing large bumps off of the bridge of the nose) so as to reduce the risk of post-operative breathing and structural problems. With an open rhinoplasty, a tiny incision is made under the tip of the nose and skin is lifted off of the underlying cartilage and bone so that the surgery can be performed. Dissolvable sutures are used to meticulously close the incisions and packing is almost never used after the surgery!!!!

What can a patient expect after a rhinoplasty surgery?

After a rhinoplasty, a patient should expect to take about 1 week off of work and activity. You will have a cast on the outside of your nose for 5 to 7 days. Occasionally, plastic splints may be used to hold the nasal septum straight. These will be removed in the office at your post-op appointment.

Will I get black eyes after surgery?

If the nasal bones are broken during surgery (called osteotomies) you may be black eyes. These are generally mild and Dr. Mechor uses special techniques to reduce bruising. Most patients return to work the day of getting their cast off.

What will I need to do after surgery?

The most important thing to do after surgery is to rest and relax until your cast comes off. Avoiding strenuous activity for about 10 days is important to reduce the risk of a nose bleed.

You will need to use a nasal saline rinses 2-4 times per day for the first week after surgery and once daily for the first 6 weeks or so after your surgery. You will also need to put Polysporin into your nostrils for the first 2 weeks after surgery to reduce infection and improve healing.

Your nose can change shape for several years after surgery but most of the change will be noticeable at about one year. Having realistic expectations will increase your satisfaction with your surgical outcome.

I have had multiple rhinoplasty surgeries done before. Can my nose be fixed?

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem in Calgary and one that is encountered frequently in Dr. Mechor’s practice. The majority of patients that Dr. Mechor helps, are patients from  “experienced” plastic surgeons who have done overly aggressive surgery, performed unneeded cartilage grafting and have not addressed breathing concerns (ie. a deviated septum that was never corrected and contributes to a crooked nose after surgery). Many of these surgeries are done using a local anesthetic, which can lead to fear of further surgery because of the discomfort that patients have felt.

Dr. Mechor’s training and experience and tireless pursuit at achieving “perfection” in rhinoplasty surgery, can help many patients who have had previous rhinoplasties. Dr. Mechor will often use cartilage grafts from the nasal septum, ears and even ribs to improve your nose. Assessing your concerns and developing realistic expectations as to what can be achieved will improve your outcomes.

What is the cost of rhinoplasty surgery and are payment plans available?

Please call (403)270-8060 or email calgarysinuscentre@gmail.com to obtain an estimate for your rhinoplasty surgery.

Payment plans are available through an independent company

Can my rhinoplasty be covered by Alberta Health and Wellness?

Any surgery that alters the outside appearance of your nose is considered cosmetic and therefore not covered by Alberta Health and Wellness. As breathing issues can be addressed during this surgery, letters can be written to your insurance company to cover a portion of your surgery (there is no guarantee that it will be reimbursed to you). AHW will not cover costs for rhinoplasty surgery done in a private surgical centre, even if correcting breathing issues are a part of your nasal concerns. Revision rhinoplasty surgery to correct problems resulting from previous cosmetic rhinoplasty surgery will be considered cosmetic in nature.

Dr. Mechor will consider rhinoplasty surgery to be done under Alberta Health and Wellness for the following reasons:

Nasal trauma that is documented and occurred within a reasonably recent time period (one year) and was not due to “recreational” The purpose of surgery is to return the nose to pre-trauma appearance.

Cases where the external shape is compromising function in patients with significantly altered nasal breathing or in patients undergoing concurrent endoscopic sinus surgery for functional purposes.

Rhinoplasty last modified: June 5th, 2015 by Centric Health
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