According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rhinoplasty procedures were one of the top 5 cosmetic surgeries in the U.S. in 2020. Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure used to change the shape of your nose.
The procedure may be performed to make the shape of the nose more aesthetically appealing, to improve breathing, or both. A facial plastic surgeon may achieve this by manipulating the nose's bone, cartilage, or skin.
As a rhinoplasty specialist, Dr. Greco’s goal is to give you a result that functions well and fits the characteristics of your face without an over–operated look.
Nasal aesthetic surgery is a procedure where form and function are equally important. Rhinoplasty procedures are often combined with a septoplasty procedure.
The septum is the nasal partition that divides the nose into the left and right sides. A septoplasty is performed to correct structural problems, such as a deviated septum, that make it harder to breathe normally through the nose. In such cases, the surgery restores function, eliminating the obstructed airway and improving airflow and breathing.
Aesthetically speaking, there is no ideal nose shape. What may look ideal on one person may appear out of place on another. This is because various factors, such as age, ethnic background, and overall facial shape, influence the “ideal nose shape” for a face.
Extreme variations, such as a saddle nose or a pinched tip, can create conspicuous distortion to a person's appearance that can be addressed by rhinoplasty. In general, however, nasal aesthetic characteristics that complement facial harmony include:
- Properly aligned bridge of the nose (nasal dorsum)
- Appropriate nasal tip projection, size, and shape
- Width and size of the nostrils
- Width of the nose to balance with the rest of the face
If any of these elements are not in harmony with the face, a rhinoplasty can correct it.
Rhinoplasty is not recommended for people who have not completed puberty. This is to ensure that growth is complete and the nasal structure has fully formed.
For aesthetic corrections, it is best to wait until 15 for women and 16 for men before undergoing rhinoplasty. However, in the case of functional problems of the nose, rhinoplasty may be recommended at an earlier age.
You may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty if:
- Your facial growth is complete.
- You are physically and mentally healthy.
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance.
Rhinoplasty costs depend on the complexity of the surgery required. Costs can include:
- Fees for anesthesia and anesthesiologist
- Cost of hospital or surgical facility
- Cost for any needed medical tests
- Prescription medication
- Surgeon’s fee
Your insurance may partially cover the cost of a functional rhinoplasty because the procedure helps improve breathing function caused by an obstructed airway. In such cases, a portion of the cost is typically covered by insurance, even if aesthetic changes are part of the procedure. However, it is best to confirm the details with your insurance provider.
You will likely be required to provide detailed reports on the type of functional problem causing the breathing impairment when you submit your claim to your insurer. We do not accept any insurance and are out-of-network, but we can provide any necessary information for you to make a claim directly through your insurance provider.
Planning for rhinoplasty surgery is an important step before the procedure is scheduled. During your consultation with Dr. Greco, make sure you communicate your concerns and expectations clearly so that your procedure can go as smoothly as possible. Digital imaging of your nose ensures you are on the same page regarding your aesthetic outcome.
Your consultation is the ideal time to review your medical history and perform a functional and aesthetic analysis of your nose.
Rhinoplasty is usually performed under MAC (twilight) anesthesia and is considered the safest option. Other medications may also be administered to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Dr. Greco may use the open and closed rhinoplasty technique during surgery, depending on the needs of the patient.
- An open rhinoplasty procedure is used when a small, inverted v-shaped incision is placed between the two nostrils in order to access the nasal bone and cartilage in its natural position. This technique is usually employed when more complicated surgical maneuvers may be needed. It is ideal in cases that require significant tip alterations, repair of severe asymmetry, and revision rhinoplasty surgeries.
- A closed rhinoplasty procedure is used when corrections can be made internally through the nostrils. It does not involve any external skin incisions and is best suited in cases that need less complicated modifications.
Nasal reshaping is performed by modifying the underlying structure of the nasal bone and cartilage. If the nose is very large, the surgeon might reduce its size by removing bone or cartilage.
On the other hand, if nasal augmentation is required, the surgeon might need to use additional cartilage to strengthen the nasal structure. In such cases, a cartilage graft may be needed from the patient’s ear or rib.
Functional concerns, such as a deviated septum, are also addressed at this time to improve breathing.
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue are redraped over the nose, and the incision is closed.
For a few days, Internal and external splints may be needed to aid the healing process. There may be some swelling and bruising around the surgery site for about one week.
In most cases, patients can see a noticeable change 7 to 10 days after the procedure. However, the nose can take up to one year to fully heal and for the newly refined nose to be apparent.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex facial surgery procedures. There are risks associated with rhinoplasty, just like for any other surgical procedure. Risks for rhinoplasty may include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Poor wound healing and scarring
- Change in skin sensation (numbness or pain)
- Visible irregularities
- Asymmetric nostrils
- Nasal septal perforation
- Decreased sense of smell
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Skin discoloration and swelling
- A possible need for revision rhinoplasty surgery
Dr. Timothy Greco is Philadelphia’s leading facial plastic surgeon, skilled at all types of rhinoplasty procedures that help patients improve facial harmony. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) and the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery (ABOto).
Dr. Greco focuses solely on plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck at his in-office, state-certified aesthetic surgical center. If you’re looking for a rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Greco can help!
Get in touch today to schedule a consultation with Philadelphia’s leading facial plastic surgeon. For appointments, call (610) 664-8830 or check the doctor’s schedule online.