What exactly is a nose job and what does it involve?

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Technically, a nose job is called a "rhinoplasty."

Noses come in all varieties of shapes and sizes, usually from one's heritage or injuries. Patients seeking surgery of the nose are usually dissatisfied because they feel that the nose is too large, too wide, droopy, wide tip, and-or crooked and does not fit their face.

The goal of a "nose job" is to make the nose more aesthetically pleasing to the eye of the patient. In order to help the patient to achieve that goal, the plastic surgeon must carefully listen to what concerns the patient and then work with the existing bone, skin and cartilage structure.

It must be made clear to the patient that what he or she wants might have limitations.

A rhinoplasty procedure can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on the amount of work that must be done to achieve the best results. The plastic surgeon must work with three bones, five cartilages, skin, and possibly grafts to achieve the final appearance.

Cartilage grafts can lift the tip of the nose up and sometimes cutting the bones makes the nose less wide or straighter. Cartilages in the tip are refashioned. If there are breathing issues, work on the septum is included in the procedure.

The procedure is done under general anesthesia. Whether the patient needs loose packing in their nostrils for one to four days and-or a splint (removed at one week) again depends on the amount of work necessary for each patient.

If a long-acting local anesthetic agent has been properly injected during surgery, there shouldn't be an excess amount of discomfort. Oral pain medications are normally prescribed to be taken if needed.

Swelling and bruising are common; however, the use of ice soaks after the procedure for a few days will greatly reduce these issues.

What is a "nonsurgical nose job?" This involves injecting a filler into any area of the nose that has a depression that is visible. These depressions can be caused by an injury in the past or from a nose job, after the swelling has subsided and there is some irregularity.

Also, if the tip of one's nose projects downwards, a filler can be used at the base of the nose to lift the tip to give it more projection and a better aesthetic look. There is a limit to what a nonsurgical procedure can achieve, but when indicated, significant improvement came be accomplished non-surgically.

When will a patient see the final result? The nose will usually look better in seven to 10 days, but there is continued swelling for up to a year. Practically speaking, most of the swelling will have subsided in three to four months.

Rhinoplasty surgery has been performed for decades. An experienced and skilled surgeon can make patients thrilled with their new look. Rhinoplasty surgery can be a gratifying procedure for both patient and surgeon.

E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in Savannah and Bluffton. fingerandassociates.com

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