What Is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is often referred to as a “nose job.” A form of plastic surgery, it may be used to reconstruct the nose for medical reasons, cosmetic enhancement, or both. A rhinoplasty may be performed by a facial plastic surgeon, an otolaryngologist, or a plastic surgeon. Board-certified facial plastic surgeons Dr. Peter Hilger and Dr. Lyford-Pike specialize in rhinoplasty in Minneapolis.
The goal of rhinoplasty is to create an aesthetically pleasing nose that functions well and harmonizes with the individual patient’s other facial features. A nose that is attractive on one patient may not be as attractive on another. If the situation calls for it, the surgeons sometimes recommend other aesthetic procedures to enhance the rhinoplasty and provide further facial harmony. An excellent example is a patient that sees their nose as excessively large but also has an under-projected chin. The best aesthetic outcome may be to correct the nose and augment the chin, thus creating aesthetic harmony and balance. The Hilger clinic performs more than 200 rhinoplasties each year.
Our experience and reputation combined with our history of teaching at the most prestigious rhinoplasty courses worldwide have prompted patients from a wide geographic area. Particularly challenging cases are sent to our practice from many surgeons in our region.
How Is Rhinoplasty Performed?
Although common, rhinoplasty is a complex surgery. While many people think of its aesthetic applications and associate it with getting a perfect, pert nose, a great number of patients truly need it for medical reasons. For rhinoplasty patients with past nasal trauma or a congenital defect, surgery can restore their ability to breathe freely and lead a normal life. In all rhinoplasty surgeries, the surgeon makes incisions in the nose to adjust cartilage and bone and correct deformities.
He or she then sutures the incisions and inserts supports to immobilize the area, protecting the nose and ensuring that it heals into the desired form. Rhinoplasty may be performed as an “open” or “closed” procedure. Although some suggest that one technique is superior to the other, in our practice we use both techniques depending upon the needs and desires of each patient.
A closed or endonasal approach utilizes incisions entirely within the nose. An open or external technique combines these incisions with a small incision across the columella (the strip of skin between the nostrils). This incision rarely creates a problem and is revised in less than half of cases.
Who is a Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Good candidates for rhinoplasty include people who want a more symmetrical nose that is well-proportioned for their facial features. Patients who feel their nose is too long or wide, or even too bumpy are prime candidates for corrective surgery. Other candidates include people who have structural issues with the internal or external parts of the nose that cause impediments to their quality of life.
Accidents, congenital defects like a cleft lip or even allergies can cause deformities to the nose that affect respiration, and may even lead to increased incidence of infection. When this is the case, reconstructive surgery to the nose may be advised.
What Are The Benefits Of Rhinoplasty?
For people who are constantly congested, or have structural issues with their noses, rhinoplasty can be a life-changing procedure. Functional rhinoplasty surgery is also beneficial for children born with cleft lips. Being able to breathe freely may allow a person to participate in activities that were once out of reach, like running, swimming, or even singing.
People who may have avoided the public eye due to self-consciousness may suddenly discover a newly gregarious, outgoing side to their personalities. The benefits of cosmetic rhinoplasty are multidimensional.
What is the Cost of Rhinoplasty?
Every candidate for rhinoplasty is concerned about the cost. Unfortunately, because an ethical surgeon will review each case individually, the cost of treatment varies. The intricacy of an individual procedure and a patient’s current physical condition are both factors in determining the scope of surgery, and therefore the overall cost. In 2010, A national rhinoplasty organization reported that the average cost for rhinoplasty was $4,314.
This figure does not account for variations in fees according to geography, or associated fees such as operating room costs, anesthesia, or medications. The patient will receive a breakdown of their costs during their consultation with us.
How do I choose the best rhinoplasty surgeon for my upcoming nose job?
Choosing the best rhinoplasty surgeon is an important task that can actually make the difference between achieving your desired results or disastrous results. Rhinoplasty is a challenging procedure, often considered one of the most difficult of invasive cosmetic surgeries, requiring in-depth training, years of experience, and a specialized skill set.
The best rhinoplasty surgeon will be board-certified in plastic and cosmetic surgery and have years of specialized rhinoplasty training. Finally, the best rhinoplasty surgeon will be a doctor who agrees with your sense of aesthetics. Honest, competent surgeons will show you examples of their results.
Dr. Peter Hilger is a Professor and Director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Minnesota. He has been providing plastic and cosmetic surgery at the Hilger clinic for over 30 years. A Board-Certified Facial Plastic surgeon, his practice covers the entire spectrum of facial, head, and neck surgery; Dr.Lyford-Pike is also a faculty member at the University. Like Dr. Hilger, she is board-certified and trained at both John Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Hilger and Dr. Lyford-Pike specialize in both rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. Dr. Hilger holds many distinctions; these include being one of the few fellowship-trained plastic surgeons in the Twin Cities.
Will Insurance Cover My Surgery?
Whether or not health insurance will cover the cost of rhinoplasty is often determined by whether the reasons for the surgery are medical or aesthetic. For those who have suffered an injury or congenital defect, corrective surgery may be covered.
If a patient wishes to have a more sculpted, symmetrical nose to improve his or her appearance, the surgery is typically considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance. Many patients have both functional and aesthetic concerns. Therefore the surgery is carried out both to correct the airway and improve the appearance.
Those portions of the surgery devoted to airway restoration are frequently covered by insurance companies while the aesthetic portion of the surgery is considered cosmetic, and is not covered by insurance companies. Obviously, it makes sense to carry out both procedures at the same time, satisfying all of the patient’s objectives.
What Will The Recovery Process Be Like?
Recovery after rhinoplasty surgery varies from patient to patient, depending on the extent of correction that was performed. Patients typically experience swelling and bruising in the initial days after surgery. The majority of this swelling abates within the first week. During this time, it’s important to observe all surgeon instructions, including restricted activity, as this is to prevent the nose from shifting out of its new alignment.
We avoid nasal packing to reduce swelling and increase patient comfort after surgery. For most patients, the look of their nose continues to improve, with final results apparent a year after surgery.
Is There Really Such A Thing As A Non-Surgical Nose Job?
Injectable fillers have made non-surgical nose jobs possible. By using fillers, doctors are able to diminish the appearance of bumps or improve the symmetry of the nose without ever picking up a scalpel. The use of fillers to augment selective areas of the nose and thus improve appearance are considered off-label uses. The filler used in this way, although acceptable, has not been officially approved by the FDA. In general, we avoid injectable fillers in the nose because the results are temporary.
Most patients seeking rhinoplasty are looking for a smaller nose more refined rather than a larger nose. Also, significant complications have been reported through the use of fillers in the nose, including skin damage and permanent scarring. The majority of the swelling abates within the first week.
Can computer imaging help me make my decision?
We have employed the technically advanced video imaging, digital imaging, or morphing technology for over 25 years. We now use the most sophisticated methods–3D imaging. This computer-based educational tool allows us to enhance your consultation by capturing your 3D image and then we can modify the appearance to mimic the results or surgery.
Obviously, the surgical results take longer to evolve than the instant computer results and exact surgical outcome are not determined by the computer, but establishing a reasonable “game plan” for surgery with computer imaging can be very helpful for patient and surgeon alike.
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