Rhinoplasty is the procedure by which the external appearance of the nose is modified to achieve aesthetic improvement.
The art of rhinoplasty is in fact extremely ancient with some of the original reconstructive procedures dating back to the 5th century AD. The so-called "Indian flap" was utilized to reconstruct the nose following major injury. The modern art of rhinoplasty has developed over the past century to the current state of refinement. Newer techniques have allowed for major advances in our ability to correct problems and to modify the nasal appearance. At Northwest Face Seattle, we are able to achieve reliable results with minimal recovery time.
The goals of rhinoplasty are to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result without any sign of a procedure having been performed. Recovery must be rapid with return to normal activities possible within a few days.
The art of the rhinoplasty procedure is in achieving a highly individualized balance between the nasal appearance and the face. Differing facial configurations demand a well-matched nasal appearance to achieve an overall pleasing result. The nose consists of several aesthetic components: the tip, the dorsum (bridge), and the base (includes the nostril shape and width). These components must all harmoniously balance. The second important consideration is the function of the nose, which must be preserved or improved upon.
There are several basic techniques that we utilize for the rhinoplasty procedure. The majority of the surgery is performed via small incisions within the nostril areas. This then allows for the skin to be lifted and for the underlying structures to be modified. The addition of a small incision at the base of the nose (the "columella") is often added to allow for much improved exposure and the ability to perform highly sophisticated and elegant modifications. Even with this added small incision, there is virtually no visible incision line even to the closest inspection.
Our basic philosophy towards rhinoplasty is that of achieving highly pleasing aesthetic results without any semblance of an "operated on" appearance. We are all familiar with certain entertainers who have had nasal surgery with unfortunate, highly unnatural results. These are the changes that must not occur with rhinoplasty. The nose must simply look good with a completely natural appearance.
We perform these procedures in our Seattle outpatient surgery center that is both efficient and very private. We maintain Medicare accreditation and meet or exceed the standards of any hospital facility. Anesthesia is provided only by board certified MD anesthesiologists. We utilize the highest level of skilled nursing personnel for recovery and to assist with surgery.
The anesthetic used is deep sedation with anesthesia monitoring. The anesthesiologist starts an IV and administers medication that results in an extremely rapid sleepiness. The individual is completely unaware of anything being done; the next perception is of being in the recovery area. There is absolutely no pain at all with the procedure, and following it, most individuals experience little or no discomfort. We do not utilize any packing in the nose so one is able to breathe immediately. There is very little swelling or bruising, and that which occurs is resolved in 5-7 days.
The nose is presentable in appearance in approximately 5-7 days as the majority of minor swelling is resolving. At this stage the nose will generally look better than originally even with mild fullness. The majority of swelling is resolved at 14 days; there then follows a gradual phase of subtle improvement that evolves over the next 6-12 months. The appearance is generally excellent by 14 days with gradual refinement subsequently taking place.
Rhinoplasty can result in a major, dramatic improvement in ones appearance or may be undertaken to improve upon an already aesthetically sound nose with minor flaws. In either case, the results are reliable with an extremely rapid and essentially painless recovery.