Surgery of the nose is among the most common of all plastic surgery procedures, yet one that demands experience and precision. Because this surgery can be subtle or more dramatic, it is important that both surgeon and patient have the same aesthetic goals and realistic awareness of what can and cannot be accomplished surgically. Rhinoplasty is performed at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD. in the Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota area by both Dr. Richard H. Tholen and Dr. Douglas L. Gervais. Our doctors have performed hundreds of rhinoplasty surgeries and understand how altering the nose affects the entire facial appearance.
Ideal candidates for rhinoplasty surgery are people seeking aesthetic improvement in their noses, not perfection. Rhinoplasty is a versatile operation that can reduce or increase the overall size of your nose, narrow or widen the nostrils, and/or change the shape of the tip or the bridge. The techniques used greatly depend on the desires of the patient, so it is important to seek a surgeon who fully understands the result that you are trying to achieve.
At our Minneapolis, Minnesota practice, rhinoplasty is as an outpatient operation performed under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia plus IV sedation, and usually takes an hour or two but can take longer, depending on the complexity of the operation. In the procedure, the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting framework of bone and cartilage. The bone and cartilage may then be accessed by the plastic surgeon who sculpts them into the desired shape. The skin is then redraped over the new framework. After rhinoplasty surgery is complete, a splint is applied to the nose to help maintain its new shape and minimize scar tissue. Nasal packs or soft splints may be placed in the nostrils to protect the internal incisions or to stabilize the septum, the dividing wall between the air passages. If airway surgery is necessary, the nasal packs will be left in place for several days to allow the mucous membranes to heal; otherwise, the nasal packs are removed in one to two days. The nasal splint is left in place for 7-10 days to allow the skin and soft tissues to adhere to the underlying cartilage and bone framework, as well as to allow the nasal bones to heal. You must NOT remove the nasal splint or tapes yourself as you may damage the cosmetic result and require re-operation; it will be removed at the appropriate time by your plastic surgeon. You will wear it at night for another week until the bones are more durable.
For the first 24 hours after rhinoplasty surgery, the face will feel puffy, the nose may ache, and the patient may experience a dull headache. Prescription medication is provided to manage any discomfort during this period. The patient should plan on resting with his or her head elevated for two to three weeks after surgery. There may be swelling and bruising around the eyes, reaching a peak after two to three days. By the end of 7-10 days, all packing, dressings, splints, and stitches will be removed. You should not blow your nose for three weeks after surgery to avoid serious infection or damage to your cosmetic result; saline nasal mist and gentle sniffling is allowed. If septal surgery is necessary, internal splints (not visible from the outside) may be left in place longer. After the external splint and tapes are removed, you will see your results, though further refinement will occur as healing progresses and swelling diminishes. The nasal skin will be numb for weeks to months after rhinoplasty surgery; it is important to avoid sunburn or frostbite during this period as protective sensation is absent. The final results may take 6-12 months to be seen.
You may ask our plastic surgeons questions about rhinoplasty surgery and learn more about how your finished result may look at a complimentary consultation at our office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rhinoplasty is a highly individualized procedure, and it is important to us that our patients receive the most natural-looking results possible. Please contact our office to schedule your consultation.
Please contact Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD. if you have any questions about our procedures or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.
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Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD.
4825 Olson Memorial Highway (Hwy 55) Suite 200
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55422
Phone: (763) 545-0443
Fax: (763) 545-2784