Is Rhinoplasty A Safe Procedure?
Rhinoplasty is one of the most commonly-requested types of plastic surgery in the United States. Used to change the appearance of the nose, rhinoplasty can:
- Increase or reduce the overall size of the nose so that it is in better proportion with other facial features.
- Change the shape of the tip of the nose, the bridge of the nose and the nostrils.
- Change the angle between the nose and the upper lip.
- Straighten the septum, which is the little bit of skin and cartilage inside the nose that separates the nostrils. This is sometimes called a septoplasty.
With more than 200,000 rhinoplasties being performed across the country every year, the procedure is generally considered extremely safe when carried out by a reputable surgeon. Nevertheless, there are still some patients who are concerned about the possible complications and overall safety of the procedure.
Possible complications associated with rhinoplasty surgery
As with all types of cosmetic surgery, despite being considered extremely safe when performed by an experienced surgeon, there are some possible risks and complications. With regards to rhinoplasty surgery, some of these include the following:
- Scarring. While every effort is made to ensure that scarring is minimal, and in most cases, scars fade over time, occasionally scars may become thicker, wider and more obvious. If this happens, you may need further surgery to correct them.
- Post-operative bleeding. Some bleeding is normal, but excessive bleeding may necessitate further surgery to find the source of it and stop it.
- Swelling, bruising and pain. You should expect to be in some discomfort and to see some swelling and bruising after your surgery. Sometimes this is prolonged, and you may need to be patient while it eases.
- Changes in sensation. Occasionally some of the nerves in and around the nose may become damaged. This is rare but can lead to changes or loss of sensation in the tip of the nose or near the top lip.
- Altered sense of smell. Again, this is quite rare, but after rhinoplasty some patient’s sense of smell, and occasionally their sense of taste, is altered slightly.
- Breathing difficulties. It is perfectly normal to have some trouble breathing through your nose while it is swollen in the days and weeks after your rhinoplasty. However, some types of rhinoplasty procedure can alter the nose in such a way that the nostrils are narrowed, and this can lead to a permanent difficulty breathing full through it.
- Infection. If you have chosen a reputable surgeon, every care will be taken to ensure that risks of infection from the surgery itself are minimal. However, due to the bodily fluids involved in the area of the surgery, infections are a considerable risk and it is essential that you do not have a cough, cold or any other type of viral or bacterial illness at the time that your rhinoplasty procedure is carried out. Infection can mean that you need to take antibiotics, and it may even affect the overall outcome of your surgery.
In addition to the complications listed above, some patients simply find that they are dissatisfied with the results of their surgery. It can take as long as 18 months for all of the swelling to completely subside and to see the final appearance of their nose, but for a small number of patients, they still aren’t happy with what they see in the mirror. This is one of the reasons that rhinoplasty revision surgery exists. Nevertheless, you can minimize the risk of being unhappy with your rhinoplasty results by ensuring that you choose the best possible surgeon for the procedure.
Finding a rhinoplasty surgeon
Finding a highly qualified and experienced surgeon for your rhinoplasty surgery is essential if you want to feel reassured and achieve the best possible result from your surgery. Here are our top tips for finding the best rhinoplasty surgeon in your area.
Research their credentials
Ideally you should find a rhinoplasty surgeon who is board-certified in either plastic surgery or otolaryngology. Becoming board-certified shows that the doctor has met the rigorous moral, ethical and practise standards required by the board, as well as completing cosmetic surgery education and training.
Ask how many rhinoplasties our surgeon has performed
The more rhinoplasties they have carried out, the more experience they have. This will help ensure that our surgeon will know what to do should something unexpected arise during your surgery, as well as being aware of the functional and esthetic aspects of the procedure.
Ask to see their before/after images of patients
Any good plastic surgeon will have a portfolio of before/after images of work that they have completed on previous patients and will be happy to share this with you. This will give you a good indication of how well they have performed in the past and if you are likely to be able to obtain the result that you want from your surgery.
If you would like more information about rhinoplasty surgery or have further questions about the safety of the procedure, please do not hesitate to contact our expert team who will be happy to advise and reassure you.