The shape, size, and alignment of the nose can largely impact your appearance, or at least, how you feel about it. As such, not everyone is born with what we’d call a perfect nose – however, fortunately, there are ways to correct it.
If you think your nose is less than perfect, consider opting for a rhinoplasty procedure. It’s a cosmetic surgery performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon to improve the shape and size of your entire nose or a part of it, such as the bridge or the nose tip. It’s a plus if the surgeon performs Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (Ear, Nose and Throat) as well, as then they are an expert in the workings of these essential organs.
However, the rhinoplasty procedure is not the only nose surgery out there. We also have the Septoplasty, which is another type of nose surgery used to treat other nose alignment problems, such as a deviated septum.
While many people suffer from this problem, only about 70% to 80% of people have a visible alignment issue. It is characterized by involving the narrowing of one or both of the nasal airways, which makes it difficult to breathe and may also lead to additional unpleasant complications such as headaches, facial pain, and congestion.
It’s common for people to experience a mix both of these problems (a deviated septum and a poorly shaped nose) but they are not actually the same problem. These are two different problems with two different solutions.
Let’s get to know rhinoplasty and Septoplasty in detail:
What are Rhinoplasty & Septoplasty?
Cosmetic rhinoplasty involves adding/removing tissue or modifying the bones and cartilages inside the nose to alter the shape and size of the nose. The surgery is typically performed under the influence of anesthesia.
It is a commonly performed plastic and reconstructive surgery due to its high success rate. You’ll need to have several appointments with your doctor first to finally get a procedure date as the nose may have to be first prepared for the procedure.
Initially, the surgeon will examine your nose structure and discuss with you the look you want for your nose, after effects, healing time, and any possible complications that might occur after the surgery, along with your expectations.
The surgeon will also walk you through the entire process and will let you know what to avoid in the 10 days prior to the surgery (which medications to stock up on, reduce or stop smoking, etc.).
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
You will be given general anesthesia, and the entire surgery will be performed while you are asleep so that you don’t feel any pain. The procedure can take up to two hours to complete.
The surgeon will make small incisions in the nostrils, or he/she may open up your nose from the actual base if the case is severe.
Once done, the cartilages and bones inside are repositioned to correct the size and shape of the nose. Your nose will then be stitched closed in the anatomically correct position.
Reasons to Get Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty are two different procedures, and there are various reasons to have them performed. Here are the possible reasons you might need to undergo the facial plastic surgery known as rhinoplasty:
- To make a nose smaller or bigger.
- Align a hump on the nose.
- Make the nose look less crooked.
- To reset or modify a broken nose.
- To get rid of an injury mark on the nose.
Again, first, you will be required to schedule a consultation with a surgeon of your choice. The surgeon will evaluate the severity of your septum deviation and will walk you through the entire process, similar to the rhinoplasty process.
The initial visits are to discuss matters related to the surgery. Your surgeon will explain how to prepare for the surgery and what to do and what not to do before the surgery.
For example, you may be asked to stop consuming certain foods a few weeks before the surgery. Your doctor may also ask you to stay away from certain medicines to ensure there are no complications during or after the surgery.
This procedure is actually performed entirely inside the nasal cavities and takes about 30-90 minutes to complete.
The surgeon will first give you anesthesia as the surgery involves making incisions in the nasal septum. Once under the effects of anesthesia, the surgeon will go on to lift the mucous membrane off of the septum to access the septum and correct it.
Depending on the severity of the deviation, the surgeon might remove some portion of the septum, correct its position or possibly have it replaced using a splint.
Once the septum is corrected, the surgeon will stitch back the area and close the cuts made.
Reasons to Get Septoplasty
The reasons to undergo Septoplasty are:
- Blocked nose due to a deviated septum
- Difficulty in breathing for a long time
What to Expect After Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty?
Complications After Rhinoplasty and How to Deal with Them
Since this procedure involves making cuts in the nostrils, tiny blood vessels are often ruptured and may start bleeding in the middle of the surgery.
This results in face, bruising and swelling. This condition might stay for 2 weeks to a month.
Some patients also often get black or purplish coloration under their eyes with mild to severe bruising on the face. Other than this, there might be pain and discomfort for the first few days.
Complications After Septoplasty
Like most of the surgeries, this one too might accompany some mild difficulties.
The most common risks that come with Septoplasty are bleeding, anesthesia reaction, and infection. However, the chance of these complications is significantly reduced when you choose an experienced surgeon.
Here are 7 complications that you might face from Septoplasty:
- Severe bleeding.
- A weakened sense of smell.
- Septal Perforation.
- Change in the shape of the nose.
- Nasal blockage even after the surgery (very rare).
- Numb feeling around the teeth, gums, and nose.
- Septal hematoma.
How Long to Recover from Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty?
Recovering from Rhinoplasty
Once the surgery is performed, the surgeon might place a metal or a plastic splint on your nose to provide support and help it heal.
If many incisions were made, then a splint might be placed inside the nose as well as support the septum.
You will be kept under observation for several hours after the surgery to check if everything is normal. Once assured, the doctor will allow you to leave for home on that very day. However, in case of a complicated procedure, you might have to stay for a day or two.
It takes around 5 to 6 weeks to get rid of the bruising, pain, and swelling. The shape of your nose will also be clear around this time. However, it may take about a year to recover from the effects of rhinoplasty fully.
Recovering from Septoplasty
Thanks to the advancements in the medical field, complex procedures have become easier to perform. In the case of Septoplasty, the patient is allowed to go home on the same day.
As for the recovery time, it can take from 2 weeks to several months to recover, depending upon how severe the case is.
If the surgeon has placed a splint, it can be removed after a week or two. If the swelling is minimum, it will eventually go away in a few days (3 - 5). You might have to deal with nose bleeds for up to 5 days after surgery.
You will be prescribed certain medications to reduce the pain in the days ahead. These can include ibuprofen, aspirin, and other blood-thinning medications. However, only take them as per the doctor’s instructions.
9 Tips to Make Faster Recovery in Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty
- Place cold compresses on the nose to provide ice therapy. It helps regulate blood flow and also reduces swelling.
- You can also turn to natural herbs, such as Arnica Montana (a herbal medicine available from pharmacies). It helps in the healing process.
- Keep the head elevated (use two-tree pillows). This will help restrict the fluid from your nose to drain down.
- Eliminate spicy foods and sodium from your daily diet. It keeps the blood pressure low and helps in recovery.
- Stay away from hard and spicy foods, alcohol, and fizzy drinks. They can cause you to sneeze or cough, putting pressure on the nose, which can delay recovery.
- Wear a splint for a week or more as per your doctor’s instructions.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Drink plenty of water to regulate blood flow.
- Purchase a healing kit, like the NU Bloom Rhinoplasty Recovery Kit to hasten the healing process.
What is the Cost of Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty?
Cost Of Rhinoplasty
The average price of getting a nose job aka rhinoplasty in America is $5,125 as per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
This is just an estimated price, and it will vary depending upon the region, facility, doctor, and severity of the case.
Moreover, the cost of anesthesia might not be included in the packaged price, and you might have to pay for it separately. Therefore, it is better to inquire about the total cost of the procedure first.
If you have health insurance, then get in touch with your insurance company to know more as the procedure may be covered under insurance. Moreover, you can check here to know more about how much rhinoplasty costs around the world.
Cost of Septoplasty
Septoplasty usually costs between $6,000 to $13,000 depending upon the case severity, the surgeon chosen region (geographical location) etc.
You might have to pay for the anesthesia separately, and health insurance may also be an option when undergoing this procedure.
Both rhinoplasty and Septoplasty are surgeries that can be opted for in order to correct the look and function of the nose.
You can also have both the surgeries together. First, Septoplasty to correct the septum problem and then rhinoplasty to correct the appearance of the nose if required. Speak to your doctor to know more.