Rhinoplasty: Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
The nose is a central feature that can define your entire appearance. So when you’re not happy with your nose, it can adversely affect your overall self-esteem and confidence. That’s where rhinoplasty comes in — this procedure, also known as a ‘nose job,’ can change the shape or size of your nose to bring more harmony to your facial features. While you’ve probably heard of rhinoplasty before, you might have some further questions if you’re considering going under the knife to improve the look of your nose. As one of Canada’s foremost rhinoplasty surgeons, Dr. Ritchie Younger at Younger Facial Surgery Centre in Vancouver has addressed a few of the topics that come up most frequently during patient consultations to help you better understand this surgery and decide if it’s right for you.
Are There Different Kinds of Rhinoplasty Surgery?
Rhinoplasty, like most cosmetic procedures, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. People want to improve the size, shape or functionality of their nose for a number of different reasons, so it makes sense that this procedure can be tailored to meet your unique needs. But not all surgeons can perform every type of rhinoplasty available — most providers stick with a basic technique that alters the appearance or proportion of the nose to bring it into harmony with the rest of the face. As a board-certified plastic surgeon and Vancouver’s leader in facial procedures, Dr. Younger has been performing rhinoplasties for more than 30 years, developing and refining his approach to give his patients the most comprehensive offering of nose surgeries in Canada. While others might be daunted by the level of skill, technique and knowledge of nasal anatomy required for a successful outcome, Dr. Younger has embraced the challenge to become the region’s top rhinoplasty provider.
The nose procedures offered at Younger Facial Surgery Centre can address varied concerns, from minor changes to a complete overhaul of the nasal structure. Most patients are familiar with the classical rhinoplasty, which alters the size, shape or position of the nose for a more balanced appearance, but Dr. Younger also offers the supreme rhinoplasty for a more dramatic transformation, the subtle refinement rhinoplasty for smaller adjustments, and augmentation rhinoplasty for patients who want a larger nose. If breathing is obstructed due to the structure of the nose or past injuries, he can address these concerns with nasal airway revision/enhancement surgery or a functional septorhinoplasty. Finally, Dr. Younger can fix the results of a “bad” nose job with revision rhinoplasty, correcting issues like improper alignment, the wrong size or shape, or inadequately addressed concerns.
For younger patients or those who just want to change the tip of their nose, junior rhinoplasty and tip refinement surgery are also available. We know these options can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry — during your consultation, Dr. Younger will thoroughly evaluate your concerns, goals and facial anatomy to recommend the best approach for you. With decades of experience and the support of a dedicated team of professionals, you’re in good hands at the Younger Facial Surgery Centre.
Can Rhinoplasty Improve My Breathing?
Absolutely! Breathing issues are a common reason why many consider rhinoplasty. Due to the structure and form of the nose, sometimes it’s necessary to straighten, enlarge or reinforce the nasal passages to remove any blockages and improve breathing. Some people have naturally obstructed airways as a result of their nose shape, while others experience medical problems like a deviated septum that can cause problems. In some cases, trauma to the nose can also interfere with breathing, particularly after a sports injury that hasn’t healed properly. During a nasal revision/enhancement surgery or a functional septorhinoplasty procedure, Dr. Younger can reconstruct the nasal passageways to allow more room for airflow, removing or recreating the anatomical parts needed to breathe easier.
If your breathing is obstructed after a previous rhinoplasty, Dr. Younger can help with that, too. Some surgeons focus too much on the outer appearance of the nose without paying proper attention to the internal structure, compromising the integrity of the nasal airways. Using various techniques, he can revise the results of a botched surgery to open up your nose and alleviate difficulties breathing. In this way, rhinoplasty can provide both cosmetic and functional improvements that improve your quality of life in countless ways.
Is There a ‘Right’ Age to Get a Nose Job?
Many children and teens have concerns about their nose from an early age, whether it’s a bumpy bridge, uneven nostrils or a large tip. While these problems can cause embarrassment or lead to teasing at school, the nose doesn’t stop developing until the teenage years. For girls, the nose reaches its adult size and shape between the ages of 15 or 16, while for boys, the nose is fully developed by the time they’re 20 or 21. Still, regardless of gender, the exact ‘right’ age to consider rhinoplasty varies from person to person, since we all develop and mature at different rates.
If you or your child is interested in rhinoplasty at a younger age, it’s recommended to wait until the nose has fully developed before undergoing surgery. In fact, most surgeons won’t consider operating on patients before they reach their late teens to ensure a safe and effective procedure. While Dr. Younger does perform junior rhinoplasties on individuals in this age range, he follows strict rules and guidelines to avoid making any changes that will adversely affect the growth and development of the nose.
For adults, there’s no upper age limit for rhinoplasty, provided that you are healthy enough for surgery. It’s often cited that the ‘ideal’ time for a nose job is under the age of 40, but patients in their 50s or 60s can achieve a good cosmetic outcome, too. There are increasing challenges with revising the size or shape of the nose as we get older, such as brittle bones and decreased skin elasticity, but more conservative techniques can still make subtle changes that drastically improve your appearance and facial harmony. If you’re over 40 and worried that you waited too long to get a nose job, Dr. Younger can evaluate your concerns and discuss what kind of changes or techniques he can use to help you reach your goals.
What Kind of Anesthesia is Used in Rhinoplasty?
The anesthesia used in your nose surgery will depend on the type of rhinoplasty being performed and the amount of correction needed to accomplish your goals. Patients requiring minor adjustments in the size or shape of their nose or undergoing tip refinement surgery may only require a local anesthetic with or without sedation to numb the area being treated. For more extensive surgeries that involve cutting or grafting of the bone, cartilage reshaping or other invasive techniques, general anesthesia is typically used.
Prior to your procedure, Dr. Younger will perform a thorough evaluation of your overall health, the condition of your nose and your desired results to determine which type of anesthesia is most suitable. A number of factors will influence this decision, including your comfort, safety and the complexity of your surgery. Although the methods and safety of administering anesthesia have improved considerably in the past few decades, there are still some risks to consider, all of which will be carefully reviewed before proceeding.
What is Recovery Like After Surgery?
Rhinoplasty is a major surgery, which typically involves reshaping the bone and cartilage to give your nose a more pleasing appearance. Because of this, you can expect some post-operative pain, discomfort and downtime as you recover at home. Your nose will likely be sore, and you may notice some bruising, swelling or bleeding around the treated area. Depending on the extent of your surgery, Dr. Younger will use stitches, splints or nasal packing to protect your nose and help reduce these side effects, which will be left in place for about a week or so.
After surgery, you may also be stuffy and have difficulty breathing through your nose. Pressure in the ears or sinus headaches are also common, but these issues are temporary and will get better soon. Over-the-counter drugs or medications provided by your doctor can alleviate any pain or discomfort you experience to make things easier and more comfortable. Getting plenty of rest in the days following your procedure will also help your nose heal quicker. Be sure to follow Dr. Younger’s post-operative instructions for a smooth recovery, and call with any questions or concerns you may have.
If you’re wondering how much time you’ll need off from work and other daily activities after surgery, most patients take at least one or two weeks to give their nose some time to heal. By then, most of the bruising and swelling will have subsided, and your splint or cast should be removed to give you your first look at your new appearance. Keep in mind that your results will continue to develop as your nose “settles” into its final shape and position. You might notice gradual changes for the next several months until your permanent outcome appears, usually within a year.
Ready to Learn More?
Now that your most frequently asked questions about rhinoplasty have been answered, are you ready to learn more about this procedure? As Vancouver’s top nose surgeon, Dr. Younger can provide any additional information you might want about rhinoplasties and help you discover if this surgery is right for you. To schedule your consultation, contact or call Younger Facial Surgery Centre today at 604-265-9730.