Whether it stems from genetics or an injury, one of the most common cosmetic complaints is unhappiness with the size or shape of the nose. As the central feature of the face, the nose has the ability to affect the overall balance of your facial features. Fortunately, even a subtle change to the nose can completely improve the sense of balance and symmetry of your face.
Additionally, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Desman treats many patients who are looking to address both cosmetic and functional concerns of the nose. Nose surgery (rhinoplasty) can repair noses damaged by birth defect or injury and refine cosmetic imperfections. Whether your needs are cosmetic or functional, our facial plastic surgery team will work with you to create a treatment plan that aligns with your goals.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
Ideal candidates for rhinoplasty are individuals, in good health, who are unhappy with the size or shape of their nose. Regardless of the reason you’re seeking rhinoplasty, Dr. Desman would be happy to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs and goals. To see results from previous rhinoplasty patients in Alexandria and Northern Virginia, view our before-and-after photo gallery.
The Basics of Rhinoplasty
The nose consists of a number of interrelated structures, including bone, cartilage, and skin. Any given rhinoplasty procedure may involve changes to one or more of these parts, depending on your preferences and aesthetic goals. Many patients are drawn to this operation for its ability to accommodate such a diverse range of cosmetic changes.
For example, a single procedure may accomplish any of the following*:
Changing the shape of the nose tip by adding, removing, or repositioning cartilage.
Changing the shape of the bridge by removing excess cartilage and bone from the bridge or dorsal bone.
Narrowing the nostrils by removing skin from the base of the nostrils and moving them closer together.
Reducing the overall size of the nose by removing tissue from the base or by breaking and repositioning the bones in the nose.
Increasing the overall size of the nose by adding cartilage, skin, or bone, either from a donor site somewhere else on the patient’s body or using synthetic material.
Changing the angle of the nose by trimming the septum, which is the thin membrane separating the nostrils.
All of this makes Rhinoplasty a powerful option for Northern Virginia or Alexandria patients.
Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty
Depending on a patient’s specific needs, Dr. Desman will perform either an open or closed rhinoplasty.
This form of Rhinoplasty is performed through a combination of incisions in the inside of the nose and a small incision in the columella, the area between the nostrils. Open rhinoplasty affords much greater access to the area as the surgeon is able to expose the bone and cartilage more fully, allowing for more complicated procedures and precise adjustments. However, recovery times, swelling, and bruising are greater with open rhinoplasty.
Meanwhile, closed rhinoplasty involves an incision being made on the inside of the nose. As such, this procedure is only an option when this small incision allows for optimal results. It is crucial to remember that recovery times, swelling, and bruising are less with closed rhinoplasty procedures, which makes them a good option for many Alexandria or Northern Virginia patients.
Why Schedule a Rhinoplasty Consultation?
Making the personal decision to undergo nose surgery can be influenced by many factors, which is why patients find their consultation to be so important. At your consultation with Dr. Desman, he can guide you through the various options you have for rhinoplasty, including what kind of procedure is best for your specific situation. Likewise, for patients who feel anxious about undergoing the operation, some find it helpful to learn more about the procedure in detail.
Another benefit of scheduling a rhinoplasty consultation is that you can explore other procedures that may complement the effects of the operation, like Botox Cosmetic® Injections or dermal fillers for a fully rejuvenated appearance. Whichever version of rhinoplasty you are interested in, our Alexandria and Northern Virginia team members are more than happy to educate you and answer questions along the way.
Choosing a Board-Certified Surgeon for Your Rhinoplasty in Northern Virginia
NOVA and Alexandria patients seeking rhinoplasty, might be wondering what the advantage is of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon. For natural looking results, rhinoplasty requires a high level of surgical precision and artistic intuition. As a board-certified surgeon who has proved his mastery of the field, Dr. Desman is committed to performing rhinoplasty in Northern Virginia with unmatched care and surgical skill.
To get started on planning your treatment, reach out to our office today. Our team can schedule your initial consolation at your convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Recovery Like After Rhinoplasty?
As with most surgical procedures, the healing process following your nose surgery will come in stages. Immediately following the procedure, Dr. Desman may apply a splint to stabilize the newly sculpted nose, and he may also pack your nose with a dressing to maintain the position of the septum. Typically, a splint is only needed if the nasal bones are broken and repositioned during surgery.
In the first two-to-ten days following nose surgery, you may experience pain that ranges from moderate to severe. However, discomfort can be alleviated with prescription pain medication and the use of cold compresses. Numbness in the tip of the nose will usually persist for several weeks to several months. You will likely experience bruising for about one-to-three weeks, and swelling can last for six-to-twelve months. For up to one year after your nose surgery, the skin and soft tissues will continue to adjust over the altered bone and cartilage framework.
Most rhinoplasty patients should be able to return to work after a week or two, and they can resume all normal activities within four weeks. Sometimes, the results of rhinoplasty need to settle before the full effects are apparent. This can take anywhere from three months to two years, depending on the patient.
Patients who wear contact lenses can continue to wear them after rhinoplasty but wearing glasses will require modifications. After your surgeon removes the nose split, your nose still needs time to heal. As a result, glasses cannot be worn as usual and must be taped to the forehead. There are also special devices you can purchase that allow eyeglasses to rest on your cheeks while your nose heals during the first four-to-six weeks.
What Are My Anesthesia Options for Rhinoplasty?
You can have your rhinoplasty performed under local anesthesia and a light sedative, or under general anesthesia, depending on the specifics of the procedure. Smaller procedures not involving bone work may be performed under local anesthesia. More involved procedures usually entail either heavy sedation or general anesthesia. If you have any preferences regarding anesthesia, be sure to discuss them with your surgeon.
How Long Will the Results of Rhinoplasty Last?
The results of rhinoplasty are permanent, allowing patients to enjoy their re-sculpted nose long term.
Does Rhinoplasty Leave Visible Scars?
In closed rhinoplasty, patients will have no visible scars after their nose surgery. With open rhinoplasty, patients will have a small scar on the underside of their nose, in the area between the nostrils. In most cases, the scar is very slight.
What are the Risks of Rhinoplasty?
Infections: There is always some risk of infection with surgical procedures. But because rhinoplasty is a relatively non-invasive procedure, those risks are small. In rare cases when infections occur, they can usually be treated with antibiotics. In some very rare types of infection, such as toxic shock syndrome, the condition can be fatal. Most infections can be effectively prevented simply by keeping the wound clean and watching the area carefully during the healing process.
Anesthesia Toxicity: Any procedure involving anesthesia carries risks, and risks of general anesthesia are greater than risks for local anesthetics or IV sedation. The primary risks involved with general sedation are respiratory related. If you have a pre-existing cardiac or pulmonary disease, if you smoke, or use prescription or non-prescription drugs, your risks are more pronounced. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any conditions or other factors that might increase your chance of complications from anesthesia.
Bleeding: Due to the incisions made inside the nose, persistent bleeding may occur for as much as one month after the operation. This can be minimized by avoiding the temptation to pick or blow the nose during the initial healing process.
Burst Blood Vessels: In some cases, the rhinoplasty procedure causes small blood vessels in the nose to burst. This may appear as tiny red spots on the skin, barely visible to the naked eye. In very rare cases, the condition is permanent.
Scarring: In cases of open rhinoplasty, the patient will have a scar on the underside of the nose, between the nostrils. The extent of the scarring will vary from patient to patient, but it is almost always minor.
What if I have a complication?
While complications for Rhinoplasty are rare, Dr. Desman will be there to take care of you. In addition, when you have surgery, you will automatically be enrolled in a cosmetic surgery specific insurance plan that covers you for the first 45 days after surgery. Your safety and well being are a top priority for us and this is another way that we ensure you have the best care possible.
Interested in learning more?
Discuss your goals with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon