Once your bone and cartilage have been resculpted, your surgeon pulls the skin back down and stitches it along the open-rhinoplasty incision across the columella (the tissue that links the nasal tip to the nasal base). “When done properly, that incision is extremely hard to see, once it’s healed,” says Dr. Miller. With a closed procedure, the incisions are made inside your nostrils, so there’s no visible scarring, and the sutures are usually dissolvable.
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How much you’ll swell really depends on you and on your surgeon’s technique—not so much the type of rhinoplasty you had. Dr. William Portuese, a facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, says that “The amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure depends upon the type of rhinoplasty performed [open versus closed], the thickness of the skin, the amount of alteration required to the nasal tip, and the patient’s variability with the healing process itself.” He notes that “Some patients require taping and steroid shots in the tip of the nose to reduce swelling in that area for the first several months after the procedure.” According to Dr. Miller, “A very clean open rhinoplasty can result in minimal swelling, while with a closed procedure that isn’t performed in the ideal tissue and cartilage, you can have a lot more swelling. If the dissection travels through soft tissue or muscle on top of the cartilage, more bleeding and swelling will develop.” He notes that most people can also expect some bleeding from days two to five, but it should lessen with each passing day.
Some might think that this patient had had previous rhinoplasty with tip collapse, but she did not. Occasionally, the shape of the tip cartilages is very vertically-oriented, causing a deep groove in the nostril. She felt this, along with her marked tip crookedness, drew unwanted attention to her nose. Now, her nose is smaller, smoother, more defined, and just blends with the rest of her face.
Aging can affect our entire bodies. For women, their breasts can lose their shape and volume creating a saggy and disproportionate chest appearance. Gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight fluctuations can also add to the breasts’ loss of definition. A breast lift, otherwise known as a mastopexy, can correct the aforementioned issues and restore the breasts allowing them to appear perky and more youthful.
Case 75: Getting a severely crooked nose as close to perfectly straight as possible is one of the hardest things to accomplish in rhinoplasty. Our extensive experience at Profiles with traumatic noses has us well positioned to treat these difficult cases and achieve a nasal contour that is no longer a focal point but now blends with the rest of her features.
A: It’s difficult to answer “how much” sensitivity you can expect to lose after breast lift surgery but most patients report that they are able to retain complete or near complete sensation. During the initial postoperative period, there may be a temporary loss or decrease in sensation primarily due to swelling. As the swelling subsides, the sensation will return. There is the potential that you may experience a change in the sensitivity of your nipples and the skin of your breast. On occasion, patients have reported that their nipples are “supersensitive.” In this case desensitization, exercises can be performed to diminish the sensitivity. This involves gently rubbing the nipples with cotton ball and then progressing to a more course material.
Case 47: This patient’s primary surgery left her with valve collapse, nostril notching, persistent tip rounding and hanging columella. Secondary surgery involved correction of these issues with repositioning and reconstruction of the tip cartilages to improve tip contour. Although she is still a little swollen in the after photos, she is already happy with her new nose.
Case 37: Achieving a beautiful, natural change in an already beautiful woman is one of the great challenges we love in rhinoplasty. In front view you see a beautifully defined, natural change that simply looks great. Then on profile and 3/4 views, you see an elegant change where the tip is deprojected (made smaller) but retains a beautiful, natural aesthetic- this is finesse rhinoplasty.
Case 40: Excessive nasal width can cause the nose to dominate other fine, delicate facial features. In Ethnic Rhinoplasty, the key to obtaining a more refined nose is to create a nasal framework upon which the thick skin will wrap around. This pretty young Persian woman wanted to reduce her nasal width, the fullness in her tip, and the sense that her tip was downturned. These six month photos show significant improvements in achieving these goals and her nose will only get better yet.
Dr. Miller says it’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations. “It’s not a good idea to take a wide, thick nose and turn it into one that’s thin and tiny,” he says. “But if the steps are done properly, we can make the desired changes.” Thick nasal skin that makes it challenging to refine the nasal tip needs to be thinned out, for example. It’s important to find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic rhinoplasties.