What Is Reconstructive Rhinoplasty?
Accidents and injuries involving nasal trauma can result in cosmetic disfigurement of the nose. In some cases, the nasal function is affected as well. Reconstructive rhinoplasty is a corrective procedure that helps improve the appearance and function of the nose. If you've experienced facial trauma and are seeking surgical correction, the first step is consulting with an experienced nasal surgeon. The Rhinoplasty Society members are board-certified professionals who perform reconstructive rhinoplasty procedures. To learn more about reconstructive nasal surgery, please contact a rhinoplasty specialist.
What Can Reconstructive Rhinoplasty Treat?
Reconstructive rhinoplasty is performed to repair nasal injuries and trauma, such as:
- Nasal fractures (broken nose)
- Deviated septum
- Nasal asymmetry
- Burn injuries
- Nasal obstruction
During a consultation visit, your surgeon will gather some information about your overall health and provide more details about the surgical process. In the most severe cases, multiple surgeries may be required.
How Is Reconstructive Rhinoplasty Done?
Nose reconstruction surgery can involve several different methods based on the type of injury and the degree of disfigurement. An open or closed rhinoplasty technique could be used. Common reconstructive techniques include skin grafts, scar revision, deviated septum repair, and nasal valve repair. Throughout the process, patients are asleep under general anesthesia. An incision will either be made at the base of the nose or inside the nasal passages. The underlying bone and cartilage will be repositioned, trimmed, or adjusted to bring the nose back to proper function and create a more normal cosmetic appearance.
Reconstructive Rhinoplasty FAQs
How does reconstructive rhinoplasty differ from cosmetic rhinoplasty?
Reconstructive rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure focused on repairing or restoring the structure and function of the nose, often due to injury, congenital deformities, or medical conditions. Unlike cosmetic rhinoplasty, which primarily aims to enhance the nose's appearance, reconstructive rhinoplasty prioritizes functional improvement while addressing aesthetic concerns when necessary.
What conditions or situations may necessitate reconstructive rhinoplasty?
Reconstructive rhinoplasty is commonly performed to address issues such as nasal trauma (e.g., fractures), congenital deformities (e.g., cleft lip and palate), nasal tumors, breathing difficulties, and other types of nasal damage or abnormalities. It can help restore nasal function, improve breathing, and enhance overall facial harmony.
What should I expect during the recovery period after reconstructive rhinoplasty?
Recovery from reconstructive rhinoplasty varies depending on the complexity of the procedure and individual factors. In general, you can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the days following surgery. Nasal packing or splints may be used temporarily. Full recovery may take several weeks to a few months, during which time you should follow your surgeon's postoperative care instructions carefully to optimize healing and achieve the desired functional and aesthetic outcomes.
Is reconstructive rhinoplasty usually performed as an outpatient procedure?
The setting for your reconstructive rhinoplasty—whether outpatient or requiring an overnight hospital stay—will depend on the complexity of the surgery and your medical history. For less complicated cases, the procedure may be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to go home the same day. More complex cases or those involving additional health considerations might necessitate a short hospital stay. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate setting for your specific needs.
Will I need additional surgeries in the future?
Reconstructive rhinoplasty often aims to provide long-lasting functional improvements. However, in some cases, especially where complex deformities or conditions are concerned, additional surgeries may be needed. Your surgeon will discuss this possibility with you during your initial consultation and postoperative follow-up appointments, so you are fully informed about your treatment plan.
Can I wear glasses or contact lenses during the recovery period?
Wearing glasses immediately following reconstructive rhinoplasty may place pressure on the nasal bridge, which can affect healing. Generally, it is advised to avoid wearing glasses for a period of time, usually around four to six weeks, or until your surgeon gives you the clearance. Contact lenses are usually a better option during this time, as they won't interfere with the healing process. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines tailored to your case during your postoperative care.
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Find a Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Reconstructive rhinoplasty requires a tremendous level of surgical expertise. When searching for a surgeon, it's important to do your research in order to find someone you trust. If you are seeking a surgeon who offers reconstructive rhinoplasty in your area, you can connect with a Rhinoplasty Society member by utilizing our Find A Surgeon feature.