Nasal Surgery

There are two basic types of nasal surgery; cosmetic and reconstructive. Nasal surgery is defined as any surgical procedure done on the external or internal configuration of the nose and its passages. It usually involves reconstruction of the bone and cartilage with incisions of the skin that covers the nose. Thousands of people undergo nasal surgery annually and anyone considering it, for any reason, should consult a doctor who understands nasal airway function, as well as plastic surgery, to ensure efficient breathing as well as appearance.

The choice of surgery shall be advised by you consultant. Cosmetic nasal surgery or rhinoplasty involves reforming the normal shape of the patient's nose to improve their appearance, bringing it into balance with the other features of the face. It is very important in these instances that the patients have a clear and realistic understanding of what changes are possible and which are not, as well as the limitations and risks of the procedure before any surgery. Also, except for cases where there is a severe breathing impairment, younger patients are not acceptable candidates until they reach the age of 17, when their nose has stopped growing.

Reconstructive nasal surgery is performed to improve the function of the nose. It involves restructuring due to abnormal growth, infection, trauma, tumors or disease. It may require a bone graft to the nose. Reasons for nasal surgery are based on chronic breathing problems with symptoms that do not respond well to ordinary treatments. A deviated septum is the partition or septum between the nostrils that is crooked due to abnormal growth or the result of an injury.

This can cause a partial or completely closed nasal passage leading to difficulty in breathing and a constant feeling of being "stuffed up". A deviated septem can be corrected with a surgical procedure called Septoplasty and many times, a patient will request cosmetic changes to the nose at the same time. That combined procedure is called a Septorhinoplasty.

Turbinates are tissues that line the inside of the nasal passages and overgrowth of the turbinates is another cause of that feeling of stuffiness. Sometimes the turbinates need treatment to make them smaller and expand the nasal passages which include injection, freezing and partial removal of the tissues.

To reshape or fix damage in the nose, the skin is lifted, enabling the doctor to remove or rearrange the bone and cartilage. After the surgery, the skin is then redraped and stitched back over the nose. A nasal splint on the outside of the nose helps retain its shape during the period of healing.

Additionally, absorbent material such as gauze may be inserted in the nostrils which stabilizes the septum, and will generally be removed the morning after surgery. External nasal dressings such as splints are usually removed 5 to 7 days after surgery. Risk factors for either cosmetic or reconstructive nasal surgery are generally minimal.

The Rhinoplasty may be "open" or  "closed" and this will be discussed with your surgeon.

Preparation

Patient's undergoing nasal surgery should understand that consideration and preparation are vital elements. Those who are considering the procedure should clearly outline their targets, and openly discuss this with their consultant. Those who are considering the procedure should be aware of the risks and complications that can arise, as well as the practical changes that are needed prior to surgery. Patients are required to stop taking medication which alters blood viscosity; including aspirin, birth control and hormone correction. In preparation of surgery it is also highly recommended that patients avoid smoking, to provide a quicker recovery.

Following the initial consultation, the patient and consultant will determine what changes can be made and what the requirements are. Most doctors take photographs at the same time. The surgeon will also explain the techniques and anesthesia options available.

After Nasal Surgery

To allow your nose to heal properly, you should refrain from any brisk, physical activity for at least one week. Patients should also avoid smoking for at least two weeks to decrease recovery time.

Recovering from nasal surgery

  • Swelling - Nasal swelling is expected and might not be as noticeable until after the splint is removed. Most of the major swelling occurs during the first 10-14 days and will gradually subside within 4- 6 months.
  • Patients may find that breathing through their nose might be somewhat difficult immediately after surgery. This is simply due to swelling inside the nasal passages, but that sense of "stuffiness" will steadily diminish in about 4-6 days after surgery.
  • Patients will experience bruising. This is following nasal surgery usually form into "black eyes". Most bruising will fade in 5-7 days and should be completely gone within 2 weeks.

For the large majority of adults who under go a nasal surgery the results will be a success with no unforeseen consequences. Despite this, the capacity for risks and complications remain, as is the case for almost all surgical procedures.

Risks and complication

  • The shape of nose could require repair by secondary surgery with an implant.
  • Airway obstruction could be a possible complication associated with nasal surgery.
  • Anaesthesia reaction.
  • Asymmetry could occur.
  • The patient may require nasal packing should bleeding occur.
  • Burst blood vessels could occur through surgery

By nature, all medical procedures carry an element of risk. While the majority of patients do not experience any complicationduring our nasal surgery procedures, before embarking on any medical procedure, it is advisable to consultfully with the McLean Academy so that our qualified staff can suitably discuss any risk or concerns that your procedure may pose.

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Contact Information

The McLean Academy

Neil R. McLean ( MD FRCS )

Telephone: 0191 284 3719

Email: reception@mcleanacademy.com

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