Different Types of Nose Surgery

  • November 02, 2018
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When you hear the word rhinoplasty, you probably imagine a self-conscious male or female in their 20s or 30s, wishing to have the perfect nose. However, the reasons for undergoing nasal surgery often extend beyond the desire for enhanced appearance, and the age fluctuates anywhere from 12 to 70. Some people are born with congenital defects, while others suffer from injuries that cause distorted facial features. The truth is that no matter what incentive takes you to the doctor’s office, no two rhinoplasty procedures are alike, hence the need to differentiate between them. Let’s inspect the different types of nose surgery offered in Singapore and overseas.

Open Rhinoplasty

In terms of techniques, there are two types of rhinoplasty: open or closed (also known as Western vs. Asian, respectively). The former gives the specialist more area to work on, as all incisions are made outside of the nose, right between the nostrils.

The procedure is ideal for people with the following problems:

  • Discontentment with the way the nose appears after previous nose jobs
  • Acquired deformities
  • Genetic deformities in the nasal structure
  • Collapsed valves

Open nose surgery is much easier to do, as the internal area that needs to be worked on is made entirely visible. However, it is not a popular choice because it creates external scarring and the healing period is longer. That being said, the swelling will not subside very quickly. In some cases, it may even last up to two years – its severity will diminish, but it won’t go away completely.

Closed Rhinoplasty

closed rhinoplasty

This is the most common type of surgical nose jobs because it is less invasive and therefore more discrete. It involves making incisions inside the nose, which is why there are no external scars. Understandably, people and surgeons prefer this one to open rhinoplasty since it also carries less risk, and at the same time the results are fantastic.

Here are the benefits:

  • The procedure takes less time than its counterpart.
  • All visible scarring is kept to a minimum.
  • Because there is no columellar incision, any subsequent irritation to the nasal tissue is reduced.
  • There is a smaller risk of post-op oedema.
  • The nasal tip support is not as likely to be reduced as it is with open nasal surgery.
  • Patients recover much faster.

Reduction Rhinoplasty

This procedure is used to decrease the size of the nose. It can focus on the overall structures of the nose or a particular area, such as the tip, bumps and humps, etc., depending on what the patient is willing to alter in their appearance. To achieve the desired size and shape, the surgeon often has to remove the bone and cartilage.

Post-traumatic Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Sometimes fights, car accidents, and sports injuries may affect the nose, causing damaged airways, deformities, broken cartilage, and more. As a result, there may be visible changes to the structure, making it look as if your nose is out of proportion. Not only does a broken bone look bad, but it can create breathing problems, obstruct blood flow, and lead to collapsing of the bridge.

All these issues can be addressed with post-traumatic rhinoplasty surgery whose purpose is to fix the damage and restore the nose to a pre-injury state. At this point, it can be straightened out to a more desirable shape.

Augmentation Rhinoplasty

The plastic surgeon builds the tip or the bridge of the nose through grafting, using your own cartilage (if you have enough tissue) or other materials that were either obtained from cadavers or made synthetically. Grafting is when healthy tissue from one part of the body is extracted and planted into another part. In the case of nose jobs, if not enough tissue is available for the purpose, then the doctor works with external materials.

Septoplasty Nose Surgery

This is a nose job that helps to correct a deviated septum. In case you are wondering, the septum is the barrier of cartilage and bone, which normally sits in the centre separating the two nasal cavities. However, for different reasons, it can get crooked and move significantly to one side, making one breathing passage smaller than the other. In consequence, this obstructs moving air in and out of the lungs and impacts the respiratory health.

The problem typically occurs as a result of an injury, however, in some people, it can be a pre-existing condition. Regardless of how it happened, the only way to fix it is through plastic surgery.

The procedure that can restore the original shape of the septum is called septoplasty. It is performed under general or local anaesthesia and can take 30 to 90 minutes to finish. The surgeon makes an incision into the nose where they can reach the septum, lifts its protective covering known as the mucous membrane, and moves the septum back into the right position.

If there are any extra pieces of cartilage or bone, they are removed and the mucous membrane is repositioned. Stitches may be used at this point, but are not mandatory. Sometimes, filling the nostrils with cotton will help keep the protective covering and septum together.

Revision Rhinoplasty

It is not uncommon for people to go for revision rhinoplasty after the primary surgery and the reasons vary. Some of them want to make changes they didn’t intend to do the first time around and others are generally dissatisfied with the results they got. Sometimes an operation is necessary due to breathing problems. The purpose of this type of invasive intervention is to restore the function and appearance of your nose. If we have to put it in numbers, most doctors experience a 10-15% revision rate. If they don’t have one, then quite possibly their patients are having someone else do the subsequent procedures.

Refinement Rhinoplasty

A lot of patients are frustrated at how bulbous their nose tip is or how it points down instead of up. The way the face appears to us and others is mostly determined by the projection of the tip, and if it’s not what people expect, they opt for refinement rhinoplasty. This procedure is designed to cater to everyone’s specific facial characteristics, so it is highly individualised. Various tactics can be used to improve the tip so that it looks pleasing and complements the rest of the face. This involves perfecting its direction and shape. To do that, the surgeon may have to remove tissue and cartilage.

Alarplasty Surgery

Alarplasty reduces the size of the alas – the sides of the nose located at the bottom. Sometimes they are significantly bigger than the rest of the tissue, standing out instead of blending with the face. Patients often wish to narrow them to a more acceptable size. This type of nose job aims at reshaping the nose in a way that creates more balance between the different structures.

Turbinoplasty Surgery

This procedure is designated to reduce the size of the turbinates, i.e the bony structures at the side wall of the nose. Their main function is to control airflow, that’s why when they swell, it may lead to obstruction.

Which Types of Nose Surgery Should I Go For?

woman question mark

It is difficult to determine which procedure will be best for you without talking to a specialist. A one-on-one consultation is where you get asked a lot of questions about your nose, such as what you like and don’t like about it, and how you think it should look. During the meeting, the doctor will also examine the proportions of your face, which will help them create a surgical plan for you.

What is the Difference Between Rhinoplasty and Nose Fillers?

The main difference is that the former is an invasive procedure, which requires incisions and leaves a scar, while the latter are non-surgical and have very small downtime.

With rhinoplasty, you can do a lot more changes to your nose and they are permanent. In comparison, the results created by fillers are pretty short-lived, which requires frequent top-ups.

Everybody has their own reasons for choosing one over the other, and the cost is often the determining factor. Nasal surgery can be a little tough on the wallet and you have to hand over the total amount of money in one go.

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