In Reply Many thanks for the letter and comments relating to the recently published Surgical Pearl.1 We are very grateful to you for drawing our attention to the work of Maliniac,2 of which the authors were unaware. I remember during my higher surgical training once being told that if I thought I had had an original idea, I should check the German literature. Although that is not completely accurate in this case, the point is well made.
Question Does surgical reconstruction of Mohs facial defects normalize facial attention?
Findings This case series finds that Mohs defects alter causal observer attention, distracting from other important facial features such as the eyes; the degree of distraction is a factor of defect size and location, with larger and more centrally located defects drawing the most attention. Surgical reconstruction is associated with normalized attentional distraction for many patients, restoring a normal pattern of observer attention.
Meaning Eye tracking allows objective measurement of how Mohs defects and their reconstruction change facial attention; while facial defects are associated with altered normal facial attention, reconstructive surgery has the potential to normalize facial attention in many cases.
Importance Objectively measuring how Mohs defect reconstruction changes casual observer attention has important implications for patients and facial plastic surgeons.
Objective To use eye-tracking technology to objectively measure the ability of Mohs facial defect reconstruction to normalize facial attention.
Design, Setting, and Participants This observational outcomes study was conducted at an academic tertiary referral center from January to June 2016. An eye-tracking system was used to record how 82 casual observers directed attention to photographs of 32 patients with Mohs facial defects of varying sizes and locations before and after reconstruction as well as 16 control faces with no facial defects. Statistical analysis was performed from November 2018 to January 2019.
Main Outcomes and Measures First, the attentional distraction caused by facial defects was quantified in milliseconds of gaze time using eye tracking. Second, the eye-tracking data were analyzed using mixed-effects linear regression to assess the association of facial defect reconstruction with normalized facial attention.
Results The 82 casual observers (63 women and 19 men; mean [SD] age, 34  years) viewed control faces in a similar and consistent fashion, with most attention (65%; 95% CI, 62%-69%) directed at the central triangle, which includes the eyes, nose, and mouth. The eyes were the most visually important feature, capturing a mean of 60% (95% CI, 57%-64%) of fixation time within the central triangle and 39% (95% CI, 36%-43%) of total observer attention. The presence of Mohs defects was associated with statistically significant alterations in this pattern of normal facial attention. The larger the defect and the more centrally a defect was located, the more attentional distraction was observed, as measured by increased attention on the defect and decreased attention on the eyes, ranging from 729 (95% CI, 526-931) milliseconds for small peripheral defects to 3693 (95% CI, 3490-3896) milliseconds for large central defects. Reconstructive surgery was associated with improved gaze deviations for all faces and with normalized attention directed to the eyes for all faces except for those with large central defects.
Conclusions and Relevance Mohs defects are associated with altered facial perception, diverting attention from valuable features such as the eyes. Reconstructive surgery was associated with normalized attentional distraction for many patients with cutaneous Mohs defects. These data are important to patients who want to know how reconstructive surgery could change the way people look at their face. The data also point to the possibility of outcomes prediction based on facial defect size and location before reconstruction. Eye tracking is a valuable research tool for outcomes assessment that lays the foundation for understanding how reconstructive surgery may change perception and normalize facial deformity.
Question Can a video time-stamping method be used to measure spontaneity of smile after dually innervated gracilis smile reanimation surgery?
Findings In this cohort study of 25 patients treated with dually innervated gracilis free muscle transfers vs 24 patients treated with masseteric nerve–driven transfers (n = 11) or cross-face nerve graft–driven gracilis (n = 13), a spontaneous smile was present in a median of 33% of smiles, which was more than was present in masseteric nerve–driven transfers (20%) but less than in cross-face nerve graft–driven smile reanimation surgery (75%).
Meaning Dual innervation may improve synchronicity compared with masseteric nerve transfer but not to the level of cross-face nerve graft–driven gracilis free muscle transfer.
Importance Surgeons have sought to optimize outcomes of smile reanimation surgery by combining inputs from nerve-to-masseter and cross-face nerve grafts. An objective assessment tool could help surgeons evaluate outcomes to determine the optimal neural sources for smile reanimation.
Objective To evaluate the use of a novel video time-stamping method and standard outcome measurement tools to assess outcomes of facial reanimation surgery using various innervation strategies.
Design, Setting, and Participants Cohort study assessing the outcomes of dually innervated gracilis free muscle transfers vs single-source innervated gracilis transfer performed at a tertiary care facial nerve center between 2007 and 2017 using a novel, video time-stamping spontaneity assessment method. The statistical analyses were performed in 2018.
Interventions Dually innervated gracilis free muscle transfers or single-source innervated gracilis transfer.
Main Outcomes and Measures Spontaneous smiling was assessed by clinicians and quantified using blinded time-stamped video recordings of smiling elicited while viewing humorous video clips.
Results This retrospective cohort study included 25 patients (12 men and 13 women; median [range] age, 38.4 [29.3-46.0] years) treated with dually innervated gracilis free functional muscle graft for unilateral facial palsy between 2007 and 2017. Smile spontaneity assessment was performed in 17 patients and was compared with assessment performed in 24 patients treated with single-source innervated gracilis transfer (ie, nerve-to-masseter–driven or cross-face nerve graft–driven gracilis [n = 13]) (demographic data not available for NTM and CFNG cohorts). The use of time-stamped video assessment revealed that spontaneous synchronous oral commissure movement in a median percentage of smiles was 33% in patients with dually innervated gracilis (interquartile range [IQR], 0%-71%), 20% of smiles in patients with nerve-to-masseter–driven gracilis (IQR, 0%-50%), and 75% of smiles in patients with cross-face nerve graft–driven gracilis (IQR, 0%-100%). Clinicians graded smile spontaneity in dually innervated cases as absent in 40% (n = 6 of 15), trace in 33% (n = 5 of 15) and present in 27% (n = 4 of 15). No association was demonstrated between clinician-reported spontaneity and objectively measured synchronicity.
Conclusions and Relevance Dually innervated gracilis free muscle transfers may improve smile spontaneity compared with masseteric nerve–driven transfers but not to the level of cross-face nerve graft–driven gracilis transfers. Quantifying spontaneity is notoriously difficult, and most authors rely on clinical assessment. Our results suggest that clinicians may rate presence of spontaneity higher than objective measures, highlighting the importance of standardized assessment techniques.
Level of Evidence 4.
Question Is the articulated alar rim graft (AARG) associated with improved function of the nasal airway and aesthetic outcomes?
Findings This case series of 90 patients examined the creation, placement, and function of the AARG. A retrospective review showed statistically significant improvement in Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation Survey scores in patients who had AARGs placed; aesthetic analysis by raters on a Likert scale showed cosmetic improvement in patients with a deep alar margin furrow; and morphometric analysis of preoperative and postoperative nasal base shapes showed a trend toward a more equilateral ideal shape.
Meaning The AARG may improve the functional airway in select patients and the aesthetics of the nose in patients with a significant alar margin furrow or a pinched-appearing nasal tip.
Importance The design, use, and indications for the articulated alar rim graft (AARG) and the functional and aesthetic improvements that can be achieved have not been fully characterized.
Objective To analyze the functional and aesthetic outcomes of AARG placement on nasal airway function, nasal base shape change, and appearance.
Design, Setting, and Participants A case series study of patients who underwent septorhinoplasty with placement of AARG at University of California, Irvine Medical Center, from 2015 to 2018 was carried out. Surgical data recorded included stage of rhinoplasty (primary vs revision), use of spreader grafts, rim grafts (and dimensions), caudal septal extension graft (CSEG), lateral crural tensioning (LCT), and turbinate reductions.
Main Outcomes and Measures Preoperative and postoperative Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation Survey (NOSE) surveys were analyzed and correlated with AARG geometry, use of CSEG, and the LCT maneuver. Preoperative and postoperative alar base views were evaluated by fitting base shape to a parametric numerical model to categorize each to 1 of 6 shape categories. Blinded reviewers rated alar furrow severity and the alar ridge presence using a Likert scale for both preoperative and postoperative images to subjectively gauge aesthetic outcomes.
Results Overall, 90 patients with both preoperative and postoperative NOSE scores who underwent septorhinoplasty and placement of an AARG were included. Of the 90 patients, 60 were women (mean age, 38.2 years). Patient NOSE scores (70.4 preoperatively to 25.1 postoperatively) significantly improved from preoperation to postoperation (P < .001), regardless of AARG size, CSEG, or LCT. Alar base shape parametric analysis showed preoperative to postoperative improvements were significant for anterior-to-posterior ratio mass distribution (95% CI, −0.16 to 0.02; P = .05) and vertical projection-to-horizontal base width ratio (95% CI, 0.01-0.32; P = .02) in flat noses and cloverleafing for narrow noses (95% CI, −0.05 to −0.01; P = .001); enhancement approached significance for reduction in lateral scalloping in cloverleaf noses (P = .06). Aesthetic analysis showed that there was a statistically significant improvement for the alar furrow (95% CI, −0.68 to −0.29 for rater 1; −0.54 to −0.27 for rater 2; and −0.59 to −0.27 for rater 3; P < .001) for all raters and for the alar ridge (95% CI, 0.16-0.48; P < .001) for 1 rater.
Conclusions and Relevance To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that AARG use is associated with statistically significant improvement in NOSE scores. Placement of AARGs may improve posterior mass ratios in flat noses and lateral cloverleafing in narrow noses as suggested by quantitative shape change parameter analysis. The placement of AARGs was associated with aesthetic and functional enhancement in the cloverleaf deformity, which is associated with a prominent alar furrow, and often external nasal valve collapse. Patient selection is key when placing AARGs.
Level of Evidence NA.
In this prospective case series study of 104 patients who underwent cosmetic and/or functional rhinoplasty, Gadkaree and colleagues examined the association between patient-reported pain outcomes, objective opioid use, and perception of surgical success. They found a negative association between perception of pain and perception of outcome in purely functional rhinoplasty, but among patients who underwent rhinoplasty with cosmetic changes, no association between pain and perception of surgical success was found.
Govas et al conducted a randomized clinical trial including 87 patients to assess the efficacy of vibration during cutaneous anesthetic injection for dermatologic surgery for patients who catastrophize pain. They found that those who catastrophized pain reported significantly higher Numeric Rating Scale scores during local anesthetic injection than patients who did not. The addition of vibration resulted in a 25.5% reduction of Numeric Rating Scale scores during local anesthetic injection in patients who catastrophized pain and a 79.4% reduction in patients who did not catastrophize pain.
In this population-based cohort study of 294 039 adult patients, Olds and colleagues examine how frequently antibiotics are prescribed after nasal and oculoplastic procedures, and if antibiotic use was associated with reduced postoperative infection rates. Overall, 45.2% of patients filled antibiotic prescriptions after nasal and oculoplastic procedures; these patients were at significantly decreased risk of postoperative infections compared with those who did not fill antibiotic prescriptions.
Vincent and coinvestigators conducted a case series review of 7 patients who underwent masseter-to-facial nerve transfer with selective neurectomy for synkinesis. They found that these patients experienced a statistically significant improvement in multiple eFACE domains including smile, dynamic function, synkinesis, midface and smile function, and lower face and neck function at 1-year mean follow-up. Their findings suggest that masseteric-to-facial nerve transfer with selective neurectomy may provide significant smile improvement.
Question Is smoking associated with an increased risk of acute and long-term postoperative complications after Mohs reconstruction with a flap or graft?
Findings In this case-control study of 1008 patients undergoing Mohs reconstruction repaired by flap or graft, both current and former smoking were associated with an increased risk of acute complications. However, there was not a similar association between smoking status and long-term complications.
Meaning This study suggests that smoking is an important lifestyle factor to consider for preoperative planning; these results may allow the surgeon to better quantify the magnitude of risk.
Importance Smoking, a common lifestyle trait, is considered by many surgeons to be a major risk factor for postoperative complications. However, in the literature on local reconstruction, the association between smoking and the rate of postoperative complications after cutaneous tissue transfer is not well characterized.
Objective To study the outcomes of flaps and grafts used in Mohs micrographic surgery reconstruction with respect to smoking status and patient-specific and surgery-specific variables.
Design, Setting, and Participants This retrospective case-control study was conducted at a single tertiary referral center among 1008 patients who underwent Mohs reconstruction repaired by flap or graft between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016, and were selected via consecutive sampling. Cases with incomplete records or those in which a single flap or graft was used to repair multiple defects were excluded. Data analysis was performed from September 2017 to January 2018.
Main Outcomes and Measures Postoperative acute and long-term complications. Acute complications included postsurgical infection, dehiscence, hematoma, uncontrolled bleeding, and tissue necrosis that required medical counseling or intervention. Long-term complications included functional or cosmetic outcomes that prompted the patient to request or the surgeon to offer additional intervention.
Results Of the 1008 patients included in the study (396 women and 612 men), the median (SD) age was 70 (12) years (range, 21-90 years). A total of 128 patients (12.7%) were current smokers, 385 (38.2%) were former smokers, and 495 (49.1%) were never smokers. On multivariate logistic regression, current smoking (odds ratio [OR], 9.58; 95% CI, 3.63-25.3), former smoking (OR, 3.64; 95% CI, 1.41-9.38), larger defect size (OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.58-3.20), and the use of free cartilage graft (OR, 8.19; 95% CI, 2.02-33.1) were associated with increased risks of acute complications. For long-term complications, central face location (OR, 25.4; 95% CI, 6.16-106.5), use of interpolation flap or flap-graft combination (OR, 3.49; 95% CI, 1.81-6.74), larger flap size (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.09-1.87), and basal cell carcinomas or other basaloid tumors (OR, 3.43; 95% CI, 1.03-11.5) were associated with an increased risk, whereas increased age (OR, 0.66 per 10-year interval; 95% CI, 0.54-0.80) was associated with decreased risk.
Conclusions and Relevance This study suggests that both current and former smokers are at increased risk for acute postsurgical complications but that smoking status is not associated with long-term complications. These findings may allow the surgeon to better quantify the magnitude of risk and provide helpful information for patient counseling.
Level of Evidence 3.
Question What are the social perception consequences of male rhinoplasty when specific modifications of the male nasal dorsal contour are carried out?
Findings In this web-based survey study of 503 participants featuring 12 computer-simulated nasal dorsal contours of a male volunteer, the man in the photograph featuring the nose with the ski slope dorsal shape, nasofrontal angle of 130°, and nasolabial angle of 97° was deemed most attractive; this profile was also among the most frequently selected for other positive characteristics. Subset analyses also revealed statistically significant dorsal contour preferences by observers’ gender and age.
Meaning This study’s results may potentially better inform rhinoplasty surgeons and their male patients on how changes to the nasal dorsal contour may not only affect the overall perception of a man’s social attributes, but also perception by observers’ sociodemographics.
Importance The social perception of nasal dorsal modification for male rhinoplasty is poorly understood.
Objective To investigate the association of modifying the male nasal dorsum with the perception of such social attributes as youth, approachability, healthiness, masculinity/femininity, intelligence, successfulness, and leadership.
Design, Setting, and Participants Using computer simulation software, 12 images with varied combinations of the nasal dorsal shape, nasofrontal angle (NFA), and nasolabial angle (NLA) were generated from a photograph of a male volunteer’s face in profile. These photographs were then sent to participants at a university clinic who were English-speaking adult internet users who were masked to the purpose of the study, which asked them to value different social attributes regarding the face in the photograph in a 16-question survey. The study was conducted in September 2018 and the data were analyzed thereafter until March 2019.
Exposures Twelve photographs embedded in a 16-question survey.
Main Outcomes and Measures Population proportions of responses and χ2 test and graphical analysis based on 95% confidence intervals.
Results Of 503 respondents (survey provision rate, 100%), 412 (81.9%) were women, 386 (76.7%) were white, 32 (6.4%) were Hispanic or Latinx, 63 (12.5%) were black/African American, 10 (2.0%) were Asian/Pacific Islander, and the median age was 46 years (interquartile range, 32-61 years). The man with ski slope–shaped nose with an NFA of 130° and NLA of 97° was often associated with frequently perceived positive characteristics; specifically, he was judged to be the most attractive (95% CI, 18%-26%; P < .001). Participants also often associated superlative youth (95% CI, 15%-24%; P < .001), approachability (95% CI, 13%-20%; P = .002), and femininity (95% CI, 14%-22%; P < .001) with dorsal contours that did not feature a dorsal hump. The man with a dorsal hump–shaped nose with an NFA of 140° and NLA of 105° was associated by the highest proportion of participants with being the oldest (95% CI, 35%-44%; P < .001), least approachable (95% CI, 27%-35%; P < .001), least attractive (95% CI, 37%-42%; P < .001), and least healthy (95% CI, 26%-34%; P < .001). Subset analyses also revealed statistically significant dorsal contour preferences by observers’ age, gender, and race/ethnicity.
Conclusions and Relevance A reduced dorsal slope combined with more acute NFAs and NLAs was associated with positively perceived social attributes. The results may be of interest to rhinoplasty surgeons and their male patients when planning changes to the nasal dorsal contour.
Level of Evidence NA.
Question What is the neuroinhibitory potential of myelin-associated glycoprotein in comparison with vincristine, as measured via quantification of fluorescent intensity of the facial nerve after an axotomy injury?
Findings In this laboratory experiment on 12 rats transgenic for the Thy-1 Gfp gene, myelin-associated glycoprotein significantly reduced fluorescent intensity in comparison with saline at weeks 3, 4, and 5 after an initial injury. Myelin-associated glycoprotein demonstrated similar intensity results as vincristine at weeks 4 and 5.
Meaning These findings suggest that myelin-associated glycoprotein may have potential as a specific neuroinhibitor for patients with lower facial asymmetry after facial nerve injury.
Importance Aberrant synkinetic movement after facial nerve injury can lead to prominent facial asymmetry and resultant psychological distress. The current practices of neuroinhibition to promote greater facial symmetry are often temporary in nature and require repeated procedures.
Objective To determine whether myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), a specific neuroinhibitor, can prevent neuroregeneration with efficacy comparable with that of vincristine, a well-established neurotoxin.
Design, Setting, and Participants Rats transgenic for Thy-1 cell surface antigen–green fluorescent protein (Thy1-Gfp) were randomized into 3 groups. Each rat received bilateral crush axotomy injuries to the buccal and marginal mandibular branches of the facial nerves. The animals received intraneural injection of saline, MAG, or vincristine.
Main Outcomes and Measures The animals were imaged via fluorescent microscopy at weeks 1, 3, 4, and 5 after surgery. Quantitative fluorescent data were generated as mean intensities of nerve segments proximal and distal to the axotomy site. Electrophysiological analysis, via measurement of compound muscle action potentials, was performed at weeks 0, 3, 4, and 5 after surgery.
Results A total of 12 rats were included in the study. Administration of MAG significantly reduced fluorescent intensity of the distal nerve in comparison with the control group at week 3 (mean [SD], MAG group: 94  intensity units vs control group: 130  intensity units; P < .001), week 4 (MAG group: 81  intensity units vs control group: 103  intensity units; P = .004), and week 5 (MAG group: 76  intensity units vs control group: 94  intensity units; P < .001). In addition, rats treated with MAG had greater fluorescent intensity than those treated with vincristine at week 3 (mean [SD], MAG group: 94  intensity units vs vincristine group: 76  intensity units; P = .03), although there was no significant difference for weeks 4 and 5. At week 5, both MAG and vincristine demonstrated lower distal nerve to proximal nerve intensity ratios than the control group (control group, 0.94; vs MAG group, 0.82; P = .01; vs vincristine group; 0.77; P < .001). There was no significant difference in amplitude between the experimental groups at week 5 of electrophysiological testing.
Conclusions and Relevance Lower facial asymmetry and synkinesis are common persistent concerns to patients after facial nerve injury. Using the Thy1-Gfp rat, this study demonstrates effective inhibition of neuroregeneration via intraneural application of MAG in a crush axotomy model, comparable with results with vincristine. By potentially avoiding systemic toxic effects of vincristine, MAG demonstrates potential as an inhibitor of neural regeneration for patients with synkinesis.
Level of Evidence NA.
Chen et al1 should be commended for this novel study, which attempts to directly relate the current landscape of social media to the acceptance of cosmetic surgery. Their findings that social media investment had a positive effect on the consideration of surgery corroborates the rising trend noticed among facial plastic surgeons.2 The discussion provided on the negative effect of social media and, more specifically, selfies highlights the need to better understand the underlying motives and characteristics of our patients.
Miami’s Best Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Who is the best doctor in Miami to see about a nose job?
Dr. Kim Patrick Murray, MD – Rhinoplasty / Nose Job – Miami, FL
- Contenders to be the Best Rhinoplasty Surgeon in Miami fight it out each day and ultimate expect the competition to come down to winning by a nose. Favorite Dr Kim Patrick Murray is seeking to solidify his claim on the title. He’s been called Miami’s Best Rhinoplasty Surgeon before and many think he still is the best nose job doctor
A definitive answer to who can claim the title is elusive as many doctors have claimed to be on their websites. A look at Yelp may help:
By their account its a race between contenders Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS who has more reviews but a lower overall rating then Kim Patrick Murray, MD who has a higher rating but needs more reviews. Hopefully more patients of each doctor will rate in the future, until then it is too close to call, even for Yelp.
Rhinoplasty (RIE-no-plas-tee) is surgery that changes the shape of the nose. The motivation for rhinoplasty may be to change the appearance of the nose, improve breathing or both.
The upper portion of the structure of the nose is bone, and the lower portion is cartilage. Rhinoplasty can change bone, cartilage, skin or all three. Talk with your surgeon about whether rhinoplasty is appropriate for you and what it can achieve.
When planning rhinoplasty, your surgeon will consider your other facial features, the skin on your nose and what you would like to change. If you’re a candidate for surgery, your surgeon will develop a customized plan for you.
Sometimes part or all of a rhinoplasty is covered by insurance.
Rhinoplasty can change the size, shape or proportions of your nose. It may be done to repair deformities from an injury, correct a birth defect or improve some breathing difficulties.
As with any major surgery, rhinoplasty carries risks such as:
- An adverse reaction to the anesthesia
Other possible risks specific to rhinoplasty include but are not limited to:
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Permanent numbness in and around your nose
- The possibility of an uneven-looking nose
- Pain, discoloration or swelling that may persist
- A hole in the septum (septal perforation)
- A need for additional surgery
Talk to your doctor about how these risks apply to you.
How you prepare
Before scheduling rhinoplasty, you must meet with your surgeon to discuss important factors that determine whether the surgery is likely to work well for you. This meeting generally includes:
- Your medical history. The most important question your doctor will ask you is about your motivation for surgery and your goals. Your doctor will also ask questions about your medical history — including a history of nasal obstruction, surgeries and any medications you take. If you have a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia, you may not be a candidate for rhinoplasty.
- A physical exam. Your doctor will conduct a complete physical examination, including any laboratory tests, such as blood tests. He or she also will examine your facial features and the inside and outside of your nose.The physical exam helps your doctor determine what changes need to be made and how your physical features, such as the thickness of your skin or the strength of the cartilage at the end of your nose, may affect your results. The physical exam is also critical for determining the impact of rhinoplasty on your breathing.
- Photographs. Someone from your doctor’s office will take photographs of your nose from different angles. Your surgeon may use computer software to manipulate the photos to show you what kinds of results are possible. Your doctor will use these photos for before-and-after assessments, reference during surgery and long-term reviews. Most importantly, the photos permit a specific discussion about the goals of surgery.
- A discussion of your expectations. You and your doctor should talk about your motivations and expectations. He or she will explain what rhinoplasty can and can’t do for you and what your results might be. It’s normal to feel a little self-conscious discussing your appearance, but it’s very important that you’re open with your surgeon about your desires and goals for surgery.If you have a small chin, your surgeon may speak with you about performing a surgery to augment your chin. This is because a small chin will create the illusion of a larger nose. It’s not required to have chin surgery in those circumstances, but it may better balance the facial profile.
Once the surgery is scheduled, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home if you’re having an outpatient surgery.
For the first few days after anesthesia, you may have memory lapses, slowed reaction time and impaired judgment. So arrange for a family member or friend to stay with you a night or two to help with personal care tasks as you recover from surgery.
Food and medications
Avoid medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) for two weeks before and after surgery. These medications may increase bleeding. Take only those medications approved or prescribed by your surgeon. Also avoid herbal remedies and over-the-counter supplements.
If you smoke, stop smoking. Smoking slows the healing process after surgery and may make you more likely to get an infection.
What you can expect
Rhinoplasty does not have an ordered series of steps. Each surgery is unique and customized for the specific anatomy and goals of the person having the surgery.
During the surgery
Rhinoplasty requires local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, depending on how complex your surgery is and what your surgeon prefers. Discuss with your doctor before surgery which type of anesthesia is most appropriate for you.
- Local anesthesia with sedation. This type of anesthesia is usually used in an outpatient setting. It’s limited to a specific area of your body. Your doctor injects a pain-numbing medication into your nasal tissues and sedates you with medication injected through an intravenous (IV) line. This makes you groggy but not fully asleep.
- General anesthesia. You receive the drug (anesthetic) by inhaling it or through a small tube (IV line) placed in a vein in your hand, neck or chest. General anesthesia affects your entire body and causes you to be unconscious during surgery. General anesthesia requires a breathing tube.
Rhinoplasty may be done inside your nose or through a small external cut (incision) at the base of your nose, between your nostrils. Your surgeon will likely readjust the bone and cartilage underneath your skin.
Your surgeon can change the shape of your nasal bones or cartilage in several ways, depending on how much needs to be removed or added, your nose’s structure, and available materials. For small changes, the surgeon may use cartilage taken from deeper inside your nose or from your ear. For larger changes, the surgeon can use cartilage from your rib, implants or bone from other parts of your body. After these changes are made, the surgeon places the nose’s skin and tissue back and stitches the incisions in your nose.
If the wall between the two sides of the nose (septum) is bent or crooked (deviated), the surgeon can also correct it to improve breathing.
After the surgery, you’ll be in a recovery room, where the staff monitors your return to wakefulness. You might leave later that day or, if you have other health issues, you might stay overnight.
After the surgery
After the surgery you need to rest in bed with your head raised higher than your chest, to reduce bleeding and swelling. Your nose may be congested because of swelling or from the splints placed inside your nose during surgery.
In most cases, the internal dressings remain in place for one to seven days after surgery. Your doctor also tapes a splint to your nose for protection and support. It’s usually in place for about one week.
Slight bleeding and drainage of mucus and old blood are common for a few days after the surgery or after removing the dressing. Your doctor may place a “drip pad” — a small piece of gauze held in place with tape — under your nose to absorb drainage. Change the gauze as directed by your doctor. Don’t place the drip pad tight against your nose.
To further lower the chances of bleeding and swelling, your doctor may ask that you follow precautions for several weeks after surgery. Your doctor may ask you to:
- Avoid strenuous activities such as aerobics and jogging.
- Take baths instead of showers while you have bandages on your nose.
- Not blow your nose.
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to avoid constipation. Constipation can cause you to strain, putting pressure on the surgery site.
- Avoid extreme facial expressions, such as smiling or laughing.
- Brush your teeth gently to limit movement of your upper lip.
- Wear clothes that fasten in the front. Don’t pull clothing, such as shirts or sweaters, over your head.
In addition, don’t rest eyeglasses or sunglasses on your nose for at least four weeks after the surgery, to prevent pressure on your nose. You can use cheek rests, or tape the glasses to your forehead until your nose has healed.
Use SPF 30 sunscreen when you’re outside, especially on your nose. Too much sun may cause permanent irregular discoloration in your nose’s skin.
Some temporary swelling or black-and-blue discoloration of your eyelids can occur for two to three weeks after nasal surgery. Swelling of the nose takes longer to resolve. Limiting your dietary sodium will help the swelling go away faster. Don’t put anything such as ice or cold packs on your nose after surgery.
Your nose changes throughout your life whether you have surgery or not. For this reason, it’s difficult to say when you have obtained your “final result.” However, most of the swelling is gone within a year.
Very slight changes to the structure of your nose — often measured in millimeters — can make a large difference in how your nose looks. Most of the time, an experienced surgeon can get results both of you are satisfied with. But in some cases, the slight changes aren’t enough, and you and your surgeon might decide to do a second surgery for further changes. If this is the case, you must wait at least a year for the follow-up surgery, because your nose can go through changes during this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is rhinoplasty different from septoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a surgery to change the shape of the nose. Because both breathing and the nose’s shape are interrelated, a rhinoplasty may sometimes be performed not only to change the way the nose looks but also to improve breathing through the nose.
Septoplasty is a surgery to improve breathing by straightening the wall inside the nose that divides the nasal passages into a right and a left side (nasal septum). When the septum is crooked, it can make it harder to breathe through the nose. A septoplasty is often combined with a rhinoplasty.
Is rhinoplasty a simple operation?
No. Rhinoplasty is a challenging operation. This is due to several factors. First, the nose is a complicated 3D shape that is in the middle of the face. Changes made during rhinoplasty are often very small. But these changes can make a major difference in the way the nose looks and functions. Because these changes are small, so is the margin for error.
Swelling and the placement of local anesthetic in the skin distort the nose during surgery, hiding many of the subtle changes made. Rhinoplasty also doesn’t have a standard plan or set order of steps. Doctors tailor each operation to the needs of the patient.
Will I need to stay in the hospital?
Nearly everyone who has rhinoplasty is able to safely leave the hospital the same day after surgery. In rare cases, you may stay in the hospital for one night if you’re having a hard time with nausea or have other health problems that need to be monitored.
How long is the recovery period?
Plan to take a week off from work, school or other obligations. You will feel progressively better each day during the first week. One week after surgery, people usually feel like they are themselves again.
After surgery, there will be some swelling. The swelling can take many months to resolve, although most people stop noticing it after a couple of months. People are usually back to performing most activities after a week and resuming all activities after two to four weeks.
Are there risks?
All surgeries have risks. Fortunately, rhinoplasty risks are small and complications are rare. Your doctor will talk to you about the surgery’s risks and benefits in detail before the operation.
Does insurance pay for a rhinoplasty?
Sometimes insurance pays for a rhinoplasty, but it depends on the insurance policy. Before scheduling surgery, your doctor’s office will help you get prior written authorization from your insurance company. Although this isn’t a guarantee of coverage, it’s the only way to confirm that rhinoplasty is a covered benefit. Sometimes insurance will pay for a part of a nasal surgery, but not other parts. In these cases, you can contact the business office to get a quote for the operation.
How much does rhinoplasty cost?
The cost of a rhinoplasty depends on several factors, including the complexity of the surgery, the surgeon’s training and experience, and geography. At Mayo Clinic, the cost of surgery will be the same regardless of which surgeon you choose.
Can I see what my nose might look like after surgery?
Yes. Before your consultation, your doctor will take standardized photographs of multiple views of your face. These photos can be manipulated to give you an idea of what your nose might look like after surgery.
Is rhinoplasty painful?
Not for most people. One day after surgery, most people rate their pain between 0 and 4 out of 10.
Will you pack my nose?
No. Packing can be very uncomfortable. But you’ll likely have some soft splints in your nose. These splints have a hole in them to make it possible to breathe through them, at least for a few days. Doctors easily remove these splints at the one-week visit.
How long will I be bruised?
Bruising is uncommon. If you do have some minor bruising, it usually lasts a week or so.
What should I look for in a surgeon?
Plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons or otolaryngologists (ENT) perform most rhinoplasties. Training and board certification in one of these specialties is a good starting point. You’ll likely want a surgeon who often performs rhinoplasty.
You’ll likely want a surgeon with a good reputation among patients and other doctors. If your surgeon has published many papers in medical literature related to rhinoplasty and is invited to speak at educational conferences, that is usually one sign that their peers recognize expertise in rhinoplasty.
Make sure that your surgery will be performed in an accredited surgical facility or hospital. You likely should also feel comfortable with your surgeon. Look for a surgeon who can explain to you in understandable terms what is going to happen during your surgery.