If you are unhappy with some aspect of your nose or the shape or size of your nostrils, is it normal to wonder if rhinoplasty is the right procedure to correct this? The answer is yes.
Nose reshaping, or rhinoplasty, is one of the top five most requested plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures in North America today. American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), writes that rhinoplasty is a procedure that allows for reduction, enlargement or reshaping of all parts of the nose, including the bridge, the tip, the nostrils, the interior nasal airways and the overall shape and size of the nose.
In this blog post, learn more about how a plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty can adjust the shape or size of your nostrils as part of your nose job procedure.
Do You Need Functional or Cosmetic Rhinoplasty to Correct Nostrils?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) points out that there are two basic types of rhinoplasty: cosmetic and functional. As the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery explains, functional rhinoplasty can help with each of the following health issues: asthma, post-nasal drip, sinus headaches, rhinitis, sinusitis, nosebleeds and more.
Cosmetic rhinoplasty adjusts the appearance of the nose to the patient’s satisfaction. Functional rhinoplasty addresses health issues such as obstructed airways that lead to chronic sinusitis, nasal infection, and headaches, among other health symptoms.
According to nose job expert, Marcelo Ghersi, a patient who has concerns in both areas can have each addressed in a single rhinoplasty procedure.
In fact, the best rhinoplasty surgeons will always aim to provide the patient with an optimal outcome in both areas regardless of whether the principle goal is cosmetic or functional.
Problems a Nose Job Can Correct
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) states that nose reshaping surgery, or rhinoplasty, offers a way to permanently change the appearance, size and/or shape of your nose.
Cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty can address several issues with nostril size, width, position, and overall appearance.
Nostril “flare” includes nostrils that are overly wide and/or positioned so that they seem to be upturned from the front or side view. Rhinoplasty can decrease the nostril size to correct for nostril flare.
Nostril widening can correct nostrils that are too narrow, either for aesthetic reasons or to correct restricted breathing or chronic infection.
Too-wide nose base-
When the nose is overly wide at the base (near the nostrils and tip), narrowing the nostrils can correct for this at the same time it addresses a displeasing nostril shape and size. This is a very common request for patients seeking an ethnic rhinoplasty.
Uneven or asymmetrical nostrils-
Another common rhinoplasty request addresses the appearance of uneven or asymmetrical nostrils. In particular, a poorly done prior rhinoplasty can cause uneven nostrils, nostrils collapse, nostrils twisting and nostrils obstruction (narrowing of the internal airways).
Many approaches can correct for this, including fat transfers, injectables and fillers, and cartilage grafts to uniformly reshape the nostrils.
The Alarplasty (Nostril Reshaping) Rhinoplasty Procedure
One common approach to changing just the appearance (shape, size) of the nostrils is called an alarplasty. The “alar” is the area of the nose starting at the tip and continuing out to the curve of each nostril where the skin of the nostril meets the skin of the face. Alarplasty is a less invasive method for rhinoplasty just to correct appearance issues with one or both nostrils.
Alarplasty can often be done using only local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. The incisions are made inside the nostrils and tissue is removed to achieve the shape and size desired by the patient.
What Is Recovery from Nostril Reshaping Rhinoplasty Like?
As with any rhinoplasty procedure, whether initial or revision rhinoplasty, the first day or two will bring the most temporary side effects.
Temporary rhinoplasty side effects-
Common patient-reported temporary side effects from the first 72 hours post-rhinoplasty include swelling, bruising, discomfort, numbness, drainage, bleeding and feelings of congestion.
Any discomfort can be easily managed with ice packs, saline pads, nasal irrigation, corticosteroids, antibiotics, and local numbing agents.
After one week-
After the first seven days have passed, the majority of these side effects will be starting to subside, although it can take up to two weeks before they disappear.
After six months-
If this will be your first rhinoplasty procedure, it is important to know that it can take up to six months before you really see the full results of your rhinoplasty procedure.
Expect Uneven Nostrils Until Rhinoplasty Healing Is Underway
Many patients do not realize that it is quite common for nostrils to appear uneven for the first few weeks after your rhinoplasty. While external swelling will recede relatively quickly, there is internal swelling in the delicate tissues of the nose that take much longer to heal. This can contribute to the appearance of uneven nostrils since this healing doesn’t always proceed at a uniform pace from one side to the other.
So do not panic if your nostrils appear to be uneven at first – this should resolve within a few weeks.
About Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami
The Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami was co-founded by Dr. Marcelo Gerhsi and Dr. Jason Altman. Drs. Ghersi and Altman are each board-certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
The Institute is located just minutes from Miami International Airport and attracts a steady stream of national and international clients for rhinoplasty, face, body, breast, and non-surgical plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures. The surgical suite is ASF-certified and AAAASF accredited and features cutting-edge equipment in a lovely and discreet center.