All About Rhinoplasty

Introduction to Rhinoplasty


Rhinoplasty is a procedure to reshape the nose to correct cosmetic deficiencies or abnormalities from trauma.  If you or your friend are considering Rhinoplasty or if you are only interested in more information about the procedure, please call us at (714) 500-0050 for a consultation with Dr. Luu Doan.  You can also email us by clicking here to schedule a consultation or to get answers to any of your questions regarding the procedure.


Rhinoplasty is a procedure to reshape the nose, and it is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed every year.  Common goals in Rhinoplasty surgery include:

  • Reducing the hump of the nose to get a smoother, flatter slope

  • Gently pinching the tip of the nose

  • Narrowing the bridge of the nose

  • Building up the bridge and lengthening the nose in Asians

  • Narrowing the width of the nose. 

  • Correcting a birth defect or traumatic injury to the nose. 


Although not designed to increase your overall self esteem, addressing a cosmetic dislike of your nose may allow you to feel more balanced physically.


Rhinoplasty Surgery


The Rhinoplasty surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia in our medicare-accredited, state-of-the-art Newport Coast Surgical Center.  The operation takes approximately one to two hours to perform.  The patient is monitored by an anesthesiologist throughout the procedure. The patient will need to stay in the recovery room with a nurse for about one hour before going home. 


The Rhinoplasty procedure begins with an incision at the base of the nose and extending into the nostrils.  The scars are practically invisible by 2 months after surgery.  The nasal skin is elevated and the bone and cartilage, which are responsible for the protruding hump, are reduced until a smooth, even slope is attained. The cartilages that give definition to the nasal tip are sutured together to pinch the tip.  The tension on the sutures can be adjusted to give the desired degree of pinch to the nasal tip.  The degree of nasal tip narrowing is no more than 1-2 mm.  The bones that make up the bridge of the nose are broken from inside the nostril and pushed inward to produce a more attractive, narrow bridge of the nose.  Additional procedures may be performed depending on the goals of the patient.  When the surgery is complete, a splint will be applied to help the nose maintain its new shape. 

Only a thorough and candid discussion between you and Dr. Doan can determine the best surgical options for you.  Doctor Doan will discuss with you in detail every step of the procedure and he will review with you the possible complications of the operation. 




Recovery From Rhinoplasty Surgery

You will likely feel achy pain over the nose and cheeks for several days after the surgery.  Most patients say that they have very little pain.  However, you may feel as though your sinuses are congested and you may feel as though you have a sinus headache. Regular icing and your prescribed pain medications should alleviate any discomfort you may have. Sleeping elevated also considerably reduces the pressure and will further ease the discomfort.  You may find it difficult to breathe through your nose in the interim. This may be due to packing, dried blood, mucous, and of course the swelling. You will find that unrestricted airflow will fluctuate throughout your healing process. In fact, you may notice decreased airflow after exercise, after eating spicy foods, or due to allergies even well into the recovery process.

You should be up and about the next day to prevent blood clots from developing in the veins of the legs.  You will be prescribed medication to control the nausea.  You will also be prescribed antibiotic pills to prevent infection.  Ice should be applied every 20 minutes to the nose and cheeks for the first 48 hours to minimize the degree of bruising and swelling.  You will need to wear the nasal splint for 7 days.  The sutures across the base of the nose will be removed 7 days after surgery.  Most patients will be able to return to work in one week and will be able to return to their normal exercise routine by six weeks.  Most of the swelling and all of the bruising will be gone by two months.  Complete resolution of the nasal skin swelling may take 6 months to a year.  Doctor Doan and his staff will guide you through the entire recovery period to make sure that it is as smooth as possible.


Complications of Rhinoplasty


If you are a healthy candidate with no pre-existing disorders or diseases which may inhibit healing, the general risks of Rhinoplasty surgery are very low.  However, since it is indeed surgery, there are inherent risks you must consider before choosing to undergo a procedure such as this. Potential complications associated with Rhinoplasty surgery may include the following:

  • Bleeding:  Blood can drip down the back of the throat from incisions inside the nostrils.  This can usually be stopped by packing the nostrils with special gauze.

  • Bacterial Infections: Bacteria can be introduced during surgery or during recovery with improper aftercare. Antibiotics will cure most infections.

  • Necrosis:  Tissue death of the skin on the nasal tip due to blood supply disruption during surgery, blood clot underneath the skin, or considerable swelling of the skin.

  • Pulmonary Thromboembolism: Blood clots can originate in the calves and go to the lungs.

  • Skin Numbness:  The nasal tip can have prolonged numbness up to a year and a half after surgery.

  • Incomplete Correction:  The cosmetic deformity may be under corrected which may require a revision surgery in the future.  Remember that an under correction is always easier to fix than an over correction.