Open rhinoplasty is the oldest method for nose surgery. It is also known as external rhinoplasty and is one of the most popular nose reshaping cosmetic surgery technique used by rhinoplasty surgeons for aesthetic and functional corrections of the nose. Open rhinoplasty procedure is a complex procedure and it involves a bit of recovery time period which usually varies from one patient to another.
Open rhinoplasty has many advantages over closed rhinoplasty such as
Improved visualization: Open rhinoplasty provides the surgeon with direct visibility and access to the underlying structures of the nose. This allows for more precise and controlled modifications to the nasal framework. The surgeon can better assess the nasal anatomy, making it particularly beneficial for complex cases or extensive nasal reshaping.
Enhanced precision and accuracy: With the ability to directly visualize the nasal structures, the surgeon can make more precise adjustments. The technique allows for detailed sculpting of the cartilage and bone, resulting in more accurate and predictable outcomes. It can be particularly advantageous for addressing asymmetry or correcting significant deformities.
Complex revisions:Open rhinoplasty procedure is often preferred for revision rhinoplasty procedures where previous nasal surgeries have left behind significant scarring or structural issues. The increased visibility and access provided by the open technique enable the surgeon to assess and address the existing problems more effectively.
Grafting and augmentation: Open rhinoplasty allows for easier placement of grafts or implants, such as cartilage grafts from the septum, ear, or rib, to enhance nasal structure and shape. The surgeon can precisely position and secure these grafts to achieve desired aesthetic results or improve functional aspects of the nose, such as breathing difficulties.
Teaching and training purposes: The open technique provides a clear view of the nasal structures, making it an excellent tool for educational purposes. It allows trainee surgeons to observe and learn intricate details of the procedure, facilitating their training and skill development.
The open rhinoplasty procedure involves making an incision on the columella of the nose and then doing corrections. The choice of technique depends on various factors, including the patient’s specific nasal anatomy, desired results, and the surgeon’s expertise and preference.
Open rhinoplasty is used by rhinoplasty surgeons to
- Make changes in the nasal structures to alter the nose shape
- Enhance and improve the proportions of the nose size with respect to facial features
- Correct the crooked nose
- Reduce the dorsal hum and correct the saddle nose
- Rectify breathing issues in the nose by treating the deviated septum and blocked nasal passages.
Who is a suitable candidate for open rhinoplasty?
The open approach to nose surgery is suitable for a candidate which have elevated nasal concerns or nasal deformities that need greater manipulation of the underlying structures.
Nasal tip rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty is also generally done using the open approach for better results. Ideally the patient should be above the age of 18 for open rhinoplasty surgery.
What is the recovery time for open rhinoplasty?
There is no specific defined time for open rhinoplasty. Everyperson has a different rate of healing, own tolerance of pain and levels of discomfort. Therefore, the timelines for recovery are also different. Patient should be very committed to following the recovery instructions to get the best results post open rhinoplasty.
For a good recovery the pre surgery care also helps greatly. Talking care of your body and the nose should be the first priority. It is a myth that there will be a lot of pain during recovery. There will be some discomfort but it will not put you out of your daily activities. In fact, many people don’t even need pain medications for long.
The average recovery time is about 2-3 days and the full healing time is approximately 12-18 months. Being properly prepared for the surgery will ensure that the recovery is optimal.
Preparing for open rhinoplasty
Before the surgery the surgeon will go through ever step of the procedure in detail and explain the changes that will be made. They will also give you the detailed instruction on how to prepare yourself before the surgery and what to do after the open rhinoplasty surgery. This information will also include details of the medications you will need to take. If you are allergic to any, it is a good time to let the nose surgeon know.
Start your recovery process even before the surgery by
- Stopping medications that delay the healing such as aspirin, vitamin E and fish oil.
- Continue with prescription medications uncles otherwise specified.
- Buy a wedge pillow to help you sleep upright post the procedure.
- Gel based Ice packs should be kept ready for post procedure. The gel backs mold easily to the nose and help reduce the swelling
- Get the button down shirts in front of the wardrobe as they are easy to take off and wear without moving the nose.
Find somebody to drive you and take care of you for a few days post the procedure.
Post open rhinoplasty surgery recovery during the acute phase, there will be external splint placed to prevent the nasal bones and other structures from moving from their correct position and heal correctly. In the first week of the recovery the splint has to be kept on at all times and this along with the incisions you will have to limit your movements for that time.
After one week the splint will be removed and the bruising and swelling reduced so you can start getting back to your normal life. In some cases, the rhinoplasty surgeon might ask you to wear the splint in the night so that it does not disturb the nasal bones as you sleep. Some other side effects that you might feel are
- Dull headaches
- Congestion and crusting in the nose
These happen because of internal swelling which will resolve itself in a few weeks easily.
For a few hours post open rhinoplasty
- Don’t try and blow your nose or clean your nose.
- If the surgeon has placed nasal tissues, then don’t disturb them
- If you have pain then take the painkiller medications
- If there is too much congestion and your nose feels too stuffed up then ask your doctor about nasal irrigation techniques that can help
- Sleep upright on a wedge pillow to reduce the swelling
- Spend the first day post-surgery in bed and relax, you can more around by the second day
In the first week of open rhinoplasty, you will feel a little out of sorts but by the end of first week you will notice reduction in swelling and bruising. The splint will come off and you can go to work and the regular routine life. The precautions to take in the coming days include
- Preventing sun exposure by wearing hats and using sunblock.
- Avoid wearing shades or other eye wear till the nasal surgery is fully healed
- Stay away from gym and sports for three more weeks post-surgery
As you entre the fourth week you will start seeing the shape of the new nose. The tip surgery takes longest to heal so you might see the changes a little later. The bones will start to fuse and take shape. Post the fourth week the surgeon will give a green flag to resuming sports and physical activities but contact sports will remain off limits and if you have to play, wear a protective mask. One month post open rhinoplasty surgery, you will able to shed all the limitations.
As the recovery continues you will keep seeing improved results. Slight numbness might be there but it will go away in due course of time.
Tips to reduce recovery time
- Avoid eating salty foods to expedite reduction of nasal tip swelling
- Keep the incision areas clean and contamination free to reduce the risks of infection
- Avoiding smoking during the recovery period as nicotine reduces the healing
- Take short walks and light home activities in the acute phase of healing to improve blood circulation in the body
As a patient you should feel free to ask your rhinoplasty surgeon about the different aspects of open rhinoplasty including the treatment time, recovery period and cost of open rhinoplasty surgery. Understanding the recovery period is as important at the surgery itself. The surgeon will do a good job in correcting your nose defect but in order to reap the results, you will have to adhere to recovery instructions.