What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to enhance the appearance of the nose by changing it’s size and shape.   According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rhinoplasty is the third most common procedure requested in the United States.

In our practice in Northbrook, IL, a near Northshore suburb of Chicago, a large portion of all of the surgery that is done here are rhinoplasties.  It is often a complex procedure that addresses the cosmetic restructuring of the nasal parts all while ensuring that the function of the nose is never ignored.  In other words, it is important to look good and feel good by creating an end result where the patient has a nose that is both attractive and one they can breath through normally.

Best Candidates for Rhinoplasty

The best candidate for a rhinoplasty is someone that has a problem that both the patient and the surgeon can identify.  Of course, it is best when they are both physically and emotionally well too.   The patient’s complaint has to match what the surgeon sees on physical exam and it is important that the patient has reasonable expectations for results and healing times.

What is nasal obstruction?

The most common causes of nasal airway obstruction are a deviated nasal septum and enlarged turbinates.

Deviated Septum – The septum is a structural component made up of cartilage and bone surrounded by mucosa (the lining of the nose) that separates the right and left sides of the nose internally.  When it is severely deviated, the septum bends toward one side or the other and it can impede air flow, making it more difficult to breath.  Often times during rhinoplasty surgery the septum is straightened by scoring it, moving it, or even taking a segment out to improve airflow.

Enlarged Turbinates – Turbinates are appendages of bone surrounded by mucosa on the internal lateral walls of the airway.  They are there to create more surface area for air to pass over and therefore allowing the inspired air to be warmed and humidified.  Sometimes these can be oversized and be a cause of obstructed airflow.  It is not uncommon for a portion of turbinates to be removed to re-establish a normal airway during rhinoplasty surgery.

Rhinoplasty Consultation

At MAE Plastic Surgery the rhinoplasty consultation is often a lengthy process where the prospective patient gets to first verbalize their concerns to obtain an understanding of what it is that bothers them.  A thorough physical exam is performed and photographs are taken so the nose can be evaluated for both aesthetic and functional abnormalities.  With the use of these photos and anatomical drawings, an in depth explanation of what the problems are and the proposed plan for repair is performed in a way that can be easily comprehended.   We also offer 3D imaging when appropriate.  This can be a great tool for the surgeon to assess whether or not the patient has realistic expectations and for the patient to see if the surgeon has similar goals for an end result.