Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. With the nose being located in the middle of the face, it is easy to understand the effect it has on the appearance of the face. The entire shape of the nose or just a certain area (like the tip or the bridge) of the nose can be changed with a rhinoplasty. The procedure can correct deformities of the nose by reshaping, rearranging, or removing bone and/or cartilage. The typical goal of rhinoplasty is to create a nose that looks natural and achieves a balance with other facial features. There are two approaches when performing a rhinoplasty, the open technique and the closed technique. Depending on patient desires, which will be discussed in the consult, Dr. Kirkpatrick will determine which approach will lead to the best result. Dr. Kirkpatrick typically uses the open technique that consists of an incision across the columella (skin that separates the right and left nostrils).
When considering rhinoplasty, the functionality of the nose must be remembered and addressed if needed. The nose functions to humidify, clean, and warm the air that passes through the nasal passages. The internal anatomy will be evaluated during the consult. Occasionally, Dr. Kirkpatrick will recommend a CT scan to evaluate the septum and turbinates. A deviated septum or enlarged turbinates may need to be addressed during the rhinoplasty procedure to ensure maximum functional benefit is obtained. Patients wear a nasal splint for 5 days and can typically return to work in approximately 7 days.