Septorhinoplasty | Cosmetic Nasal Surgery

Cosmetic nasal surgery, or septorhinoplasty, is among the most common procedures performed within the realm of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Whereas rhinoplasty surgery focuses exclusively on the shape of the nasal exterior, septorhinoplasty incorporates modification of the nasal septum (the midline partition dividing the nose into left and right breathing chambers) into the surgical plan. Cartilage safely obtained from the septum is precisely sculpted into structural grafts which are, in turn, used to produce desired esthetic changes to the nasal shape.

Goals of Surgery

Form and function are inextricably linked during surgery, for the esthetically pleasing nose must also breathe well. Areas of esthetic concern that are successfully and commonly improved with cosmetic septorhinoplasty include:

  • Reducing a "bump" or "hump" on the nasal bridge
  • Straightening the nasal bridge
  • Straightening the "crooked" nose
  • Correcting the "hook" nose
  • Improving the "bulbous" nasal tip
  • Refining the nasal tip / improving the definition of the nasal tip
  • Reducing the large nose
  • Reducing the nasal projection
  • Improving asymmetry of the nasal tip and / or nostrils
  • Improving nasal breathing

Pre-Surgical Consultation

During the pre-surgical consultation, a detailed examination and analysis of the nose is performed. Digital photographs of the nose are reviewed on our advanced computerized imaging software to facilitate communication of the changes desired and to illustrate the expected post-surgical outcomes. A comprehensive surgical plan customized to address each patient's cosmetic concerns is ultimately developed and carefully explained.

Surgical Approaches

Dr. Dresner routinely performs initial (primary) septorhinoplasty surgery, in addition to revision procedures for patients who have had previous nasal surgery.
There are two basic approaches, or methods, to surgically access the nasal framework. "Endonasal" approaches use incisions placed exclusively inside the nose. "Open" approaches also use internal incisions but also employ a small "gull wing" incision shaped like an upside-down letter "V" on the strip of skin in between the nostrils. The specific approach is determined for each individual patient by the techniques required to achieve the surgical goals discussed during the pre-surgical consultation.

Post-Surgical Course

Septorhinoplasty surgery is generally performed on an out-patient basis under either conscious sedation or general anesthesia. Patients are discharged with a cast over the nasal bridge and internal splints placed along the nasal septum. The nose is not formally "packed." A physician on our care team is always available to answer any post-surgical questions that may arise. The cast and splints are removed one week after surgery, along with any sutures placed during open approach surgery. Most patients return to work one week after surgery. Any bruising around the eyes that may occur typically resolves within two weeks post-operative. Swelling peaks two to three days after surgery and gradually subsides thereafter. An appreciable reduction in swelling is evident at one month, but the nose will continue to heal for a full year after surgery. Routine post-operative office visits are periodically scheduled for the year following surgery to ensure optimal healing.