If you’d like a thinner nose, a bumpless nose, or a perkier nose, rhinoplasty can give you the look you want. But if the changes you need are less about your profile and more about the ability to breathe and smell well, then what you need is nasal reconstruction.
At Robert A. Guida, MD, in New York City and Staten Island, New York, we offer both procedures in our state-of-the-art facilities. Dr. Guida is double-board certified and has many years of experience repairing and reshaping noses. In fact, he even has a trademarked procedure called Rational Rhinoplasty™ that tailors your surgery to your unique anatomy and vision of the perfect nose.
Here, he takes a closer look at what nasal reconstruction involves so you can be prepared before, during, and after.
Unlike traditional rhinoplasty that’s typically performed to change the appearance of your nose, nasal reconstruction comes into play when you’re having functional problems with your nose.
For example, if your child was born with a congenital defect, such as a cleft palate or a cleft lip, it may affect their nose, too. Often, this deformity narrows the nasal airways and makes breathing difficult.
Trauma to the nose can also do some internal damage. Car accidents and fist fights are just a couple of the types of trauma that can lead to trouble getting the air in and out of your nose.
Even past surgeries, including skin cancer surgery, can be to blame for nose malfunctions, and each of these situations calls for nasal reconstruction.
Getting ready for nasal reconstruction is the same as prepping for any surgical procedure. We start with a comprehensive exam to confirm the diagnosis of your nasal problem. We take a full medical history and talk to you about your symptoms, as well as any surgeries or injuries that may be relevant.
You may need to stop certain medications prior to surgery, so make sure you let us know about any you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements. Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your nasal reconstruction.
Get ready for recovery by making sure you have someone to drive you home the day of your surgery. Make sure your fridge is stocked, your pets are cared for, and you have extra pillows to keep your head propped up when you sleep.
Depending on the extent of your nasal reconstruction surgery and the type of incision Dr. Guida makes, you may have a splint on your nose that you’ll have to wear for 5-6 days. You may also have some drainage tubes to allow fluid to exit the wound.
If your nasal reconstruction involves skin grafts or flap surgery that require external incisions, you’ll have stitches that need specific care. Dr. Guida and our team walk you through the steps to keep your incision clean and teach you signs of infection so you can come see us right away if something doesn’t look or feel right.
After the first week, you should see significant improvement in the appearance of your incision. You can get back to your daily routine, as long as it doesn’t involve heavy lifting or strenuous activities. You can resume all types of exercise after about a month.
If your nasal reconstruction is major and involves flaps of skin from your forehead or cheeks, your treatment may unfold in stages over the span of a couple months.
Some minor scarring is inevitable with external incisions, but Dr. Guida is an expert at hiding the telltale signs of your surgery. At the one-year mark, your scars will have matured and faded, and your nose will be fully healed.
One thing all our nasal reconstruction patients can expect is a nose that finally functions well.
If you’re scheduled for nasal reconstruction and have questions about your procedure or recovery, give us a call. To find out if you’re a good candidate for nasal reconstruction, call for a consultation, or book it online today.