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Nose Surgery


Your nose…the most important central feature of the face, affects the overall balance, harmony, and aesthetic appeal of your face. Is it too large, too small, too flat, and/or too pointed? Do you have trouble breathing from one or both sides of your nose? According to Dr. Donn Chatham, an aesthetically pleasing nose is one that fits your face with harmony, and is in the correct proportions.Cosmetic nose surgery, also known as rhinoplasty, has become one of the most sought after plastic surgical procedures in the United States. Cosmetic surgery can change the shape of the whole nose or just a small part, making it fit more harmoniously with the rest of your face.

Nose Reshaping Gallery
Click to see the Nose Reshaping Gallery

Dr. Chatham is highly skilled in making these changes while preserving and enhancing the function of the nose so that breathing is free and comfortable.There are structures within the nose, namely the septum and turbinates, which affect the airflow through the nose. Dr. Chatham will carefully examine the internal structure of your nose at the time of your consultation and provide information about possible improvement. Also during your initial consultation, he will first listen to your desires and goals. During the examination, he will make suggestions for nose improvement based on his assessment, your facial features and your desires, bringing extensive surgical experience and artistic sensitivity into the discussion so that together a final surgical plan will be adopted to achieve optimum results for your rhinoplasty.

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While Dr. Chatham will evaluate your entire facial structure, with emphasis towards improving not only the nose, but its relationship to other parts of the face. The goal is to blend your nose aesthetically, thereby providing balance and harmony to your facial features. Patients from certain cultures wish to have cosmetic nasal surgery yet retain their ethnicity. These cultures have certain noses which patients may desire to retain. Dr. Chatham will discuss with you openly and will make every effort to retain the ethnic features that you desire. Sometimes nasal breathing is adequate and it is important to preserve this. Sometimes there is a slight airway problem that can be improved with a simple additional maneuver, while sometimes a severe airway problems requires a more complicated approach.If a nose has already been operated on, the “revision” nasal surgery typically is more difficult, depending on several factors. The goal, of course, is fewer rather than more surgeries.Most men and women want to look their best. Schedule your initial consultation today and let Dr. Chatham show you how nose contouring can benefit your overall facial appearance.

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Cosmetic surgery of the nose usually takes 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours and may be done either with you asleep under general anesthesia or awake under sedation. Most incisions are placed inside the nostrils, but in some cases, a small incision may be made in the natural creases along the sides or near the base of the nose. These heal quickly and leave scars that usually are difficult to find later. At the end of surgery, a dressing will be place on your nose. If bleeding occurs, a light dressing may be placed inside the nostrils and removed either the same or the next day. Typically we do not find it necessary to “pack” the nose…this is usually the most memorable issue according to many nasal surgery patients who had their nose packed. Sutures typically dissolve by them selves. The external splint dressing usually is removed at one week.The evening of surgery one will experience some soreness, and some patients feel discomfort. But medicines (I.V. if still in the hospital or facility) and by mouth generally control this. After a few days, many of our patients report that Tylenol is sufficient.Note that all surgeries have pros and cons, risks and benefits, and Dr. Chatham will fully explain these to each patient prior to surgery, so there is full understanding of what procedure entails.

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Most people are pleasantly surprised at how little true pain there is after nasal surgery. But thresholds for discomfort vary a lot. The most uncomfortable part of the recovery is the inability to breathe through the nose for several days due to swelling, which usually improves within one to two weeks. Expect some swelling and possibly bruising around your eyes for a week or so, and as this swelling subsides, you will start to see the improvements from your surgery. At one week the nose looks similar to that of a nose with a bad “cold”. At 2 weeks, it mimics having allergies. After that, swelling subsides, and one looks socially acceptable by about 10 days normally. Some people heal faster than others.There are a few special precautions during recovery: for example, bending or lifting can prolong swelling, therefore this is not recommended for three weeks after surgery. Running, cycling, or aerobics should not resume for about 6 weeks Contact sports should be avoided for 3 months, as it takes that long for the bones in your nose to fully heal. You may drive when the swelling subsides enough not to interfere with vision, and you may fly two to three weeks after surgery.As always, healing continues to improve the result for as long as a year, and sometimes longer. Feelings like stiffness and reduced sensation to the tip of the nose may take a number of months to improve. We give our patients detailed written post-op instructions on what to expect and when they can hope to resume certain activities.

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Our goal is improvement with a natural appearance. We would like to achieve perfection but God does a pretty good job of this whereas surgeons, patients, and healing are limited to improvement. But that is O.K. We can always find subtle things that might have been improved even more, so realistic expectations are very important. Sometimes a patient will request a nose like a certain celebrity. Remember, we work with what we have, and there is no perfect model nose that every one should have. (The world would be less interesting if we all looked the same!)While some noses need to be smaller, some larger, some wider, some straighter, the goal is always harmony and aesthetic improvement, as well as a good airway for adequate breathing. “Natural” is our goal, and other people likely will not know that surgery has been performed. There is an old saying: “the best plastic surgery usually goes unnoticed”.While many pre-operative patients who are unhappy with their nose spend a great deal of energy focusing on this feature, once surgery is complete and it has healed, we usually find that they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. . Now it blends in and harmonizes with the rest of their face. That is a good thing.If you have been considering some type of nose enhancement, now is the time to call Chatham Facial Plastic Surgery and set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Chatham in a personal, private consultation. Call today at (502) 895-4820 or contact us online now.

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