Does Rhinoplasty Surgery Leave Scars?

right profile view of before and after rhinoplasty

Modern cosmetic surgery procedures have advanced to the point that scarring, while still possible, is much more minimal than it was in the past. However, there is still a small chance that procedures, including rhinoplasty, will result in some scarring. However, there are a number of ways to prevent scarring, in addition to steps that can be taken to treat and minimize the appearance of scars, should they occur.

What’s The Purpose Of Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job,” is a cosmetic surgery procedure that improves the nose’s appearance, symmetry, and functionality. A rhinoplasty can be performed to adjust the balance of the nose, in order to create a more appealing facial appearance and optimal nasal-facial proportion, or to open airway flow and correct breathing problems.

How Is Rhinoplasty Performed?

At SpaMedica in Toronto, a rhinoplasty is performed under general and local anesthesia with IV sedation. Local anesthesia contains adrenaline, which constricts the nose’s blood vessels, minimizing bruising and swelling. Prior to your surgery, Dr. Tom Bell will determine the best type of anesthesia to use based on your previous medical history, as well as any current prescriptions. Dr. Bell will also consult with you to determine your desired rhinoplasty outcome.

During the rhinoplasty procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision to access the bone structure of your nose. The surgeon will then make the planned alterations, including bridge reduction and tip support augmentation. Finally, the nostrils may need to be reduced and narrowed, and airway/airflow surgery performed to ensure there will be less risk of airway obstruction after the surgery.

How Long Is the Recovery Time?

The recovery time for rhinoplasty is up to six weeks. On the day of their surgery, the patient will be able to return home with internal packing to minimize the risk of bleeding, and there will be some bruising and swelling under the eyes. After three days, the packing can be removed, allowing the patient to breathe through the nose more easily. Any scarring from the external procedure will heal after one week, and after three weeks, bruising and swelling should subside. At the three-week point, noticeable swelling and bruising will have subsided enough that the patient should be able to engage in public activities without any self-consciousness. At the six-week point, the reshaped nose will begin to appear natural.

left profile view of before and after rhinoplasty

Will There Be Scar Tissue From The Surgery?

Scarring from rhinoplasty is possible, but if it occurs, it is minimal. The external scar from a rhinoplasty typically appears on the columella, which is the part of the nose that separates the nostrils. Typically, the scar heals imperceptibly but may occasionally be visible.

Preventing Scar Tissues

If a rhinoplasty patient is experiencing issues with excess or visible scar tissue, some steps can be taken to minimize the scar. These include avoiding smoking and alcohol use after the rhinoplasty procedure, in addition to avoiding any strenuous activity or exercise that may cause a spike in blood pressure.

Treating Scar Tissues

Visible scar tissue that forms after rhinoplasty can be treated. Targeted steroid injections can help minimize the appearance of scar tissue, and a revision rhinoplasty, which can remove the scar tissue without impacting the nose’s appearance, can also be considered.

Rhinoplasty & Scarring FAQ

How Visible Are Scars From Rhinoplasty?

While rhinoplasty scarring can occur, scars from a rhinoplasty are typically minimal and barely visible. Rhinoplasty scarring usually occurs on the columella (the part of the nose that separates the nostrils), which means it is usually not visible. In addition, any scarring that does occur can be minimized through post-surgery care, such as avoiding smoking and alcohol, and minimizing strenuous activity during the healing process.

How Long Do Rhinoplasty Scars Take To Heal?

If a patient follows the post-surgery care recommendations of Dr. Bell, any significant scarring will begin to fade about one week after their rhinoplasty. However, it’s important to be patient: while most significant signs of scarring will fade after a week, full recovery can take up to a month.

by DR. STEPHEN MULHOLLAND

Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been practicing plastic surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.
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