Frequently Asked Questions
Get Answers from the Williams Center
Am I a Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
While a thorough consultation with a skilled surgeon is the best way to answer this concern, in general a candidate for rhinoplasty is healthy, has finished growing—especially in the facial area—and has positive and realistic expectations for what the surgery can and cannot do, both physically and emotionally, for their appearance.
Teenage Rhinoplasty—What Age Is Right?
Most surgeons believe teens can safely undergo a rhinoplasty once their nose has reached its adult size—usually 15 to 17 years of age for women and 16 to 18 for men. Keeping in mind that each patient is unique, there are additional factors that could alter these suggested ages, such as congenital nasal birth defects or post-traumatic nasal deformities.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
not just any surgeon will do. trust your look to a nationally recognized rhinoplasty specialist.
Your face will experience some temporary swelling and bruising. Most patients feel comfortable enough to return to work one to two weeks following surgery. You will see 80 percent of the result after just one week, 90 percent after two weeks, and additional subtle results after three months. Your final result will be apparent about one year following surgery. You can see how a surgeon must have both skill and vision to perform a rhinoplasty that looks natural while meeting the patient's expectations.
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What is Closed vs. Open Rhinoplasty?
Open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty are two approaches to reshaping your nose. Open rhinoplasty means there is an incision along the columella (soft tissue between the nostrils), while closed rhinoplasty means all incisions are inside of the nostril. Some surgeons prefer the open approach, as it affords them a greater view to more precisely perform the surgery. However, a skilled and experienced surgeon, such as Dr. Edwin Williams, prefers a closed approach, as it produces a more predictable outcome and is more comfortable for the patient, with less healing time and scarring.
What is a Consultation Like?
Dr. Williams' consultations start with a conversation, asking the patient what they see about their nose and what they would like to change. After listening carefully, he says, "Let me share with you what I see." Using both medical terms and the terms the patient used in discussing their expectations, he then explains the difference between what the patient perceives and what's visually and physically more accurate. Dr. Williams' goal is to have the patient's expectations and needs meet his expertise and skill to achieve the best possible results.
He also relies on photos and computer-generated images, which will also be up on operating room monitors. These assist him in recalling the subtler aspects of the nose, which might be slightly obscured with the patient lying on the OR table or from swelling caused by local anesthesia.
How Can Computerized Imaging Help with Rhinoplasty?
Computer-Generated Imaging (CGI) is a specialized computer program that allows Dr. Williams to modify a photograph, develop possible surgical goals, and relate that to the patient in real time. This is also an invaluable tool in effectively communicating with the patient. Each rhinoplasty procedure is a fully unique event based on the individual features and goals of the patient. Dr. Williams is committed to creating a customized surgical plan that reflects your ethnicity and unique characteristics.
Can Rhinoplasty Address Breathing or Sinus Issues?
Yes, if you have a blockage or nasal obstruction such as a deviated septum, nasal valve collapse, or a previous history of trauma or injury to the nose. In such cases, the breathing or functional component of rhinoplasty can alleviate the problem, and a patient's health insurance will likely cover it. If patients are also interested in having cosmetic improvements, those are the patient's financial responsibility and require a cosmetic surgery fee. These options are reviewed thoroughly with the patient at the consultation.
How Long Does Surgery Take?
Rhinoplasty takes about an hour and a half depending on the structure of the nose and the changes planned.
Do I Need Cartilage Graft?
Depending on the type of nasal reshaping performed, cartilage grafts can be beneficial, as they help maintain the operative result over time. Cartilage grafts, determined on an individual basis, are typically used to straighten, strengthen, or rebuild the nasal framework. Also with an open rhinoplasty, the column of tissue that separates one nostril from the other the tip is often supported with cartilage graft.
At the Williams Center, Dr. Williams usually uses the patient's own cartilage. The best place to get septal cartilage is the nasal septum, which is "harvested" at the time of the rhinoplasty. However, in revision or corrective surgery, cartilage grafting from the nose is not an option, so cartilage is harvested from the non-structural area of the ear and/or the rib, which is plentiful and offers substantial structural integrity to rebuild the nose.
Do You Perform Rhinoplasty for Out-of-Town Patients?
It is not uncommon for patients to travel for rhinoplasty, especially if there are no nearby rhinoplasty specialists. The Williams Center welcomes out-of-town patients and is especially practiced in accommodating any additional needs during their visit. Dr. Williams can conduct an initial consultation via Facetime or Skype, and the staff can assist you with your travel arrangements.
The number of follow-up visits and the length of stay in the area will depend on the assessment of your situation. Most surgeons will want to see you in the office once or twice within the first week after surgery and will check in six months to one year postop, depending on your availability. Again, a Skype or video chat may be sufficient if no complications or major concerns are present.
While it is uncommon to have complications after surgery, you should be able to reach your surgeon for questions and concerns for a year after the procedure, which is the timeframe for complete healing after rhinoplasty.