Patients are concerned with plastic surgery safety on the nasal and sinus area. These sections are critical in breathing and speaking, and any surgery can potentially change how you look and breathe. Surgery in these areas is done to remove damaged tissues, tumors, nasal polyps and improve aesthetics and function. In many cases, nasal surgery can be safely performed. However, there are some risks involved. It is essential to understand what those risks are before making a decision.
Nasal Surgery Techniques
These procedures are done to correct abnormalities in the nose. Techniques include rhinoplasty, septorhinoplasty, septoplasty, and deviated septum repair.
This surgery is done to correct a deformity in the nose by reshaping the internal and external nasal structure. In some cases, it can be to improve breathing and aesthetics. It involves the removal of skin, cartilage, and bone. The surgeon then forms the new shape they envisioned for the nose.
Rhinoplasty may be done as either an open or closed approach. The surgeon incisions the columella (the vertical part of skin between your nose and lips). In closed rhinoplasty techniques, no incision is made. Instead, the surgeon works using an endoscope (an extended scope that provides a magnified view) through tiny incisions made in the columella.
It is done to improve breathing through the nose. It involves the removal of a part of the nasal septum that blocks normal airflow to cure a deviated septum. The goal of the surgery is to improve airflow through the nasal cavity while providing adequate support for the lower third of the nose.
The purpose of septoplasty is to correct a deviated nasal septum. This condition occurs when the septum grows at an angle instead of growing straight down on both sides of the nasal cavity. It can cause many problems such as difficulty breathing, pressure in the eyes and nose, and even snoring.
4) Deviated Septum Repair
It is done to correct a deformity of the nasal septum so that air flows freely through both nostrils. It is done by removing or realigning part of the cartilage framework inside the nose. The method used will depend on the severity of the problem.
Sinus Surgery Techniques
1) Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)
This procedure is done to improve blocked sinuses. The surgeon inserts a long, thin tube called an endoscope into the nose. The surgeon then inflates balloon-like devices in select spots to expand spaces inside the sinuses. This procedure is done to relieve blockage that causes sinus problems.
2) Maxillary Sinus Surgery
It can be done as an open or endoscopic procedure. The surgeon removes polyps and diseased bone from the sinuses to improve drainage in this surgery. It also helps to reduce post-nasal drip and headache pain.
3) Ethmoid Sinus Surgery
In this surgery, the ethmoid sinuses are drained and cleared of infection. They may also be expanded with a balloon to keep them open after being removed. A tool called a microdebrider is used to remove polyps from the sinuses and diseased bone.
4) Other Procedures
In some cases, turbinate reduction surgery may be done on the side of the nose to open up airflow through the nasal cavity. The turbinate reduction can be made as an endoscopic or an open procedure. In this type of surgery, the surgeon removes excess tissue from either one or both turbinates.
In rare cases, a septal perforation may be repaired. A septal perforation is when the membrane between the two nostrils tears or weakens, allowing air to pass through the perforation into the sinuses. This surgery is also considered rare because the perforation usually heals on its own without treatment.
Risks of Nasal and Sinus Surgery
Damage to the blood vessels in the nose, especially after trauma or chronic inflammation, may cause significant bleeding. Sometimes it is possible to visualize the nasal blood vessels by looking into your nostrils before surgery. If you are at risk of excessive bleeding, your surgeon may give you medications to help reduce the chances of bleeding during and after surgery. In some cases, a blood vessel from another part of the body may be transplanted to your nose.
2) Damage to nasal structures
Nasal surgery may damage structures in the nose that sense pain and temperature or provide movement for normal breathing, such as cartilage or bone. This is more likely if there has been previous surgery or injury.
3) Damage to the septum
The septum is the nose part that separates one nostril from the other. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove or reposition a small piece of bone or cartilage from your septum during surgery. This might not be a significant concern if your nose was not structurally damaged before surgery.
4) Swelling or hematomas
It is usual for the nose to look swollen after surgery. However, if you develop a significant amount of swelling that extends beyond your nose, it can become uncomfortable and lead to impaired breathing. This usually happens when the patient has had an operation on their nose, and the swelling is so significant that it causes breathing problems. The swelling may signify a more serious medical condition, such as an infection or a hematoma.
5) Numbness or Tingling
Numbness or tingling after surgery may involve the tip of the nose, the upper lip, and one side of your face. This can be a result of damage to sensory nerves during surgery. The surgeon tries to avoid injury to those nerves as much as possible; however, it is impossible to do so entirely. Once the swelling goes down and the nerves heal, you will probably regain feeling normal.
6) Voice Changes
In some cases, the soft palate is stiffened during surgery to improve nasal breathing. In other instances, a small piece of the tip of the nose may be removed and sewn to the soft palate. This can cause temporary hoarseness or a change in your voice. It usually resolves itself over a few weeks to months after surgery.
Even though plastic surgery on the nasal and sinus areas involve some risks, it is safe. The risks are rare, and taking safety precautions can help protect against severe reactions. Overall, the benefits of these surgeries outweigh the negatives. The procedure can be used on the turbinates to help with nasal obstruction, sinuses if problems are found, and cosmetic reasons. Although the risks are low, patients should be aware of small risks and research before committing to the procedure.