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While there is no upper age limit for having rhinoplasty, patients may be advised to wait until they are 16 (when the nose is fully developed) before considering undergoing rhinoplasty. Sometimes breathing problems related to the internal nasal structures can be corrected at the same time as nose reshaping. It is important to have a clear idea of how you would like your nose to look as well as to know there are some limitations to cosmetic nasal surgery. Your plastic surgeon may ask whether you have difficulty breathing through your nose, suffer from allergies or use nasal spray excessively.
In evaluating you for rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon will examine your nose both internally and externally. Skin quality as well as the size and shape of your nose must be carefully studied. Sometimes, chin augmentation may be suggested so that a more harmonious facial balance can be achieved. With rhinoplasty, work is done on the cartilage and bone that form the structure of your nose. Sometimes, certain bones may need to be altered in order to make your nose look narrower and straighter.
If your nose needs to be augmented, this can be accomplished using cartilage from your nose or cartilage from another part of the body. The skin and soft tissues will re-position themselves over the new form of your nose. In most cases, the incisions will be placed inside your nose so they will not be visible. If the base of the nose is narrowed or the nostrils reduced, small pieces of skin below the nostrils will be removed. When external incisions are recommended they are placed in well hidden areas as the crease where the nose and cheek join or where the nose and the lip join.
Skin numbness after rhinoplasty may occur but is usually temporary. Occasionally, extra surgery may be necessary to refine the result. Bruising is mostly gone after a week and you can use concealing makeup if you wish. Swelling, however, can last a number of weeks or months though residual swelling usually affects just the nasal tip.