You can browse reviews and listen to patient referrals all day long, but how many times can you say you’ve actually seen a surgeon perform hundreds of facial plastic surgeries firsthand before deciding to go under the knife yourself?
Melissa, a medical assistant for Edward J. Gross, M.D., a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty in Orlando, knew all of his tendencies, methodologies, and successes inside and out. After years of working side-by-side with Dr. Gross, she knew exactly where to go when she needed a functional rhinoplasty.
“The biggest benefit is my breathing,” says Melissa. “I sleep better. I don’t have my mouth open during the day or at night. It feels wonderful to be able to breathe.”
How Does a Rhinoplasty Work?
Rhinoplasty is a facial plastic surgery performed to reshape the nose and related passageways. It can be done for both mechanical and aesthetic reasons, to correct breathing problems and to change the size, shape, and angle of the nose.
Impaired breathing is typically caused by a deviated septum (the thin membrane dividing the nose in two sections). Lack of airflow causes less oxygen to reach the bloodstream and can result in nosebleeds, snoring, trouble breathing, and recurring sinus infections. Rhinoplasty works to straighten the septum, restore regular airflow, and improve the aesthetics of the nose if the patient so chooses.
During aesthetic rhinoplasty, a surgeon can:
- Modify the form of the nose
- Alter the tip of the nose
- Repair bumps, indentations, or other blemishes
Rhinoplasty can also reduce the size of nasal tips that are bulging, drooping, upturned, or hooked, and it can correct nasal asymmetry.
For Melissa, the reality of her condition and its potential future impacts on her health made the decision to move forward with surgery an easy one.
“After Dr. Gross had evaluated the inside of my nose, he concluded that I wasn’t getting a lot of air on the left side of my nasal passage. It became worrisome that the older I got, the worse it would get. That lack of functionally helped me take the decision more seriously. I then decided to go ahead with the rhinoplasty and the breathing correction.” You can learn more about the best age for rhinoplasty in our related blog post.
How is Rhinoplasty Performed?
During a rhinoplasty, Dr. Gross makes incisions inside the nose to correct and balance the cartilage and bones composing the nose. If necessary, the nasal septum is adjusted and realigned with the center of the nose, a procedure known as a septoplasty. In some cases, patients require nasal reshaping along with septoplasty. A splint and bandage are placed around the outside of the nose to stabilize its new shape while it heals. The Journal of the American Medical Association Network offers a step-by-step rhinoplasty guide.
Having followed countless rhinoplasty patients from initial consultation through post-operative evaluation to follow up one year after surgery, Melissa knew exactly the level of care and attention she would receive.
“I am Dr. Gross’s medical assistant, so I see all of our established patient consultations for surgery,” says Melissa. “I also do all post-ops with Dr. Gross, see patients that have had various surgeries and are at different stages of their healing process. We follow every patient for an entire year, and document and make sure they have everything they need and have all their questions answered.”
“I work side-by-side with Dr. Gross every single day, and through that experience, I have acquired a lot of knowledge about rhinoplasty and other facial procedures that we perform here. Rhinoplasty is the number one surgery that Dr. Gross performs. That made me extremely comfortable with the process and understanding the medical aspects and benefits of having this surgery done.”
How Long Is Recovery From Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under light general anesthesia. After surgery, patients may feel puffiness in the face, and there may be bruising around the eyes and nose. The splint and bandages are usually removed after about one week, and swelling gradually goes down for the next few weeks. Depending on how much the nose was adjusted, full results can take several months to a year to manifest.
“I would wake up every morning with very, very dry mouth, extremely sore throat, and a very dry nasal passage,” says Melissa. “If I closed my mouth, it was tough to breathe, and I had this suffocating feeling that created anxiety. But all of that has completely gone away.”
With her successful rhinoplasty surgery behind her, Melissa can now relate to her patients on a whole new level, and she unconditionally recommends Dr. Gross for anyone needing facial plastic surgery.
“If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon for rhinoplasty or any procedure that has to do with the face, I recommend somebody that is double board-certified in facial plastic surgery,” she says. “There are a lot of doctors that do body work, and they’re amazing at it, but when you’re talking about facial procedures, there are different technicalities to consider making it that much more complex.”
“Even if I didn’t work for Dr. Gross, I would definitely move forward with any facial procedure with him because of his qualifications and his double board certifications in facial plastic surgery and ENT.”