Functional Nasal Surgery
Dr. Ward specializes in the correction of structural nasal issues that affect breathing through the nose. As a facial plastic surgeon and one of the nation’s busiest and most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons, Dr. Ward specializes in the treatment of structural issues in the nose causing nasal obstruction and uses advanced techniques to significantly improve the lives of patients.
Surgery to improve breathing is a covered benefit for most insurance companies. Our office is skilled in getting these procedures covered. We will help ensure that all the requirements that your insurance company might have are met PRIOR to the surgery to help ensure your procedure is covered by insurance allowing you to concentrate on getting better!
When choosing a surgeon to operate on your nose, most experts would agree that experience is the most important factor to help maximize the chances of a good result. Many surgeons perform rhinoplasty and are even board certified to perform the procedure, but may not have had much training in rhinoplasty. Ask your surgeon how many rhinoplasties they performed in residency. There are many plastic surgery residency programs where the residents finish having performed only a few rhinoplasty procedures. In addition, even if the surgeon received rhinoplasty training, it may not be a central portion of their practice. For example, a plastic surgeon might perform many surgeries, but those surgeries might be mostly breast augmentation or liposuction, which are drastically different from rhinoplasty. The bottom line is that you want to be sure your surgeon has the utmost training and experience in rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is universally considered to be the most challenging surgery in plastics and you should choose your rhinoplasty surgeon with the upmost care.
Think about the things that might be going on inside the nose that might bother you. For example, do you find that you have difficulty getting air through one or both sides of the nose? Have you been told you have a deviated septum? Did you get the nose bumped or hit? Do you think you have constant sinus issues?
Take notes about what bothers you and bring those to the consultation with Dr. Ward. These notes can be invaluable in identifying issues that bother you and will help ensure that you don’t forget any concerns during the consultation or before surgery.
What to expect
The consultation is the chance for you and your surgeon to meet and get to know each other. This relationship is important for several reasons. You should feel comfortable with your surgeon to ensure that you are on the same page before surgery and that you will feel comfortable voicing any concerns or questions before and after the surgery.
Dr. Ward will evaluate your nose and talk to you about your desired results. He will give you honest and realistic expectations and inform you of any potential risks involved. These risks can vary based on each individual person so it is important to be honest and up front during your consultation. Common risks associated with rhinoplasty or any nasal surgery include bleeding, infection, swelling, scarring, septal perforation (hole in the septum of the nose), poor cosmetic result, saddle nose deformity, difficulty breathing, bruising, temporary tooth numbness, amongst others. Our aim is to decrease the probability of each of these complications from happening and will do whatever we can to prevent them from happening.
You might have a nasal endoscopy performed to help ensure that you don’t have any other issue that could be contributing to your nasal obstruction. In addition, some insurance companies may require that this procedure be performed to approve payment of your surgery. You will have photographs of your nose taken, which is also often required by different insurance companies.
Follow up after rhinoplasty is important and you will be seeing Dr. Ward frequently following the procedure. This is to help ensure that you are healing properly and that you are happy with your results. We are committed to making sure you heal properly and that you are happy with the result. If you are not happy, we WANT TO KNOW! It can take 18 months before you are fully healed and we will monitor you carefully during this period to ensure proper healing.
Prior to the procedure, you will have a pre-operative history and physical exam performed to ensure that there are no health concerns prior to your procedure. You will be given instructions on what to do before, during, and after the day of surgery and you will be given prescriptions for medications that you will need to take after the procedure.
In general, you should avoid anything with aspirin, ibuprofen, or any other medication, such as Advil, Motrin, any blood thinners, some herbal supplements etc for 3-4 weeks prior to the procedure and 2 weeks after the procedure. This helps reduce the bleeding during the procedure and the degree of bruising that you will have after the surgery.
The procedure will be performed either in our private surgical suite or in an operating room under an anesthetic that is designed to (1) maximize the safety of the procedure, (2) ensure your ultimate comfort during the procedure, and (3) minimize your recovery and get you back on your feet and back to normal life as soon as possible. Unless there are other complicating medical issues that you have, the procedure is always performed as an outpatient surgery allowing you to avoid staying overnight in the hospital and go home and recover.
For our out of town patients, special arrangements can be made for you to stay overnight with medical oversight.
After surgery, you will have a splint on the outside of the nose, which helps protect the nose in the post-operative period. Oftentimes, splints will also be placed within the nose to help stabilize the septum. This is especially true if a deviated septum repair, i.e., a septoplasty, is performed.
Bruising may occur, especially under the eyes, which usually goes away by around a week. Your nose will also be swollen. The majority of the swelling will subside in the first month, however there can be swelling that can last up to 18 months. Patients can return to work whenever they feel up to it. For some patients, that might be 3 days after surgery; for other patients, it might be 10-14 days. We usually like our out of town patients to plan to stay until one week after surgery to ensure the nose is healing properly before you travel home.
In the weeks and months following surgery, we will closely monitor your healing. This is extremely important, because we will need to monitor for any unusual scar tissue development, twisting, warping, or other changes. If these changes occur, we will be able to treat them appropriately.
The final thing to expect after surgery is an experience that will leave you happier than you were before the surgery! We aim to make every part of the experience as pleasant as possible and are confident you will be glad you had your procedure performed.