All surgical procedures produce scar tissue of some amount, whether it is hidden or visible. This does not matter too much in many medically-necessary operations, as the priority is fixing whatever the problem may be, and scars can usually be hidden. However, in facial plastic surgery, the results are meant to be aesthetic, and any visible scarring is considered a poor result. In rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), scar tissue is often more of an issue inside the nose than on the outside, as only one small incision is usually used externally. So what can you do to set yourself up for success and prevent rhinoplasty scar tissue from your procedure?
Issues with Scar Tissue
Some scar tissue within the nose is expected, but when there is excessive scarring, it can cause problems with the overall aesthetic of the nose and affect the results of rhinoplasty. Typically, internal scarring presents as irregular contour caused by the excess bulk of the scar tissue. Scarring caused by an open procedure (the incision placed between the nostrils) is not usually an issue, and should fade to become almost invisible over time.
Methods for Preventing Scar Tissue
There are several ways you can help prevent excessive scar tissue from forming, as a patient. Here are some tips for avoiding complications. Remember, always ask your surgeon for advice if you have concerns.
Choose the Right Surgeon
Your first step in preventing complications like internal nasal scarring is choosing a surgeon who is highly qualified, board certified, and experienced in the rhinoplasty procedure. Only select surgeons have the knowledge, skill, and foresight to help patients achieve good outcomes and avoid problems like scarring. It pays to do your research and pick your surgeon carefully.
Stop Smoking & Drinking
Cigarettes and alcohol have devastating effects on healing if used within several weeks or months of the procedure and recovery phase. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels and contributes to poor healing, scarring, and even skin necrosis. Alcohol increases swelling and bleeding, both parts of the healing process that should be minimized as much as possible. Do yourself a favor and avoid both alcohol and smoking for as long as your doctor recommends—and preferably longer.
Follow All Instructions
Your surgeon is the expert, and he or she will have plenty of guidelines for you to help you heal quickly, and without complications. You should follow all of these instructions as closely as possible, because your safety and results are both on the line. It is worth a few weeks of discomfort and hassle for a beautiful result that will last a lifetime.
Remain Vigilant & Seek Help
One of the most important ways you can prevent scarring is to keep an eye out for any problems that may occur. It is often much easier to treat scar tissue if it is caught early than to try to fix the problem later on. Communication with your surgeon is extremely important and will help the healing process go smoothly.
Treating Scar Tissue After Rhinoplasty
Fortunately, internal scarring can be treated once it has been formed, so in the unlikely event that your nasal contour is affected by scar tissue, improvement is often possible. The most common method for reducing scarring in the nose is with a cortisone steroid injection. These injections are typically in a series, and spaced several weeks apart. Your surgeon will determine whether this treatment is appropriate for your situation.
Discuss Your Options
While it is impossible to avoid internal nasal scarring in every single case, a skilled surgeon will do everything in his or her power to avoid complications. Years of experience help these experts predict outcomes and give patients the results they seek. This is why it is so important to choose a knowledgeable surgeon and follow instructions closely.
If you are looking for a true rhinoplasty specialist in the Boston area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA to meet with acclaimed, board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover’s true passion is the rhinoplasty procedure, and he has been honing the art of nasal surgery for over 25 years. To learn more and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentkover, call either location today.