A nose job, or rhinoplasty, is a surgical procedure that can help reshape the nose to improve its appearance. However, it’s important to understand that this type of surgery can also lead to the formation of scar tissue. Scar tissue forms as part of the body’s natural healing process and can be difficult to remove once it has formed. Fortunately, there are steps you can take during recovery time to minimize the formation of scar tissue after a nose job.
By following your doctor’s instructions carefully and taking good care of yourself during recovery, you can reduce your risk of developing scar tissue and ensure a successful outcome from your rhinoplasty procedure.
1. Understanding How Scar Tissue Forms
How long does it take for scar tissue to form after rhinoplasty?
Scar tissue formation after rhinoplasty is a common occurrence and can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to form. The amount of time it takes for scar tissue to form depends on the type of skin you have, as well as the type of surgery that was performed. Generally speaking, those with thicker skin types tend to form scar tissue more quickly than those with thinner skin types.
The formation of scar tissue is a natural part of the body’s healing process and occurs when soft tissues are damaged or disrupted during surgery. During this process, collagen fibers in the area become thickened and intertwined, forming a dense network of scar tissue. This scar tissue can be visible on the surface of the skin or may remain hidden beneath it.
It’s important to note that not all scars are created equal; some may be more noticeable than others depending on your individual skin type and how your body responds to the trauma caused by surgery. Those with darker skin tones may experience hyperpigmentation around their incision sites, while those with lighter skin tones may experience hypopigmentation instead.
Is Scar Tissue After Rhinoplasty Common?
Scarring is likely after rhinoplasty and its degree can vary. An experienced surgeon will help you achieve the desired, natural look while avoiding excessive scarring.
An open rhinoplasty involves an incision on the exterior of the nose. Segmenting part of the septum into a triangle shape produces a scar inside the nose. After treatment, scar tissue creation is needed for proper wound healing.
What Does Excessive Scar Tissue Look Like?
Excessive scar tissue occurs when there are multiple layers of scarring present. This typically appears raised with a reddish hue. The area often has a hardened texture and can feel rubbery. Although most scars fade with time, excessive scar tissue from rhinoplasty surgery may be uncomfortable.
While scar tissue will usually soften over the course of a few months, sometimes this process can take up to a year. During this time patients may notice a physical change in the shape of their nose.
One of the most noticeable areas of change occurs just above the tip of the nose. In some cases, certain medications may be able to help modify the appearance, but not all of them work for every patient. Abnormal scars that form between the nostrils may require correction by an experienced surgeon.
2. Why Does Scar Tissue Affect Rhinoplasty?
Scar tissue forms to help strengthen and heal your skin after it is injured. It has to be tougher and thicker than your normal skin tissue to prevent the injury from getting infected or opening up again.
The tightness and thickness of the skin in a small area such as your nose can make it difficult for a rhinoplasty surgeon to shape it, making it aesthetically pleasing. Plus, scar tissue may cause shifts in shape over time, so the surgeon must take this into account for optimal results.
Nasal surgery and plastic surgery are two distinct procedures, but they both involve the same goal of improving the appearance of the nose. Nasal surgery is a surgical procedure that involves reshaping or reconstructing the nose to improve its aesthetic appearance. Plastic surgery, on the other hand, is a more general term that encompasses any type of cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. Both types of surgeries can result in scar tissue formation, so it’s important to understand how to minimize its formation and manage it properly if it does occur.
3. How To Prevent Scar Tissue After Rhinoplasty
Without the right amount of scar tissue, a wound may be susceptible to future infection and heightened sensitivity. By covering the bone and cartilage inside the nose, the scar tissue helps protect injured skin over the course of several weeks or months.
When there is too much scar tissue, however, it can continue to form inside the nose long after its initial purpose has been served. This causes the results of a rhinoplasty procedure to look and feel different than the expected outcome.
Excessive scarring can also prevent the nose from appearing fully natural without a second surgery. For this reason, many patients take special precautions to reduce the risk of noticeable scar tissue from appearing in the first place.
Lifestyle choices can play a significant role in the outcome of rhinoplasty. While excessive scar tissue can be caused by genetics, there are individual decisions that can also impact the formation of scars.
Smoking cigarettes is a leading risk factor for skin conditions of all types. According to one study from The Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society, nicotine can affect the quality of wound healing over time. This may indicate potential healing issues from other forms of nicotine besides just cigarettes.
High blood pressure can also increase the risk of developing excess scar tissue. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is often overlooked by younger adults, but can have an impact on the outcome of rhinoplasty surgery. By eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, tissue buildup can be reduced.
4. Post-Surgical Care to Reduce Scarring
Although there are ways to prevent the likelihood of excess scarring before surgery, post-surgery instructions can also help. A skilled physician will provide specific directions to the patient for safe healing once they are home like:
- Avoid touching the nose for at least two weeks after surgery to prevent infection and reduce the risk of scarring.
- Use a cold compress on the nose several times a day to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Keep the area clean and dry, using gentle cleansers and avoiding harsh chemicals or fragrances.
- Eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins A, C, and E to promote healthy connective tissue growth.
- Massage the soft tissue around the nose with a moisturizer or oil to help break up any scar tissue that may be forming.
- Follow up with your surgeon regularly for check-ups in order to monitor progress and detect any signs of excessive scarring early on so that revision surgery can be considered if necessary.
5. Is There Any Way I Can Minimize the Effect of My Scar Tissue?
The best way you can minimize the effect of your scar tissue is to take very good care of your skin. When your skin is healthy, it is much easier for the surgeon to work with, and makes your recovery from rhinoplasty easier. Rhinoplasty scars are usually found inside your nose, but they will still reap the benefits of excellent skin care.
Suggestions to minimize the effect of scar tissue after rhinoplasty with an excellent skincare routine include:
- Avoiding direct sun exposure for at least two months after surgery. Sun exposure can cause blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to increased scarring.
- Applying a moisturizer or oil to the soft tissue around the nose daily to help break up any scar tissue that may be forming.
- Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins A, C, and E to promote healthy connective tissue growth.
• Following your surgeon’s recovery instructions closely and attending all follow-up appointments as recommended. This will help ensure that any signs of excessive scarring are detected early on so that revision surgery can be considered if necessary.
Choosing a Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Scar tissue is only one of the challenges faced by plastic surgeons during rhinoplasty, so it’s very important that you choose a surgeon who knows what they’re doing. Choosing a surgeon who is board-certified and specializes in rhinoplasty, with a great deal of experience in both primary and revision rhinoplasty, will be your best option.
Dr. Andres Bustillo is a board-certified facial and reconstructive plastic surgeon who has been practicing cosmetic surgery for over ten years. Nasal surgeries, such as rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty, make up the majority of his practice.
Dr. Bustillo sees rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty patients from all over the world and is known as one of the best facial plastic surgeons in Florida. His conservative approach allows him to give his patients a quality experience and amazing, natural-looking results without overdoing the surgery.
If you are interested in scheduling a rhinoplasty patient consultation with Dr. Bustillo, call his office in Coral Gables, FL at (305) 663-3380 or send an email through his Contact page.