Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?

Even if your nose looks totally straight, you might still have a problem lurking underneath the surface, and a little strip of cartilage may be the cause.

Separating the nostrils and nasal passages is the nasal septum, a wall made up of cartilage and thin bone. If any part of that wall is crooked or asymmetrical, it’s known as a deviated septum, and is way more common than you think: up to 75% of the population has the same issue.

About 20% of people are born with a deviated septum, and the rest are usually a result of a trauma to the nose - even from minor injuries. It might be something as minor as falling off your tricycle as a kid and bumping your face. There's no noticeable harm, but it causes a little bend in the cartilage that remains that way as you grow up.

Luckily, the majority of deviated septums don’t cause any issues. But for some, these little bends can turn into a major problem. Here are some signs that you may need to check out whether you have a deviated septum.

Symptom 1: Nosebleeds

When one side of your nasal passages is blocked through a bend in the cartilage, the airflow is no longer smooth, and that can cause the nasal lining to dry out. If that occurs, the resulting inflammation and irritation can cause tears in the tissue, causing a nosebleed.

If the nosebleed is minor, such as a few drops of blood when you blow your nose, then it's no big deal. However, if you’re getting nosebleeds frequently, like every day for over a week or so, and it's enough blood that you need to apply pressure to stop the flow, it's worth getting checked out.

Symptom 2: Frequent sinus infections

If a septum is very deviated, it can block drainage in the area, and this can cause bacteria or viruses to linger instead of getting flushed out. That increases your chances of repeated infections. You may notice feeling pain on either side of your nose, aches in your upper jaw or teeth, headaches, green or yellow nasal discharge, or coughs from the discharge going down the back of your throat.

Infections will also stick around longer with a deviated septum. That's because it’s not getting cleared out as quickly as it would be without the deviated septum.

Symptom 3: Nasal congestion

Another issue with the lack of drainage and improper airflow in the nose is regular congestion in the nostril due to the obstruction, which sometimes can be mistaken for allergies or a lingering cold.

Also, the congestion can cause excessive mucus production as your body tries to flush out the area. When that occurs, the mucus can start accumulating in your throat or the back of your nose, causing post-nasal drip.

The resulting sore throat and cough that comes along with the drip can strengthen the belief that you're struggling to beat a cold instead of dealing with a deviated septum.

Symptom 4: Noisy breathing or snoring

The congestion caused by a deviated septum can cause regular breathing problems, such as noisy breathing through the nose, or breathing primarily through the mouth instead. Mouth breathing causes its own problems, since it can cause dry mouth, a condition that may lead to dental health issues.

Even more seriously, the congestion might cause sleep apnea. When this happens, your breathing stops during sleep, setting you up for a host of potential health issues, from fatigue due to lack of sleep, to poorer brain function, to higher heart risks.

Symptom 5: Headaches

If your head is always pounding, your nose might be the reason. The pressure from nasal congestion, along with the decreased oxygen from your breath not flowing freely, can create sinus problems that ends in headaches. Because of that, you might feel soreness in your face and between your eyebrows, as well as the icepick-to-the-brain feeling of a migraine.

When to see your doctor

In general, if you’re battling with issues like these, it's best to get them checked out. The good news is that fixing a deviated septum is often easy. Your doctor may try medication such as nasal steroids first, which can reduce swelling, mucus, and congestion.

If medication don’t work, you might need surgery to fix the issue. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to remedy a deviated septum. During septoplasty surgery, the septum is straightened and repositioned to the middle of the nose. A septoplasty can be performed by itself, or often it can be combined with a rhinoplasty nose surgery.

But even if surgery is needed, it’s an outpatient procedure. There’s no reason to suffer through these problems when they’re so simple to fix, if a deviated septum is the culprit. A septoplasty is a fairly common procedure and is the third most common head and neck procedure in the USA. Patients tend to do very well with these procedures, with downtime of around a week. The initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, although it may take a few months for you to receive the full benefits of septoplasty. During the initial healing period, there may be minor pain and difficulty breathing. Your physician will prescribe appropriate pain medication.

Whether your appearance changes from septoplasty depends largely on the extent of the procedure. Often, the issue can be remedied without any outwardly noticeable changes, but when the deviation is severe, your nose might be slightly altered once it heals.

If you believe you are suffering from a deviated septum, talk to your doctor and get a professional examination. If you have received a diagnosis of a deviated septum, and need surgery to correct it, please contact us to find out how we can help you with solving these issues once and for all.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Is Rhinoplasty Different for Different Ethnicities?

Most ethnic rhinoplasty nose surgery patients are looking to enhance their nose but still retain and preserve their ethnic identity. They typically do not want a completely westernized look, but they do want an improved nasal appearance that is in harmony with the rest of their facial features. Thus, rhinoplasty surgery cannot be approached in the same way with every patient. While each patient has their own unique characteristics, so too do different ethnicities, which makes a specialized approach a vital part of a successful outcome.

Often patients voice their concerns about losing their ethnic identity after nose reshaping surgery. For those patients, there is a direct conflict between achieving the nose they want and risking a final result that looks too generic. Rhinoplasty surgery must be tailored to the individual to appear natural and in harmony with the patient’s face and ethnicity. Our doctors discuss the patients' goals thoroughly and can provide the specialized approach that suits each patient's nasal features.

How is an Asian nose shaped?

Asian rhinoplasty techniques are different from Caucasian rhinoplasty techniques. The traditional Caucasian rhinoplasty techniques of reducing the size of the nose with cartilage reduction and reshaping does not necessarily produce a pleasing result in Asian rhinoplasty. The goal of Asian rhinoplasty is to create a refined and natural nose that is in harmony with the rest of the facial features. The goal is not to create a Caucasian nose. As compared to Caucasian rhinoplasty surgery, which often requires reduction and reshaping of the size of the nose, in Asian Rhinoplasty, the goal is often to increase the size of the bridge to better define the nose in the face. The goal is also often to narrow and augment a small under-projected nasal tip and narrow a wide nasal base. There are a number of surgical and sometimes non surgical options to achieve these goals. However, care must be taken to avoid over-correction common among nose reshaping surgeons who are not experienced in Asian rhinoplasty. This includes avoiding excessive narrowing of the nostrils, an overly punched tip or an over-augmented bridge. Our doctors, being based in Korea, are experts in Asian rhinoplasty, and are well versed in the best techniques for Asian noses.

Asian descent includes a large group of people from east to west Asia. The most typical individuals included in this group are from East Asia. East Asians are marked by their slim noses. They have the smallest noses in terms of surface area. However, south and southeast Asians often have a larger space between their nasal alare (wings of the nose).

Most Asian noses require not only a dorsal graft but also tip grafting to achieve tip definition and projection (distance from base of nose to front portion of tip). When performing Asian rhinoplasty a decision must be made whether to use synthetic medical grade implants (i.e. Solid Silicone implant) to build the bridge, or to use the patient's own cartilage from the nasal septum and/or ear. Silicone is a synthetic implant used in by many surgeons in Asia and North America. Most Asian patients do not have enough ear or septal cartilage to achieve a big enough improvement in the nasal bridge size. Your doctor will review your surgical options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Together you will decide on the option that is best for you.

Typical Asian rhinoplasty patients exhibit these common nasal characteristics:
• Thick skin
• Significant fibrofatty tissue
• Set deep and lower in the face
• Short, wide, flat nasal bone
• Slight nasal bridge
• Acute nasolabial angle
• Flaring nostrils
• Short columella
• Wide/bulbous short nose
• Slight definition
• Weak cartilage
• Low nasal tip strength

How is a African nose shaped?

Most African rhinoplasty patients seek to improve the appearance of their nose without erasing their heritage and identity. Typically, this procedure involves lifting the bridge of the nose and narrowing the nostrils. Africans often have broader and somewhat flatter noses than individuals of European descent, and African nasal bones are comparatively short, requiring special care in ethnic rhinoplasty procedures. African skin is typically thicker, and this makes refining the nasal tip more challenging, requiring special expertise and surgical care.

Wide nostrils are a common concern among African patients, as well as a wide nasal tip and a wide nasal dorsum, or wide low hump, with West Africans typically having the widest nostrils. Moreover; the distance between the nasal alare are significantly larger in west Africans as compared to individuals with European ancestry. Each of this issues requires a unique approach to the surgery.

Some noses have weak cartilages and are short with thick skin. A tip graft using the patients' own cartilage grafts either from their septum or ears, or a synthetic medical grade implant, can be used to achieve tip definition and support. Sometimes a dorsal graft may be called for to elongate a very short nose to make it look thinner. Your doctor will custom sculpts the implant to fit your nose during your procedure, it is not a one-size-fit-all implant.

Your doctor will review your surgical options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Together you will decide on the option that is best for you.

Typical characteristics of African noses:
• Surrounded by thick, oily skin
• Thin/loose cartilage
• Low nasal bridge
• Cartilage covered by fibrofatty tissue
• Wide appearance
• Outward flaring, egg shaped nostrils
• Short columella
• Broad, flat nasal bone
• Large and bulbous
• Vague definition
• Thin cartilage in the tip of the nose

How is a Hispanic nose shaped?

With more than 52 million Latinos in the USA, it's no surprise that there is a high and growing demand for Hispanic nose jobs, which is growing faster than almost any other cosmetic procedure. The Latino community has a wide range of diversity, and even slight differences in characteristics and nasal features, which means that rhinoplasties for such patients can be broken down into even smaller ethnic groups.

Hispanic patients often share several common nasal characteristics, including:
• Surrounded by thick, oily skin
• Weak/unsupported cartilage
• Short nasal bone
• Wide, undefined appearance
• Short-average columella
• Average-acute nasolabial angle
• A large bridge (Spanish heritage)
• Wide, flat nostrils (Caribbean heritage)
• Flatter nasal tips and bridges (Central and South American heritage)

How is a Middle Eastern nose shaped?

Nasal surgery cannot be approached in the same way with every patient and still yield great results. Among the many factors that must be taken into consideration is the patient's ethnicity, as different ethnic groups have their own unique features and characteristics that require different techniques during rhinoplasty surgery. This is especially true of Middle Eastern patients. Typical Middle Eastern “nose job” patients may share some of these common nasal characteristics:

• Surrounded with moderately thick, oily skin
• Undefined lower third
• Full supratip
• Low, hanging nasal tip
• Obtuse nasolabial angle
• Strong nasal cartilage
• Flared nostrils
• Overprojected nasal bone
• Curvature of the nasal bridge
• Higher fixed nose
• Very wide nasal bones

How is a Caucasian nose shaped?

Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex cosmetic surgical procedure, and it requires a unique approach to each patient, even for the common Caucasian nose surgery. Caucasians typically have a nose with a narrow bridge. People from northern Europe have wide-base noses and protruded tips, while natives to northwest Europe have pointing-up noses. In general, Caucasians have slightly wider and longer noses compared to other ethnic groups in the world.

Typical Caucasian noses have the following characteristics:
• Surrounded by thin skin
• Long nasal bone
• Strong cartilage
• Narrow trapezoid shape
• Oval shaped nostrils
• Long columella separating nostrils on base of the nose
• Obtuse nasolabial angle in the crease under the nose
• Very defined

Knowledgeable Surgeons Make All the Difference

The differences shown between the noses of each ethnicity, make clumping of ethnic groups into one group invalid when addressing the concerns and overall success of rhinoplasty in various ethnic groups. Even the groupings within this article are quite general. Within these groups, there are also important differences. The race of the patient must be kept in mind to ensure cultural aesthetics, facial harmony, and the overall success of the procedure. Surgeons who are knowledgeable in rhinoplasty of various ethnicities understand what looks natural on an individual of that ethnicity and knows the average anatomy of noses of that ethnicity. This knowledge increases the chances of achieving a natural looking nose after surgery for all individuals. Regardless of ethnicity, every rhinoplasty should be specific to the patient. Korea Rhinoplasty Center is committed to taking the time to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient that combines preservation with change for the best possible surgical results. Contact us now to find out how rhinoplasty can give you the look and self confidence that you've been waiting for.