Rhinophyma is a condition where the sebaceous glands of the nose become enlarged, and is a very common condition of advanced Rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic acneform disorder that often affects those with lighter color skin. Although women are more commonly affected by Rosacea, men tend to suffer from rhinophyma more often.
Patients may describe sensitivities to extremes of temperature, hot liquids, alcohol, spicy foods or working in the direct sunlight. Typically these symptoms of aggravation are more typical in the female rosacea patient than in the male with rhinophyma. Although alcohol may be a precipitating factor or trigger for rosacea, the stigmata that all patients with the large overgrown nose seen in rhinophyma are in fact alcoholics or "boozers" is absolutely wrong.
TYPES OF RHINOPHYMA
Less commonly people can suffer from metophyma (an enlarged cushion-like swelling of the forehead), blepharophyma (similar swelling of the eyelids) related to marked sebaceous gland hyperplasia, otophyma (cauliflower-like swelling of the earlobes), or gnathophyma (swelling of the chin).
Prior to any surgical procedure, it is important to take appropriate preparations to increase safety, and maximize the benefits of the procedure. First, patients should not take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin®, Motrin®, Ibuprophen, or Advil®, due to their effects on the body's blood clotting, for at least two weeks prior to surgery. Tylenol ES®, is a painkiller that can be used for those who suffer from chronic pain. Any use of herbal supplements or other alternative medicine should be discussed with your surgeon. Finally, alcohol should be avoided for at least a week prior to the surgery date.
Nasal reshaping involves shaving away the excess nasal glandular overgrowth to achieve an aesthetically pleasing nasal shape. The wound surface is then allowed to re-heal by a process termed re-epithelialization. Careful attention is made to leave enough skin adnexal structures available at the wound base to allow for proper re-healing. Scalpel, dermabrasion, electrocautery, laser or a combination of these methods can be used for nasal reshaping. All methods produce similar results.
The typical convalescence following rhinophyma surgery is approximately 3-4 weeks. Ointment and bandage dressings are used for the first 2-3 weeks. Pain is controlled with prescription medications for the first few days. Most patients require only over-the-counter medications or are comfortable without pain medication within days of the procedure.
Several weeks must pass post-surgery before a final look can be assessed. In the meantime, it is essential that sun protection using high SPF sunscreens is adhered to, and this should be lept up to 18 months after surgery in order to prevent a darkening of the wounds. Despite these inconveniences, patient satisfaction for this procedure is very high.
Although surgical complications with this procedure are rare, it is still possible, and important that you understand the possible complications that can occur. A discussion with the surgeon regarding risk is always important. Listed below are the most common complications that can occur, divided into early and late complications:
For a more detailed discussion on expected results, recovery, and specific complications, please see your individual surgeon.
The cost of rhinophyma surgery is covered under the Canadian Medical Plan, and is considered a medical procedure as well as an insured service. In certain select cases, or circumstances, the procedure may be considered cosmetic, in which case the fee for correction will be at the discretion of the surgeon that performs the procedure.
This website does not cover all of the medical knowledge related to rhinophyma surgery nor does it deal with all possible risks and complications of surgery on the nose. Although it is designed to provide the patient with greater depth of information in some areas, it is not intended to substitute for the in depth discussion between patient and surgeon that must occur prior to any surgical procedure.
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