Rhinoplasty And Cleft Palate Surgery


Surgery to repair a cleft palate frequently causes changes, scarring and even structural damage to the nose and other structures. It is common to need rhinoplasty which is commonly referred to as a "nose job" after the palate is repaired. In some cases, the nasal surgery is performed at the same time but will need revision as the patient gets older and the facial shape changes.


How Will This Surgery Be Performed?


Every surgeon uses a different technique for most surgery types. The goal will be to minimize bleeding and trauma during the surgery so that recovery time is shorter and easier. The doctor will also try to minimize visible scarring. This type of surgery can be more difficult to perform because it is frequently done on younger patients and there is already scarring that must be worked around. In some cases, there will be a minimal amount of the cartilage that is needed for best results. It is important to know that this type of surgery may not produce "perfect" results in some cases. This will be discussed during the consultation.

The doctor will discuss the need for cartilage that is used to sculpt the shape of the nose to give it a more solid structure. In some cases, the needed cartilage would be taken from either the ear or the rib area just before surgery. In other cases, this cartilage would be obtained from a donor. Donor cartilage minimizes recovery time for the patient by eliminating a secondary incision site.  

The patient will be placed under general anesthesia during the surgery which will last roughly 3-4 hours. Some surgeries may be performed much quicker while others may take longer. It may depend on the extent of work that needs to be done as well as the age of the patient. Vital signs will be closely monitored during the entire process.


What to Expect After the Surgery is Over

After being monitored in the recovery room for a few hours you will be sent to a hospital room for additional monitoring and to help keep you as comfortable as possible. You may be wearing a soft splint on your nose and there may be gauze inside of your nostrils. This will help to keep the desired shape and will also help prevent any bleeding. You will be sent home after a day or two and will have to follow strict instructions. These may include:

●       No smoking. Smoking can slow down your body's healing process.

●       Minimal activity only for the first week after your surgery has been completed.

●       You will be allowed to do light activity in the second week, post-op but nothing vigorous for another 3 weeks.

●       By week 6 you should be back to unrestricted activities.

Any stitches that you have had will be removed in the week following surgery.


What About Appearance During the Recovery Period?

The doctor will give you an idea of exactly what to expect. In general, you will probably see bruising especially in the nose and mouth area. However, you should not be shocked to find that you have black eyes. You may also notice other things like stiff, sore jaws or a sore throat. This may be caused by the tube that is placed down your throat during surgery and should resolve in a day or so.

Swelling may take a few days to a few weeks to start to resolve and may take several months before it is completely gone. This is why surgeons wait for roughly one year between one surgery and the next so that all swelling is gone.

It is important to remember that everybody heals at its own rate. Making sure that you follow all of your doctor's instructions, eating a healthy and balanced diet plus getting enough sleep will go a long way to shortening your recovery time, reducing your risk of infection and giving you the best possible results from your surgery. Make sure that you are taking all medications as directed and avoid spending too much time in the sun.


Will I Need Another Nose Job After This?

Because many people who have had cleft palate surgery have to have several surgeries for their nose it is difficult to give an answer to this. It may depend on your age, how well your surgery went and whether you are satisfied with the final results or not.


Meet the Surgeon

Dr. Anurag Agarwal has been a plastic surgeon in the state of Florida for many years. He specializes in many surgical and non-surgical techniques for the face and neck including the endoscopic facelift, primary and revision rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, lip enhancements and more. He is board certified by the American Board of Facial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons as well as the American Board of Otolaryngology.


Please visit Dr. Agarwal if you’re in need of a nose job in the Naples area.