Primary rhinoplasty is the term given to an operation of the nose that is designed to change or reshape the nose. ‘Primary’ is used to denote that it is the first operation ever performed on that nose for those reasons. Because many patients desire further changes to their nose, the term secondary rhinoplasty does exist to define those operations.
Primary rhinoplasty generally has the goal of improving the appearance of the nose. The operation is performed by elevating the skin from the underlying structures, and then altering the bone and cartilage that makes up the structural aspects of the nose. The skin is then put back down on to the structures and the nose is left to heal.
Surgeons all have their own methods and philosophy behind the way they perform primary rhinoplasty. However, two major approaches distinguish the post-operative healing course in this operating. Some surgeons prefer to perform primary rhinoplasty by making incisions inside the nostrils and working on the underlying structures through these incisions. Others prefer to perform external rhinoplasty and make and incision in the columella that allows direct visualization of the structures of the nose by lifting the entire skin envelope.
The results that can be expected depend on the surgeon and the patient’s desires. Certain results are possible and others are not. Therefore, it is up to the surgeon to listen to the patient’s desired results and then let them know if those results are possible or if they should hold off on doing surgery. Making sure the patient will achieve what they desire with minimal chances of revision surgery is what makes a rhinoplasty operation successful.