What is rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is a benign condition of the nasal skin that results in abnormal growth and enlargement of the nose. While this is not cancerous, it results in a reddened, “bumpy” appearance of the nose that can be highly disfiguring. The etiology of this condition is multifactorial, but it is thought to represent advanced-stage rosacea that occurs in a minority of patients. However, while rosacea is more common in women, rhinophyma predominantly affects men.

The condition results in dilated blood vessels, chronic swelling and inflammation, and an increased number of sebaceous glands in the nose. This makes the nose appear reddened, thickened, and bulbous. There may also be prominent blood vessels and abnormal pitting and scarring of the skin. Alcohol and caffeine can exacerbate this condition.

In addition to being disfiguring, the significant enlargement of the nose may become so severe as to create or worsen nasal obstruction, making it difficult to breathe out of the nose. People with rhinophyma may also have skin cancers that are difficult to detect due to the diffusely abnormal appearance of the skin.

Who is a candidate for rhinophyma surgery?

While there are medical treatments for rosacea, none of these has been found effective in patients with rhinophyma – surgery is the treatment of choice for this condition. Therefore, if the skin on your nose has enlarged and thickened to the point that it is affecting your quality of life or your self-esteem, a surgical procedure to reduce and reshape the outside of your nose may be a good option for you. In patients with moderate to severe rhinophyma, Dr. Sidle offers surgery to reduce the size and improve the appearance of the nose. For most patients, this surgery is life-changing and has a hugely positive impact on self-esteem and confidence in social situations.

What does the surgery involve?

This surgery is an outpatient procedure that may be performed under sedation and generally does not require general anesthesia. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may take between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Dr. Sidle takes a multifaceted approach to the procedure, utilizing a progression of different tools to first remove the enlarged, irregular tissue and then smooth and contour the outside of the nose. A special bandage that is designed to keep the skin moist and reduce bleeding will then be placed over the nose. In most cases, just a single surgery is sufficient; however, in more severe cases, two procedures may be necessary to achieve the best possible result. When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Sidle will examine your nose and discuss what your anticipated treatment course will involve.

What can I expect after the surgery?

After you recover from anesthesia, you may go home. You will leave the dressing in place until you are instructed to remove it. Once it has been removed, your wound care will mostly entail keeping the wound clean and moist with ointment while it is healing. You will be able to notice the decreased size and improved shape of your nose immediately. However, due to the nature of the procedure, there will be some redness, bleeding, and drainage during the initial healing stages that occur in the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. Each patient’s healing is different, but in general, you should expect to achieve your “final appearance” approximately 2-3 months after your surgery.

Post-Operative Instructions

All post-operative instructions can be found on the Patient Resources page.

Our Results

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