Are you unhappy with your nose? Maybe you’re a little self conscious about the way it protrudes out from your face and seems to draw everyone’s attention away from the other fine features of your face. You’re not alone. A lot of people would like to change that particular feature. To do so requires a surgical procedure known as rhinoplasty. What is rhinoplasty? How is it performed? Am I a good candidate for it? Is it safe? What other issues might be involved in having the procedure done? We’ll answer these questions and more as we explore further into rhinoplasty.
What is rhinoplasty?
The derogatory term that has often been used by those who are envious of a well crafted nose is “nose job.” But rhinoplasty has begun to lose a great deal of its bad rap as more and more people come to realize that a little reshaping of the most prominent feature on your face isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, Medscape reports that in 2005 there were 38% more cosmetic procedures performed than in the year 2000. Of those 10.2 million procedures in 2005, almost 300,000 of them were rhinoplasty procedures, which even beat out breast augmentation. In technical terms, rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure in which the structure of the nose is altered by adding or removing bone or cartilage, grafting tissue from another part of the body, or implanting synthetic material to reshape the nose.
Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?
Essentially, if you are in good health overall, and are unhappy with the size or shape of your nose, you might qualify as a candidate for rhinoplasty. What expectations should you have about what rhinoplasty can do for you? Here are a list of things that the procedure might correct for you:
- The size of your nose in relation to the size and shape of your face
- The width of the bridge of your nose or the position and size of your nostrils
- Reconstructing the profile of your nose; getting rid of depressions or bumps on the bridge.
- Altering a bulbous, hooked or drooping nasal tip
- Decreasing the size of wide or large nostrils or correcting nostrils that are upturned
- Repositioning a nose that is not asymmetrically placed on your face
Be aware that there is no such thing as the “perfect, universal nose.” The goal of rhinoplasty is not to place a cookie-cutter nose where it doesn’t belong, but to work with the unique features of the face to make your nose appear proportional to your face. If that is your objective, then you might make a good rhinoplasty candidate.
How is the procedure performed?
This surgical procedure is one that is most often performed on an out-patient basis in a surgical clinic. The procedure is usually performed with the use of general anesthesia and there are two techniques employed in the process. In an open technique, incisions are made under the outside of the nose and then joined by a bridging incision that will allow the surgeon better access and accuracy for performing the procedure. A closed technique is performed inside the nostrils without opening them up. The technique used, will depend upon a number of individual factors that you’ll discuss during your consultation with your doctor. As an out-patient procedure, there will be no hospital stay, but patient activities will be somewhat limited for approximately 7 days.
Is the procedure safe?
There are plenty of stories floating around about failed cosmetic surgeries. In fact, playing upon that particular drama is an entire television series, which is shows a plastic surgeon fixing all sorts of procedures that were poorly done. Do those things really happen? They do. They are most often connected to poorly trained surgeons. Medscape points out that “some practitioners have not completed the full 5 years of residency training required for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but (legally) perform procedures, for which they might be inadequately trained, merely to augment their income.”
As with all surgical procedures, when performed by a properly trained and certified surgeon, the procedure is relatively safe as compared to more invasive types of surgery, but there are associated risks that you need to be aware of before electing to have this procedure performed.
What issues and complications might be involved in the procedure?
Though you will go over these issues and complications with your doctor during your consultation, it’s a good idea to have some idea what some of them might be before you make that call. Besides temporary swelling around the eyes and nose, here is a list of associated risks or complications that may be associated with the procedure:
- Injury to your septum (the wall separating the two nostrils).
- Skin tissue breakdown due to irritation from bandaging.
- Nasal blockage from swelling inside the nose.
- Complications with anesthesia.
Also keep in mind that your nose is a prominent feature on your face and can have a big impact on your self-image. If you’re not pleased with the result, it’s a little hard to go back. Additionally, most insurance companies will not cover the costs of rhinoplasty unless it is being done to correct a functional problem or a defect caused by disease or injury.
If you’re self-conscious about how your nose draws unwanted attention and you’d like to make it a more aesthetically pleasing feature on your face, you might consider rhinoplasty. As surgical techniques advance, elective, cosmetic surgery becomes a more popular alternative to altering a person’s appearance. Is rhinoplasty right for you? Knowing what to expect from the surgical procedure, how it will be performed, whether or not it is safe and what possible issues and complications might be associated with the procedure can help you make a more informed decision.