Rhinoplasty: The Nose Knows

August 22, 2010

Don't like your nose? Too long? Too stubby? Hooked? Ski-jump? No matter - whatever the problem, there's a solution with a plastic surgery procedure called rhinoplasty. Having a nose job can make a huge difference for a self-conscious young woman or anyone who felt they got the bad end of the stick when it came to noses. Rhinoplasty can thin a fat nose, turn it up or turn it down, make it broader, shorter, longer, or just bring it into balance with the rest of the face.

Three-in-One-A Nose Job

Although rhinoplasty is used for therapeutic reasons, overall this surgery is often completely cosmetic, used just to improve the appearance. When there is a problem breathing, a septoplasty is done to ease blockages. It is the main method of correcting a crooked septum, the vertical wall of bone and cartilage between the two nostrils. It is possible that a crooked nose is the result of a crooked septum, so the septoplasty has a double function - corrective and cosmetic. A tiplasty is the reshaping of the tip of the nose and usually involves only the cartilage of the nose. All three of these procedures can be done at the same time.

Birth defects, an accident or disease can be the reason for rhinoplasty surgery. This type of surgery is referred to as reconstructive rhinoplasty. The nose is made of bone and cartilage, and is lined with a membrane. If there is a bump, crook, or lump on the nose, it is most often where the cartilage meets the bone. When a surgeon is performing a rhinoplasty he can break the bones of the nose and sculpt the cartilage in order to give the nose a new shape.

Most of the Rhinoplasty Surgeries are on Kids

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rhinoplasty was second only to breast augmentation in cosmetic surgeries. Most rhinoplasty surgeries are performed on younger patients, usually after the age of 14 for girls and later for boys. The nose needs to have almost completed its growth before the surgery can be performed and the patient has to have the emotional maturity to handle both surgery and recovery.

Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Ethnic rhinoplasty is a specific style of surgery peculiar to certain groups. Asian-Americans and African-Americans have particular requirements for rhinoplasty. It is important for ethnic people who want to have this type of surgery performed to hire a surgeon who knows how to reshape the nose in such a way as it maintains ethnicity and complements the rest of the face.

What Happens in a Rhinoplasty?

Depending upon how much work is being done and the technique the surgeon uses, the time required for a rhinoplasty varies between 1 and 2.5 hours. Other facial surgeries, such as eye lifts or cheek implant, can be performed at the same time, although the length of the surgery will increase.

This surgery can be performed as an open procedure (external), where the surgeon makes incisions on the insides of the nostrils and across the wall between the nostrils at the bottom of the septum. If the nostrils are being altered, incisions are made where the nostril meets the face. Scars are almost invisible when they heal. An internal rhinoplasty means all of the incisions are made within the nostrils. It is more difficult to make changes in an internal rhinoplasty, so the types of changes desired may dictate the kind of surgery used.

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