Rhinoplasty is the third most common aesthetic surgical procedure performed in the U.S.  The nose is a central feature of the facial aesthetic, one which people often focus on first when noticing another’s appearance.  Therefor it’s understandable those with nasal abnormalities would like them addressed. Here are a few basic things you should consider when researching a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your surgery.

FORM AND FUNCTION

In most patients, rhinoplasty is about addressing an unpleasant nasal appearance.  Patients want rhinoplasty to result in an aesthetically pleasing shape, of course, but function must follow form.  Let’s not forget the nose is an important structure for breathing.  In many patients nose breathing is significantly diminished due to abnormal nasal shape.  This can be due to a deviated septum, distorted nasal bones or problems with the nasal cartilage.  These issues can all be addressed during elective rhinoplasty through a variety of surgical techniques.

PARADIGM SHIFT

There has been a paradigm shift in rhinoplasty over the past few decades.  Historically, the procedure focused on reduction of nasal size to create that cute small nose.  The problem was that overly resected noses didn’t function very well.  The modern rhinoplasty philosophy equally values proportion and facial harmony while achieving reasonable size corrections.

IDENTITY

Maintaining familial or ethnic identity is a significant concern for many rhinoplasty patients.  We all look different, therefore our noses shouldn’t look exactly alike.  Most people don’t want a drastic change after a facial cosmetic procedure.  Respecting distinguishing nasal features is an important consideration when planning rhinoplasty goals.

OPEN VS CLOSED SURGICAL APPROACH

Historically, rhinoplasty evolved along with trends and refinement of the operation.  There are proponents of both open and closed rhinoplasty.  It is the opinion of this plastic surgeon that an open rhinoplasty allows for a more direct approach for refinement of the nasal tip shape in comparison closed rhinoplasty.  Closed rhinoplasty is more suitable for patients who require only minor correction of the nasal dorsum need bone structure remodeling.  Only a formal consultation can help you decide which approach is most suitable for you.

PROCEDURE AND RECOVERY

Rhinoplasty surgery is typically done under general anesthesia.  Recovery averages between one to two weeks, with most people returning to routine activity within three to four weeks.  Activities, which includes contact sports, are usually fine by approximately three weeks post procedure.

WHERE TO START

It all begins with an in person consultation at Contemporary Plastic Surgery.  Potential causes of breathing dysfunction are identified.  Previous surgery and history of trauma are vital to the assessment.  However, a thorough physical exam is the most important step in the evaluation.  Following this, a review of nasal photographs with the patient help assure that surgical goals mutually agreed on.