Most people don’t realize that the basic techniques for performing cosmetic rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) originated from reconstructive plastic surgery. Joseph Dieffenbach, MD, an important pioneer of plastic surgery, took the first giant step toward “modern” cosmetic rhinoplasty with an operation he developed way back in 1845! Since then, many refinements to the technique of nose reshaping have been developed by plastic surgeons, allowing for the wonderful results we see in cosmetic surgery today.
Rhinoplasty is the fourth most popular cosmetic surgical procedure, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery statistics. More than 135,000 rhinoplasties were performed last year. While the majority of rhinoplasties are for women, 31 percent of procedures are performed on men. In fact, rhinoplasty is the second most common cosmetic surgical procedure among men.
The news media would have us believe that teenagers are flocking to plastic surgeons to have their noses done, but in reality less than 11 percent of rhinoplasties are performed on people under 18 years of age. Teenagers who have the physical and emotional maturity for cosmetic surgery may undergo rhinoplasty as early as 14 or 15, or possibly older for boys. There is no upper age limit for rhinoplasty, as long as you are in good health. Nose reshaping is sometimes performed in conjunction with a facelift or other rejuvenative surgery to correct aging changes of the nose such as a drooping tip.
What Can Rhinoplasty Achieve?
The goal of rhinoplasty, at any age, is a natural-looking nose that achieves a harmonious balance with your other facial features. In the earlier days of rhinoplasty, patients and their surgeons tended to think in terms of an “ideal” nose, and this ideal often varied only slightly from patient to patient. Today, plastic surgeons are sensitive to the unique aesthetics of each individual’s appearance. This includes factors such as ethnicity and the strength of other facial features. Some patients are looking for only subtle improvements, while others desire more substantial changes in the appearance of their nose. An important part of your rhinoplasty consultation is the discussion of your personal goals for surgery.
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Nasal length and projection are key measurements in determining the ideal aesthetic relationships between your nose and other facial features. In cases where the chin lacks sufficient projection. It is not uncommon to place a chin implant at the same time as the nose is reshaped in order to create proper balance and facial harmony.
A rhinoplasty can increase or decrease your nasal bridge, reduce the size and width of your nose, narrow your nostrils, change the angle between your nose and upper lip, or reshape your nasal tip. In many instances, all of the incisions will be placed inside your nose, where they will not be visible.
Sometimes, a very short incision is made across the vertical strip of tissue that separates the nostrils. This technique is called an “open rhinoplasty.” Other incisions are used to narrow the base of your nose or reduce your nostrils. Whatever incisions are used to reshape your nose, they will ultimately be very inconspicuous.
Recovering from Rhinoplasty
Generally, bruising around the eyes and cheeks is most apparent during the first three days following surgery. Most discoloration will disappear within a week, and you can begin wearing makeup as a concealer after just a few days. Most of the swelling will be gone after several weeks. You will notice some minor swelling that may continue for months after, but it probably won’t be noticeable at all to others.
The final results of rhinoplasty take longer than those of most other cosmetic surgeries. At the same time, the psychological impact of rhinoplasty can be very positive, bolstering self-confidence and self-esteem to a remarkable degree. If you decide to undergo rhinoplasty, just remember that once the recovery is completed, the benefits will last a lifetime!