If the eyes are windows into the soul, the nose is the focal point of the face. For most Asians, rhinoplasty or a “nose lift” is probably the most commonly asked-about procedure in cosmetic surgery as a whole. We tend to be dissatisfied with the shape and size of our noses, and wish we had a higher nasal bridge, a less bulbous tip, or both. For Caucasians, on the other hand, a common problem is an overly prominent nose, a “boxy” tip, or a dorsal hump.
Rhinoplasty is the proper term for what is commonly known as a “nose job”. It can mean anything from a “nose lift”, or augmentation, to the surgical correction of structural abnormalities that lead to impaired breathing. More often than not, however, it is performed to enhance one’s appearance by improving particular aspects of the nose, as previously mentioned, including:
• overall size in relation to the face
• nasal tip, which may be large, bulbous, or upturned
• wide or large nostrils
• the bridge
• the profile (whether humped or depressed)
• a deviated septum
It may appear relatively simple, but it is a highly specialized procedure, which, in the hands of a good plastic surgeon, can have dramatic results even with small but well-placed corrections.
First of all, it can be performed under a local anesthetic, sedation or general anesthesia, depending on your case. The surgery begins either by making incisions hidden inside the nose (closed procedure) or across the narrow portion separating the nostrils. The soft tissues of the nose are then raised, allowing access to structures which are to be reshaped, reduced or augmented.
These subtle or dramatic reworkings may involve the use of pieces of your own cartilage (typically from the nasal septum or ear), Goretex grafts or silicone implants. If your septum is deviated, it may be straightened at this point and your breathing improved.
Finally, other incisions might be made to change the size of your nostrils, if needed.
This is an outpatient procedure, and splints and nasal packing will support your “new” nose in the first 7 days, while the inevitable bruising and swelling will gradually subside within a few weeks, revealing your refined and improved nose. But it may take about a year for you to see the final, permanent result.
All surgical procedures carry a certain amount of risk, and though they are relatively small, those specific to rhinoplasty may include bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, numbness of the nose, breathing difficulties, unfavorable scarring, extrusion of implants or sutures, pain, and the need for revision rhinoplasty.
All in all, however, the complications are few and the benefits far outweigh the risks of rhinoplasty, a procedure that can change your life- for the better.
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