According to a study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), rhinoplasty (nose surgery) was the second most popular facial cosmetic procedure in 2013 with 221,053 procedures performed. A delicate blend of artistry and science, rhinoplasty requires a keen eye and a thorough knowledge of the physiology of the human body. For over 20 years, I’ve placed much importance on achieving long-lasting, natural results tailored to each patient’s aesthetic goals. To help patients learn more about the procedure, I have answered a few frequently asked questions:
Q: Am I a candidate for rhinoplasty?
A: Rhinoplasty may be performed on a wide variety of ages and ethnic groups. As with any surgery, parental consent is required for all plastic surgery procedures performed on patients under the age of 18. The ideal candidate should be physically and emotionally healthy, a non-smoker, has fully matured, and has realistic expectations about your physical results before undergoing nose surgery. Patients may elect to have rhinoplasty for several reasons. For some individuals it is a necessary surgery to improve breathing difficulties caused by a birth defect or an injury, and for others it is an elective procedure done to enhance the shape or size of the nose. Whatever the motivation, rhinoplasty can significantly correct the appearance of the nose and, as a result, change the way a patient’s entire face is perceived.
Q: How is rhinoplasty performed?
A: In order to produce the most natural, aesthetically-pleasing rhinoplasty results, I utilize a variety of surgical and non-surgical techniques that are tailored to complement the unique traits for each patient. Traditional rhinoplasty entails implementing a closed or open technique. Closed rhinoplasty requires small incisions to be made inside the nose, while open rhinoplasty requires an additional incision to be made to separate the nostrils. With both techniques, the incisions will be hidden within the natural folds of the nose in order to minimize scarring.
For patients seeking a less invasive procedure, facial fillers such as Juvéderm® and Restylane® can be used to restore thinning areas that show wrinkles and fine lines with minimal downtime. Fillers can be injected into the tip, base, or bridge of the nose to restore lost volume and straighten the bridge, which produces a more aesthetically-pleasing rhinoplasty result. Those opting for facial fillers to address the nose will require additional injections as the results are not permanent.
Q: Are customized techniques used during rhinoplasty for patients that come from different ethnic backgrounds?
A: I utilize the “implantless rhinoplasty technique” to achieve the best results tailored to complement the different cultural traits among patients of every ethnic background. As an alternative to using artificial materials or silicone implants, I graft my patient’s own skin, bone, and tissue to augment areas of their nose. Using the patient’s own materials significantly reduces the risk of complications and provides a more natural-looking result. Ethnic patients’ nose structures are all different so implants may be ineffective. For example, Hispanic patients have slightly weaker nasal bridges and African-American patients have more fibrous tissue, which both may not effectively support a facial implant.
Q: What aftercare is required following my nose surgery?
A: Following your surgery, a splint or bandages will be placed on the outside to protect the nose, and will be worn for several days. You may also experience some swelling and bruising which will go down within the first few weeks and most patients are able to return to work in about a week. I will provide you specific instructions on how to take care of the surgical site, suggest medications to aid in the healing process, when to make your follow-up appointments, and advise on engaging in physical activity and preserving proper nutrition. I continue to remind my patients that leading a healthy lifestyle is necessary for overall health, and it is essential to maintaining rhinoplasty results.
If you are interested in nose surgery or another procedure I perform, please contact us today. Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news.