Clearing The Air About Rhinoplasty

Plastic surgery often gets a bad rap. Some people are quick to dismiss it as a medical field not nearly as important as many others. This comes from feeling that it is more of a frivolous diversion for the wealthy than a viable medical technique. Some even go a step further, considering it a net negative that encourages people to feel less comfortable with their bodies. This is selling the field short. Yes, people use plastic surgery to improve their appearance. However,  many also do it to correct birth defects and repair the body after injuries.

Among the most popular of these procedures is rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job. In fact, data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that nose reshaping, which is part of the rhinoplasty umbrella, ranked 3rd of all cosmetic surgeries done in 2016, behind only liposuction and breast augmentation. Whatever your motivation, it is clear that many are curious about rhinoplasty and its benefits, so let’s look into what that entails.

How Does Rhinoplasty Work?

Many associate rhinoplasties with cosmetic motivations—people wanting to change the shape or size of their nose to look more attractive. It is also important to note that there may be medical reasons to pursue rhinoplasty, such as improving breathing or as recovery from an injury, such as a severely broken nose. Part of the reason why it’s important to differentiate the two is because of age. Teens may be interested in rhinoplasty, but it isn’t recommended until the nasal bone is fully grown. For girls, this is roughly age 15, while boys may need to wait a few years longer. With this said, you can do it earlier in extreme cases, such as breathing issues.

Rhinoplasty entails a surgeon molding and shaping both the bone and cartilage in the nose to change its shape and size to the desired result. This allows for wide array of cosmetic and medical improvements. Here’s a list of potential things a rhinoplasty can do from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery:

  • Straighten a crooked nose.
  • Smooth a prominent bump in the bridge of the nose.
  • Reduce the length of an over-protruding nasal tip.
  • Refine the size of a bulbous nasal tip.
  • Narrow a nose that is too wide for the face.
  • Reduce the size of a nose that is too large.
  • Restore symmetry to the nose following injury.
  • Correct breathing problems by opening up blocked nasal passages.

What Should I Know While Planning My Rhinoplasty?

You may be looking for a rhinoplasty if something on this list fits the bill, but there are several things that make a good candidate for this surgery. We mentioned having complete facial growth earlier, but a good candidate will also be physically healthy, especially a non-smoker. It is also important to have a healthy mental outlook on what the procedure will do for you.

As a part of your preparation, you will also have to talk to a surgeon to discuss whether or not is surgery a good fit for you. Prepare for a look at your medical history, as well as physical exams and a frank discussion on your expectations to be a part of this meeting.

In terms of the actual procedure itself, there are two main types of rhinoplasty that most fall under. These include “open” rhinoplasty, where a small incision is made under the nasal tip between the nostrils. This is favored for more extensive reshaping because it allows for complete access to the nasal structures. For a “closed” rhinoplasty, incisions are made inside the nostril. The tradeoff is that there is no visible scarring after surgery, but it may not be enough for every rhinoplasty procedure.

There are potential risks for a rhinoplasty, which aren’t life threatening, but bear mentioning. These include increased risk of nosebleeds as well as potential bruising and infection. In addition, there is also the chance of a negative reaction to anesthesia that accompanies any surgery.

In this vein, treat rhinoplasty like any other surgical procedure that you would undergo. This includes both plastic surgery or traditional surgery. Be sure to weigh potential benefits and risks, consult with a skilled medical professional, and follow the recommended recovery guidelines, and you’ll be well on the path to a successful procedure

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