Rhinoplasty has long been recognised as one of the most challenging cosmetic operations and is the most challenging nasal operation. There are a multitude of techniques that may be used to achieve different functional and cosmetic outcomes. It is very important to distinguish between rhinoplasty for purely cosmetic reasons and rhinoplasty which also needs to address breathing, snoring or sinus problems. Unfortunately sometimes these problems can occur after cosmetic rhinoplasty if certain preventative measures are not taken.
Rhinoplasty aims to bring your nose into balance with your face. The nose should look natural and compatible with your ethnicity. When we look at a face we mostly look at a person’s eyes and the nose simply needs to compliment the face rather than drawing attention to itself due to any crookedness or unnatural appearance.
There are many types of rhinoplasty procedures. A rhinoplasty may be purely functional, cosmetic or a combined procedure.
A rhinoplasty can also be performed entirely from within the nose without any outside scars, a “closed approach rhinoplasty”. When the nose is opened up for improved visualisation and to facilitate the addition of grafts it is called an “open approach rhinoplasty”.
The term “functional rhinoplasty” refers to a procedure that aims to address issues with the normal function of the nose. Typically a functional rhinoplasty is needed to address problems with the internal or external nasal valve.
A rhinoplasty may be combined with a septoplasty and can be called a septorhinoplasty. This addresses a deviation of the nasal septum which can interfere with normal breathing.
An ear nose and throat specialist may also include a turbinoplasty procedure to help address a blocked nose.
If there is a broken nose from trauma, the bones of the nose may need to be rebroken and reshaped in order to create a straight nose. If the nasal septum has been severely damaged or if there is a septal perforation, a nose reconstruction may be necessary. This may include the need to obtain cartilage from a distant site (ear or rib) to be used in the reconstruction.
Plastic Surgery for a cosmetic rhinoplasty can make dramatic changes to the appearance of the nose if needed. The best results are often when smaller more subtle changes are made.
Different terms are often used to explain the type of cosmetic rhinoplasty that is being performed. A rhinoplasty that focuses on nasal tip reshaping is called a “tip rhinoplasty”, on lifting a droopy nose, “a nose lift rhinoplasty” or on a general reduction in the size of the nose a “reduction rhinoplasty” or a “wide nose rhinoplasty”.
The cosmetic aims of rhinoplasty vary in different ethnicities. In Asian rhinoplasty for example often the aim is to increase the height of the nose or narrow the nostrils. A western looking nose may not always be most in keeping with a person’s ethnic background. Occasionally patients will want to maintain a characteristic family feature of their nose while making other changes.
Careful planning of the precise functional and cosmetic aims of rhinoplasty is always essential.