The nose as it sits at the center of our face plays a pivotal role in a providing beauty, balance and harmony to our face. Although some noses are clearly a misfit on the face, it is more commonly seen that the nose is essentially fine but a few changes here and there would change it from good to great!
In my cosmetic surgery practice, rhinoplasty is the third ranking procedure that I most commonly perform. A majority of those seeking a nose-job are regular people just like you and me. It is no longer an exclusively “elite” club of people who seek nose-jobs. Many of you must have pinched your nose tip a bit as you appreciated yourself in the mirror, hoped that your nose was not as broad or deviated as it is or wished that your nose bridge (bony part of your nose) was not as slumped as it is. Most of you have openly or secretly wanted to change your nose since a long time but have hesitated in taking the first step towards actually getting the nose-job done. This hesitation is due to several reasons, ranging from incorrect information, misconceptions, horror stories about rhinoplasty surgery or plain simple coyness.
Let me narrate the process of nose-job as realistically as possible and give you a very clear picture about this procedure that can enhance your self-image as well as tremendously boost your self-confidence.
The complex structure of your nose can be simply deciphered as a 3-dimensional tent or pyramid. The shape of your nose is largely determined by the underlying framework (bone as well as cartilage) and the overlying skin obediently follows the framework. The exception to this rule is someone who has very thick and oily skin on his / her nose. The changes in your nose are not made arbitrarily but are based on specific guidelines so that the nose is in proportion and in harmony with the face. Thus a nose-job changes the underlying framework to achieve the desired nasal contour and at the same time maintains the durable support to your nasal pyramid.
Some of the common concerns or queries about rhinoplasty that I encounter in my practice are:
- “I am 14 years old and am unhappy about my broad nose, can I get it corrected?”
Your nose grows and develops primarily during your teenage years. Any injury or damage to the pyramidal structure during or before these years may hamper subsequent normal growth of your nose. Therefore, it is advisable that nose-job is ideally performed after the age of 16 years in girls and 17 years in boys. However, in some exceptional cases (eg. severe deviation affecting breathing) corrective nose surgery may be performed at a younger age.
- “I am unable to understand how my new nose will look after surgery?”
Every nose is different, every face is different and every person is different!” Therefore, a nose-job is a highly customized surgery. I shall encourage you to first point out the various aspects on your nose and face that you are not happy about or would want changed. I give my suggestions or inputs after that so that a final plan is devised based on your wishes and realistic possibilities. Many of you may find it difficult to conceptualize the complex 3-dimensional changes that would occur after surgery. I use a sophisticated computer software to bring about the changes planned and accordingly show you the morphed nose. However, you must not consider this as the predicted final result as the nose is a complex structure with various inter-related components which get modified even when a single aspect of your nose is changed. In my experience, the nose always looks better after surgery than what you can see on the computer. I use this computer exercise to plan your surgery to best meet your aesthetic goals. After you see the first set of “changed nose” images you may prefer to rather increase or decrease certain aspects of your nose, which can then be incorporated in the final plan.
- “What is actually done during my nose-job surgery?”
Nose-job primarily involves reshaping the framework of your nose so as to achieve your desired aesthetic goals. The framework consists of bone (in the upper part) and cartilage which are in turn covered by the overlying soft tissue and skin. The bone may be cut and shifted to narrow the bridge or correct any asymmetry in the upper part of your nose. The cartilage and soft tissue is trimmed or modified to contour or reposition the nasal tip. The septum (partition between the 2 nasal passages) can be contoured to correct deviation or to improve breathing. The width or roundness (flare) of your nostrils can also be reduced to make the nose more proportionate. In some cases, the overlying soft tissue may be very bulky making the nose appear very broad. In such cases, even the soft tissue is trimmed away cautiously. The skin does not require any trimming in most cases and merely drapes over the modified framework.