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5 Myths About Rhinoplasty – Revisited
With rhinoplasy being the second most popular plastic surgery procedure performed in 2004 (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons), nose surgery is moving from the realm of the rich and famous into the homes of regular people like you and me. Now that this procedure is more accessible than ever, it’s only natural that you will be exposed to a lot of information about it – some true, some doubtful, some downright false. In this article, we’ll try to address some of the most popular misconceptions surrounding rhinoplasty.
1. Every plastic surgeon can do a rhinoplasty surgery– Technically, yes. Most plastic surgeons will have rhinoplasty on their list of performed procedures. However, that doesn’t mean that every plastic surgeon can achieve good rhinoplasty results. Rhinoplasty is a challenging procedure, both from a medical and an artistic point of view. A plastic surgeon must have a thorough understanding of the internal anatomy of the nose and the workings of the respiratory system, so that the reshaped nose is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also fully functional. Since the nose is such a major factor in our face’s overall appearance, the plastic surgeon also needs to have a strong sense of artistry, to create a nose that fits beautifully with the rest of the patient’s face.
2. Rhinoplasty is motivated by vanity – Despite the widely-held belief that people get nose surgery solely for cosmetic reasons, it’s not uncommon for this procedure to correct breathing problems (e.g. a septum deviation) in addition to enhancing the appearance of the nose. At the same time, it has been established that in patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their nose, having rhinoplasty may lead to a physical and emotional transformation that will enhance their self-confidence and ultimately their quality of life. From this perspective, the effect of rhinoplasty is comparable more to a therapeutic treatment than a selfish gratification for the patient’s vanity.
3. Rhinoplasty is painful – Unlike other plastic surgery procedures like breast implants or tummy tuck, rhinoplasty is not usually painful. Most surgeons perform rhinoplasty under general anesthesia, so you will be fully asleep and will not feel a thing. After the surgery, you will have a small nose cast for 7 to 10 days, during which you will most likely feel congested, as if having a cold. The area around your nose and eyes may be swollen and bruised (especially if your nasal bones have been reshaped); however, the overall discomfort you will experience after the surgery is minimal.
4. Everyone will notice you had a nose job – If your nose requires a major change – like removing a large bump – people around you might indeed notice the difference in your nose. However, if your nose needs only a refinement of the bridge or tip, chances are the perceived change in your appearance will be less dramatic than you anticipate. After all, nobody is as intimately familiar with your facial features as you are, so making a minor change to them may not be very obvious to the outside world. Also, keep in mind that a good surgeon will avoid providing you with an “operated-looking nose”, and instead will strive to achieve a balance between your reshaped nose and the rest of your facial features, so they naturally complement each other.
5. Rhinoplasty will get you the nose of your dreams – While having rhinoplasty can dramatically improve the appearance of your nose, there are certain limitations to what a plastic surgeon can do, based on your given bone and skin structure. At the same time, there is a chance that you won’t be fully satisfied with the results of your surgery. Statistics show that between 10% and 15% of rhinoplasty surgeries require a secondary procedure, to either enhance or correct the results of the first. This is sometimes due to the nose healing and developing in ways that the surgeon cannot predict or control. In other cases, the patients’ dissatisfaction with the final results is due to poor communication with the doctor about the intended outcome of the surgery. However, this occurrence is an exception rather than the rule, since most patients report to be happier with their physical appearance after the surgery than before.
So what is the key to successfully achieving the nose of your dreams? Going back to point one – it’s carefully researching, selecting and communicating with your surgeon! How long has he or she been performing nose surgeries? What is their surgical accreditation? What does their safety record look like? Take a good luck at images of his or her rhinoplasty patients – does their reshaped nose measure up to your idea of beauty? Can you picture your own nose looking like that? If you do, the next step consists in ensuring that both you and your surgeon have a very clear understanding of what you expect your nose to look like and what is attainable from a medical point of view. Armed with good knowledge and a positive attitude, you’re on your best way to achieving a more attractive and confident YOU!
About the Author: Dr. David Kahn, MD, is a San Francisco-based plastic surgeon with over 25 years of plastic surgery experience. He is board certified in head and neck surgery and facial plastic surgery. Dr. Kahn specializes in rhinoplasty and has performed over 2,000 nose surgeries so far. To learn more about Dr. Kahn, visit www.sf-plastic-surgery.com