If you could look inside your nose, you might be surprised to see how many tiny parts are all working together to make it. The bones, cartilage, nerves, tissues, and skin come together to create your unique nose, the only one just like it in the whole world. Considering the intricacies of the human nose, it’s no wonder that rhinoplasty is considered the most complicated of the facial plastic surgeries. It also means that every single rhinoplasty is a uniquely designed procedure that will deliver specific results to complement your features. Understanding the types of rhinoplasty and knowing what you want to achieve can be helpful to your collaborative planning process.
How Rhinoplasty Is Performed: Open vs. Closed Approach
All rhinoplasty surgeries will begin with one of two approaches, the open or external rhinoplasty and the closed or endonasalrhinoplasty. With the closed procedure your surgeon will confine your incisions to the area within your nostrils. This means there will be no visible scars once your incisions have healed. An open rhinoplasty may involve some internal incisions but it will definitely involve one small incision placed on the underside of the nose, just between the nostrils. While this may leave a small scar, its positioning also makes it difficult to see and easy to hide.
Two surgical approaches mean that your facial plastic surgeon has a variety of ways in which he or she can access the internal structures of your nose and make changes. Your surgeon will choose his or her approach based on where the changes need to be made to achieve your specific surgical goals. You can talk about these different methods during your rhinoplasty consultation.
Resizing the Nose: Reduction vs. Augmentation Rhinoplasty
Just as there are two surgical approaches to rhinoplasty, there are also two specific procedures that can address a nose that is out of balance with your facial features. Reduction rhinoplasty can be performed to make a larger nose more proportional. Augmentation rhinoplasty does just the opposite, enlarging the nose to help provide balance. Both resizing procedures can be performed using the techniques measured above to alter the entire nose or just specific parts of the nose. By making the right resizing choices, you can achieve highly positive results that can balance the look of all your facial features. Sometimes, resizing of the nostrils might even improve your breathing.
Reduction rhinoplasty can be achieved by removing or rearranging the cartilage and bones of the nose. The skin won’t be modified, even if the nose is being reduced significantly; instead, the skin will be sutured back into place where it will shrink naturally to fit the new nasal structure. During an augmentation rhinoplasty can be taken from other parts of the body, like bone grafts from the ribs or cartilage from the ears. The skin will be stretched over the new structure and sutured into place, where it will gradually adjust to suit the nose.
Refining the Nasal Tip: Pointy or Bulbous?
A large concern of many rhinolasty patients is the tip of the nose, often too pointy or too bulbous in shape. Some nasal tips point downward, some upward, and some might be just too straight. All changes to correct the nasal tip, no matter what your concerns are, will fall under the category of refinement rhinoplasty. Typically, an open rhinoplasty approach will be used, since it gives your facial plastic surgeon to the full area around the tip. The specific changes needed to correct your nasal tip will be planned well in advance during your consultation, then carried out during surgery by adding or subtracting cartilage from the tip and manipulating the bone framework.
Specifics of Ethnic Rhinoplasty
The more surgeons understand about the differences in facial structure and characteristics among specific ethnic groups, the more refined the ethnic rhinoplasty procedure becomes. In an ethnic rhinoplasty, the goal is to make the desired changes to the nasal structure without denying the patient’s genetic heritage. Middle Eastern, African American, and Asian ethnicities, for example, all have unique nasal characteristics that are specific to their group. Performing rhinoplasty on patients with these backgrounds involves tailoring the procedure very specifically to suit their needs. As more and more such patients seek rhinoplasty, facial plastic surgeons are developing their skills and perfecting their techniques to perform ethnic nasal surgeries.
Start Planning the Right Rhinoplasty Procedure Today
Take your complaints about your nose to the next level and consider which surgical techniques might help you. To get the best idea of what changes are most beneficial to you, consult with a facial plastic surgeon and talk openly about your concerns.
To learn more about rhinoplasty and what it can do for you, plan a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, who will be able to share potential results from your procedure with VECTRA 3D Imaging system. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein has been practicing in the Hudson Valley for more than 14 years and specializes in facial plastic surgery, nasal, and sinus disorders. He uniquely combines his medical and surgical expertise to help patients feel and look better. He holds dual board-certification from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and is an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.