Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but according to neuro researchers, our noses are the front door. The very first thing that people look at in a face, particularly someone new, is their nose. Whether your goal is to have a nose that makes you feel great about your face or one that breathes more effectively, Dustin C. Derrick, MD, the lead plastic surgeon for Mommy Makeovers at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth TX, can help you through rhinoplasty.
The procedure commonly referred to as a “nose job” is more formally known as rhinoplasty, and the term encompasses more than one procedure. The procedure isn’t new; the first documented procedure in America was performed in 1887.
Needless to say, the procedure was a success. Today, nearly a quarter of a million rhinoplasties are performed in the U.S. each year, and they’re one of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures. Rhinoplasties are done for a variety of reasons, including:
We can’t help the nose we were born with, but no one has to live with a nose they’re not happy with once they’ve become an adult and have stopped physically growing. The length, width, or shape of the nose can throw off the symmetry of the entire face. Across all cultures the world over, symmetry is unanimously seen as the quality that makes someone’s face most appealing. It’s the common thread of what every culture calls beauty.
Beyond reshaping or re-sizing the appearance of the nose itself, the procedure enhances the rest of the face’s features. It allows attention to be called to eyes, lips, smile, hair – facial features that are easy to personalize with cosmetics and that many women feel are their best features anyway. A shapely, proportionate nose brings out the best in the rest of the face.
Not all rhinoplasties are performed for cosmetic reasons. For many, breathing through the nose is difficult due to blockages that build over time, or have been caused by injury, or were simply there from birth. Not being able to breathe well through the nose is a serious issue that can lead to later health complications, especially when it comes to healthy sleep.
This procedure can strategically widen constricted air passages in the nose and brace them with cartilage, making it easier for you to breathe. These improvements are permanent and can be life-altering. Better breathing means better oxygen intake, which means healthier circulation. This results in more energy during the day and sounder sleep at night. In many cases, rhinoplasty can let you do away with steroid nasal inhalers you may be using to try to breathe better.
Some procedures are undertaken for both cosmetic and respiratory reasons, and both can be addressed during a single procedure. This approach is particularly effective when problems with the septum are what’s preventing proper breathing.
The septum is a wall of cartilage that divides the left and right parts of the nose. When the septum is out of alignment, either because of an injury or organic deformity, it becomes difficult to breathe. A septoplasty fixes this problem and can be performed at the same time as cosmetic enhancements.
Today’s Noses: A New Approach
“Nose jobs” were popularized for celebrities with the advent of motion pictures. Movie stars, especially in the silent era, were valued as much for their faces as they were for their acting talents. Back then, there were more narrow definitions of “beauty” than today. “Bobbed” noses made hundreds of actresses, and thousands of their fans, look the same.
Today, we have a very different view of beauty that’s broader and more inclusive of different types of looks and ethnicities. Cosmetic treatments to produce fuller lips and rounder buttocks show the influence of other cultures on our mainstream view of beauty. We also have reached a point where rhinoplasty is no longer just for celebrities: almost anyone can enjoy the benefits. Today’s “nose jobs” aren’t about living up to a standard of beauty. They’re about unveiling your own individual beauty.
What Are the Different Types of Procedure?
There are a variety of cosmetic surgical procedures for the nose. Most are permanent, but some are not meant to be. For permanent results, there are two main types of procedure:
This primary technique is used for major re-sizing or reshaping of the nose. Our surgeon makes an incision in the columella, which is a vertical strip of skin separating the two nostrils. The skin and soft tissue are then lifted away from the interior bone and cartilage of the nose, allowing the doctor an open view and pathway to perform the procedure.
This less-intensive technique is designed for a minor reshaping of the nose. Rather than cutting the columella, the incisions can actually be made inside the nose, which, of course, is less revealing upon recovery. As is true of the open technique, the skin of the nose is separated from the bone and cartilage during the procedure. Once exposed, bone and cartilage are changed to produce the desired cosmetic effect.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Everyone wants to look their best, and the procedure has become highly accessible. Most women who desire a change in their looks by reshaping their nose can be a good candidate for the procedure. Still, all experts agree on several criteria for this procedure:
You Must Be an Adult
While “nose jobs” for teens of all ages (and even younger!) were once commonplace, doctors today advise against performing the procedure before physical growth is finished or nearly finished. The results will be more predictable and uniform. In general, the procedure is performed on adults 18 years or older.
You Should Be Physically Healthy
While not considered “major surgery,” the procedure is performed under anesthesia, and patients should be in good physical shape before undergoing any surgery. That means good stable vital signs and nothing to deteriorate health, such as smoking or excessive alcohol intake.
You Should Have Realistic Goals
While today’s cosmetic surgical techniques can yield remarkable results, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding the procedure. Many patients bring in a photo of a celebrity with the kind of nose they’d like to have, and in most cases, the surgeon can deliver the wanted results. But is it the right nose for your face? Our expertise and experience will help guide the best way to achieve your cosmetic goals.
What Can I Expect From the Consultation?
When you come for your consultation, we’ll confirm that you’re a good candidate for the procedure and talk about your cosmetic goals. We’ll discuss both your appearance and your breathing, and about any medical conditions, allergies, or previous surgeries you may have had. We’ll also discuss the medications you’re taking, as well as vitamins or homeopathic supplements. You should be honest about your use of alcohol, tobacco, and related recreational substances.
A physical examination will take a detailed look at the skin on the inside and outside of your nose to determine what kind of changes can be made. At this examination, the doctor will also photograph your nose from various angles. These images not only serve as a point of discussion during the consultation but often reference material during the surgery. They also serve as the “before” pictures to assess the ultimate success of the procedure.
What Is the Recovery Like?
Most patients resume light activities after a few days, but it takes several weeks before the nose is sufficiently healed for full physical activity. Even after this initial healing, you’ll want to be careful because the complete healing process takes some months. Over the duration of this period, the appearance of your nose subtly settles into its permanent outcome.
During your recovery, a splint and packing may live inside your nose for these weeks. In some cases, the splint and bandages are positioned on the outside of the nose for additional support and protection. In these situations, the doctor will advise you on how to keep the area clean and maintained. Depending on the procedure, some stitches are self-absorbing, while others are removed in our facilities a week (or less) later.
How Can I Help My Recovery?
You will receive clear, specific instructions that will make your recovery as smooth as possible. It is essential that you follow this advice carefully, not only to help get the results you want but to keep you safe from infection.
There are additional steps that help ensure your safety and the end result you’re looking for:
Sleep On Your Back
It is important not to put strain or pressure on the nose post-procedure. That means no sleeping on your side or stomach. The weight of your head can displace the work that’s been done. Two pillows of elevation will ensure safety and speed your healing.
The feelings of bruising and congestion that are normal in the immediate aftermath of the procedure may make it hard for you to sleep. However, as with any surgery, rest is an important part of the recovery process. Be sure to get enough of it.
The body needs nutrients in order to heal itself, so a balanced diet after the procedure is important. So too is the temperature of your food. Hot foods and liquids can make tissues swell, which adds to the discomfort. Aim for cool and room-temperature meals.
Take It Easy
Beyond the obvious goal of protecting your new nose during activities and sports where it may get injured, be judicious with your workouts as you heal. Strenuous physical activity can increase nasal swelling.
Don’t Wear Your Glasses (If Possible)
You don’t want to put weight and pressure on your new nose if you can help it. Our doctor will advise you on when it’s safe to start wearing glasses again. Consider contact lenses for the recovery period if you can.
Don’t Blow Your Nose!
When you get home from the surgery, your nose will feel congested. This is caused by natural, expected swelling. Try not to blow your nose as an automatic response. Simple saline sprays can soothe the feeling more safely.
Rhinoplasty is one of the biggest decisions you can make in cosmetic medicine. No other procedure will have such a marked, permanent effect on your face. If you have any questions regarding rhinoplasty, a Mommy Makeover, or any other procedure, and would like to schedule a consultation with Dustin C. Derrick, MD at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW, give us a call at 817-562-7979. Dr. Derrick will work with you to help you achieve your aesthetic goals and look like the you that you’ve always wanted.