The Many Faces of Rhinoplasty

Nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures in America.  In 2014 alone, more than 200,000 men and women underwent rhinoplasty surgery to address a variety of different complaints.  These patients generally fell into one of three groups: those seeking cosmetic enhancement, those seeking repair after injury, and those seeking reconstruction to alleviate breathing difficulties, however a great deal of overlap can also occur and a truly successful rhinoplasty procedure both optimizes functionality and improves overall appearance.

Nose SurgeryA significant proportion of patients seeking rhinoplasty surgery do so for purely aesthetic reasons.  Some are concerned that the size of their nose is disproportionately large or small, while others seek to minimize the appearance of a bump on the bridge of the nose or reduce the width of the nostrils.  Because the lower two thirds of the nose is primarily made up of cartilage, it can often be sculpted or even augmented by a skilled and board certified plastic surgeon.  An alar base reduction can subtly narrow the nostrils by removing a tiny wedge of tissue from the area where they meet the cheek, while an “open tip” approach can reduce or refine the shape of the tip of the nose and create a more delicate or defined contour.  Cosmetic rhinoplasty can also be extremely effective when combined with other facial contouring procedures to bring all the facial features into a more harmonious and aesthetically pleasing balance.

However, rhinoplasty can do more than just improve a person’s appearance.  It can also correct subtle nasal airway obstructions that, when left unaddressed, can lead to sleep apnea, chronic headaches, and recurrent nasal infections.  The specific reconstructive rhinoplasty procedures to treat these conditions include:

  • Septoplasty: can correct a deviation in the nasal septum which divides the nasal cavity into left and right sides
  • Turbinate Surgery: can reduce the size of your nasal turbinates which are responsible for conditioning and filtering the air that moves through the nasal cavity
  • Polypectomy: can remove polyps in the nasal cavity that can block air-flow
  • Ethmoidectomy: can improve nasal drainage by removing a part of the ethmoid bone at the top of the nasal cavity.

Careful examination by one of our board certified plastic surgeons can help determine what specific procedures are necessary in order to improve an individual patient’s respiration and overall quality of life.

Finally, injuries to the nose can also frequently lead to damage to the bone and cartilage support and change the appearance of the nose, resulting in deviations, asymmetries and sometimes airway problems.  A saddle nose deformity, also known as a boxer’s nose or pug nose, can occur when the loss of underlying support causes a depression, or “saddle” in the bridge of the nose.  Usually deviations of the bones and cartilages of the nose can be reset with a relatively good success rate within the first week to 10 days after the injury, but it is important to understand that, following a more significant injury to the nose, it may take six months or longer before more extensive reconstructive surgery can be undertaken safely.

Every patient is unique, so be sure to consult carefully with one of our plastic surgeons in order to determine which approach will best suit your particular needs.  If you would like to further explore your options in plastic surgery or have questions about any of the plastic surgery procedures we provide, contact us to schedule a consultation.  Atlanta Plastic Surgery maintains offices throughout the Atlanta area, including facilities in, Cumming, Newnan, and Alpharetta in order to better serve you.  Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news and updates.