Understanding Rhinoplasty (Part I)- Before you Begin
Considering a Rhinoplasty?
If you are unhappy with your nose, you’re not alone. No other feature defines the profile of the face more than the nose. Very subtle changes can alter its appearance, ultimately changing your self-confidence and other people’s perceptions of you. Every year, thousands of people change the appearance of their noses surgically. Some people want a different size or shape. Others wish to repair damage caused by an injury, and some just want to be able to breathe better.
The Evaluation of the Nose
Before planning a rhinoplasty, a full facial analysis is necessary. Landmarks such as the chin, cheeks, and forehead also contribute to your overall facial harmony. An imbalance between these structures can make the nose appear large or long, when in fact the nose is appropriate for the face.
Rhinoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Most incisions are hidden inside the nose, although a tiny incision at the base of the nose may be necessary to allow sculpting of underlying bone and cartilage. Many patients are active within two days, but heavy exertion is restricted for several weeks.
The Ideal Nose
The “ideal” nose does not exist: it varies depending on skin type, ethnic background, age, and a patient’s desires. As a result, the exact maneuvers needed to change the shape of the nose are unique to each patient. Understandably, rhinoplasty is considered one of the most difficult cosmetic procedures, with a high demand on accurate surgical judgment and technical precision to achieve the best outcome.
Don't Forget Why We Have a Nose
Finally, nasal breathing problems are common, even in younger people without any prior history of trauma. Frequently these problems are due to variations in the internal anatomy of the nose. Correcting problems that interfere with your breathing are often covered by health insurance; however, a rhinoplasty performed for purely cosmetic reasons will not be covered by insurance. Bearing this in mind, an effective rhinoplasty should address not only the appearance of the nose, but also the function- an attractive nose is meaningless if it does not work.
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