Nose reshaping can have a profound effect on a young person’s confidence, explains Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson.
|Deformity of the nose – either too large, too small or twisted – severely impacts on the appearance of the face. The deformity can constitute a source of immense psychological pain to a patient.
Young females often seek treatment to appease the embarrassment and self-consciousness that is experienced because of the size and/or shape of their nose. They avoid having photographs taken of themselves; in particular, they shy away from profile shots. Some patients have breathing difficulties which are often associated with a history of trauma to the nose, including twisting of the nose.
Rhinoplasty involves carefully assessing the skeletal, bony and cartilagenous components of the nose which contribute to the shape of the nose. These components are changed in such a way, that when the skin is re-draped over the nasal structures, a new appearance is produced.
Good communication assists the surgeon and patient to achieve the desired result.
Careful consultation between the plastic surgeon and the patient should be straightforward and unambiguous regarding what the patient finds unattractive about her nose, and what she thinks would improve her appearance. The surgeon should be able to show patients “before” and “after” pictures of cases very similar to the patient’s own problem.
Computer imaging is available and is sometimes quite helpful to both patient and surgeon – to provide the patient with a realistic view of what might be achievable from a rhinoplasty.
Good communication assists both the surgeon and patient to achieve the desired result. It should be kept in mind that we live in a multi-cultural society, and all surgery should be racially and culturally appropriate.
The procedure of rhinoplasty is usually carried out under light general anaesthesia or twilight anaesthesia as a “day only” procedure in a licensed surgical facility. It often requires movement of the bony framework of the nose and recontouring of the cartilagenous framework. If there is nasal obstruction, the internal structures such as the septum and turbinates (air-conditioning mucosa inside the nose) are also operated upon.
A nasal splint made of acrylic is used for 5-7 days to stablise the new shape, and swelling is variable but may last for several weeks to months after the procedure.