Types of Rhinoplasty Part 1, The Basics
Your nose is one of the most distinctive elements of your face. The centre of your facial appearance, it has also become the centre of many cosmetic industries worldwide. A whole range of skin products now populate pharmacy shelves that are designed to clear the pores of your nose, and piercing the nose has become a standard fashion practice. Of all the aesthetic industries related to the nose the world of cosmetic surgery is perhaps the most famous and lucrative, with a worldwide market having risen over a relatively short period of time. Aside from its fame, the world of rhinoplasty (aesthetic surgery of the nose) is also a confusing one, constantly riding on the cutting edge of technology and being decided between surgical doctors in medical debates. The central question of this article is, where to start with rhinoplasty? What options are available? In the simplest possible terms, we will go through the basics of rhinoplasty procedures, ranging from the most common to the most recent.
Let's start with two common procedures, the open and closed rhinoplasty. The open rhinoplasty has deep roots in history, beginning in the Western world around 1920 but gaining popularity after the 1970s with the rise of cosmetic surgery (1). The procedure involves exposing the anatomy of the nose and changing the appearance through manipulation of the skin, cartilage and bone. The surgeon makes several incisions that allow them access to these elements of the nose, and they can then perform a number of changes based on what the patient needs. The benefit of this
is that the surgeon has great ease of access and clarity, making work much easier. General anaesthesia is required, and recovery can vary. Doctors claim that usually a week is taken off usual activities to recover, but bruising and swelling will vary between patients (2). There may be difficulty sleeping due to uncomfortability, and sometimes a sleep aid is prescribed after surgery.
The open procedure allows many changes to take place, but for cases where only subtle change is needed the closed rhinoplasty may be preferable. In this instance the surgeon makes less incisions, and only to the inside of the nose. They will still separate the skin so that they can have access to the cartilage and bone, but not as extensively as in the latter. Cartilage and bone are 'shaped' or removed to give the desired effect. As you might imagine, the benefits are that this procedure requires less recovery time (3) due to its less invasive nature. Patients could be out in public within 7-10 days, but the pain and aching could be comparable to the open procedure even though it will end quicker. For both procedures pain medication is recommended for up to 2 weeks. In the next instalment of this article we take a look at an alternative technique and clear up some terminology that can seem obscure to first timers. For now, we hope this has given you some foundation knowledge on this wide and sought-after treatment.