After breast augmentation and liposuction, rhinoplasty is the third most common plastic surgery procedure in the United States.
Nose reshaping can boost patients’ confidence by enhancing facial symmetry and balance. It can also be performed to correct structural defects that cause breathing difficulties.
Here are some are common complaints that prompt people to consider rhinoplasty:
- A nose that’s disproportionately large or small
- A bump on the bridge of the nose
- A bulbous, drooping, enlarged or protruding tip
- Excessively flared or narrow nostrils
- A crooked or off-center nose
- A broken nose that healed poorly
- A deviated septum or other structural problems that impair breathing
In this article, New Jersey plastic surgeons Dr. Gary D. Breslow and Dr. Jordan P. Farkas answer some frequently asked questions that patients have before undergoing rhinoplasty surgery.
Can Rhinoplasty Make My Nostrils Smaller?
Overly large nostrils can throw facial features out of balance in two ways: either the entire width at the base of the nose is greater than the distance between the eyes, or the nostrils themselves flare out to the side. Removing excess nostril tissue can help correct this imbalance.
Nostril reduction is often scheduled as part of a full rhinoplasty. Since the position of the tip of the nose affects the nostrils’ shape and size, any restructuring of the tip is done first.
For pleasing, symmetrical results, the surgeon must decide just how much nostril tissue to excise, and where it should be taken from. This is a skill that requires experience, aesthetic vision and technical expertise.
Click on the link below to see examples of how rhinoplasty can subtly improve the natural beauty of the face.
Can Rhinoplasty Correct a Long or Wide Nose?
Yes, qualified plastic surgeons are capable of addressing these concerns. They can make the nose larger or smaller, or modify the tip to make it appear less bulbous or upturned.
For cosmetic reshaping, surgeons access supporting bones and cartilage by making incisions deep inside the nose. The resulting scars are invisible. Depending on the desired outcome, surgeons either shave away some of the bone, remove cartilage, or add tissue.
An overly projected tip can make the nose appear too large, especially in profile. This is remedied by trimming or repositioning cartilage. For a seamless, proportionate profile, excess bone and cartilage on the bridge of the nose may also be trimmed away.
Once the nose shape is corrected, careful placement of a splint, packing and/or stabilizing materials ensures that the new shape is maintained during healing.
Can Rhinoplasty Straighten a Crooked Nose?
Rhinoplasty can be performed to straighten the nose bridge or even change the angle of the entire nose.
Bumps, indentations, a misalignment caused by a fracture that didn’t heal properly — these are all common aesthetic concerns that can be addressed.
A deviated septum, trauma to the nose, or inherited facial asymmetries can also result in a crooked nose. Each of these situations requires a different approach and presents its own unique technical challenges.
One important consideration is that almost everyone has asymmetrical features to some degree. Unless you’re Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, or Kate Moss, who are all noted for having enviably balanced features, you’re bound to have irregularities. Improperly correcting a crooked nose could make those more evident.
In short, just because a nose is made straight doesn’t mean that the overall aesthetic results will be pleasing — the finest surgeons consider the whole face, and take careful measurements to ensure that minor flaws offset one another.
Preventing the reshaped nasal bones and cartilage from drifting back into misalignment poses another challenge. The healing process can’t be rushed, and has to be closely monitored.
Will Rhinoplasty Improve My Breathing?
In addition to improving the physical appearance and raising self-esteem, rhinoplasty can help patients breathe more easily. Addressing structural problems in the nose that negatively impact breathing is known as functional rhinoplasty. It may be the sole aim of surgery, or incorporated into cosmetic nose reshaping.
Enlarged turbinates and septum deviation are among the most common causes of nasal obstruction.
Fixing a severely deviated nasal septum is termed a septoplasty. The nasal septum divides your nose into two sides. When it’s crooked or collapsed, airflow is uneven, of poor quality or altogether blocked. Septoplasty can be performed to straighten the cartilage and bone, thus expanding the air passageways.
Turbinate reduction, also known as turbinoplasty, can be performed in isolation, but is usually combined with septoplasty, sinus surgery, or rhinoplasty.
Can Rhinoplasty Cure My Allergies?
If you have allergies before rhinoplasty, you will still have them afterward. However, the symptoms will be much easier to manage when all the wrongs inside your nose have been righted.
The function of turbinates, for example, is to warm and moisturize air as it flows through your nose. Enlarged turbinates can obstruct airflow, worsen allergy symptoms, and contribute to postnasal drip. Many patients find that irritants in the air aren’t as likely to cause congestion after they have undergone turbinoplasty. Septoplasty can also improve chronic sinus or allergy symptoms by increasing the space inside the nose.
A comprehensive evaluation by a plastic surgeon or nasal specialist will help you determine if these options are appropriate for you.
Can Rhinoplasty Cure Snoring?
It depends. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea or obesity, rhinoplasty isn’t likely to help.
If a deviated septum is the culprit, septoplasty can improve your breathing and most likely reduce or eliminate snoring.
I’m a Singer. Will Rhinoplasty Change My Voice?
Reducing the surface area of the nasal cavity may have a subtle bearing on airflow and the sound of your voice.
The changes are very slight and in most cases barely noticeable. They won’t interfere with speech function or everyday communication, but a recent study published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises people who use their voices professionally to be aware of the risk.
The study used patient self-assessments, trained listeners and computer software that analyzes acoustics. Interestingly, of the singers who participated, the greatest changes occurred in those from Iran or the Middle East. The researchers attributed this to a difference in language and styles of singing. Westerners largely support singing from the chest and throat, whereas Middle Eastern speaking and singing is more nasally supported.
Professional singers or speakers should discuss concerns with their surgeon beforehand.
Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?
Generally speaking, cosmetic rhinoplasty is not covered by insurance. However, functional components, such as a septoplasty to aid breathing, may be covered by your provider.
The best way to determine if rhinoplasty is right for you is to schedule a consultation with an experienced, highly reputable surgeon. As common as the procedure is, it’s still a fairly complex one that requires good information about the patient and detailed planning. That’s why the importance of choosing a knowledgeable, highly skilled expert can’t be overstated.
Drs. Breslow and Farkas have performed countless rhinoplasty procedures on patients from New Jersey and beyond. Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions about this transformative procedure.