by Allure Magazine, March 2018
Interest in plastic surgery is at an all-time high, but stigma and misinformation still surround the industry and its patients. Welcome to Life in Plastic, a new series by Allure that aims to break down cosmetic procedures and provide all the information you’ll need to make whatever decision is right for your body — no judgment, just the facts. Here, we’re covering everything you need to know about rhinoplasty.
Considering a permanent way to transform the size, shape, or appearance of your nose? You’re not alone. In fact, the 2017 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists the procedure as the third most popular cosmetic surgery, with 218,924 recipients. If you’re considering joining them, here’s everything you need to know about rhinoplasty — initial consultation to post-op.
Commonly referred to as a nose job, rhinoplasty is a procedure that “sculpts the shape of the nose externally for cosmetics, and internally for breathing,” says Deepak Raj Dugar, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. The goal, he says, is to give a “natural look to the nose, as if it was never touched, that balances the patient’s face perfectly.”
The first step in the rhinoplasty process for prospective patients begins in the office of a board-certified plastic surgeon for a thorough consultation. Following paperwork and initial photographs, the surgeon chats with the patient about any cosmetic concerns and “studies the inside of their nose for breathing issues,” says Dugar. “I then morph the patient’s photos on the iPad directly to show them the intended goals of surgery.”
Patients may also be shown other patients’ before-and-after photos for noses that are similar to their own size and shape. “If they are a good candidate, I let them know. If they aren’t, I also let them know,” says Dugar. “It’s the most honest 30 minutes of their life.”
- Dorsal hump: A bump at the bridge of the nose
- Nasal width: A nose that is too wide or too narrow
- Asymmetry: A nose that is twisted or deviated
- Prominent nasal tip: A nasal tip that is round, bulbous, fatty, or disproportionate to the rest of the face
- Drooping nasal tip: The angle between the upper lip and lower nose that is less than 90 degrees
- Post-traumatic deformities: Shape aberrations after nasal injury
- Nasal airway problems: Internal valve collapse and septal deviation
Key factors that also help determine the ideal candidate include nasal maturity (if the nose is mature enough — usually over the age of 15), emotional maturity (patients thoroughly understand implications, risks, and purpose of the surgery), having realistic expectations (understanding both goals and limitations of the procedure), and an absence of body dysmorphia.
The last on that last, Dugar explains, is something lots of patients have issues coping with. “We all [experience body dysmorphia] to some extent, but some [patients] cross the normal spectrum,” says Dugar. “It’s our duty as surgeons to counsel them and avoid letting patients guide us into wrong ethical decisions.”
Like any surgical procedure, preparation is helpful for both a smooth surgery and recovery. To help reduce things like swelling, bleeding, and bruising (especially in patients who travel via plane for the procedure), Dugar recommends a “strict regimen of [applying] arnica [a homeopathic herb that can help decrease bruising and pain] preoperatively, as well as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and smoking one month prior to surgery.”