Enhancing Facial Balance and Proportion through Rhinoplasty

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Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to change the appearance of the nose. It may be done for purely cosmetic purposes but also to correct a birth deformity or traumatic deformity. The nose is a primary focal point of the face, and it plays a major role in defining balance and proportion. When features of the nose compromise facial harmony, self-image and self-confidence may be adversely affected. Structural imbalances may also be present in the remainder of the face and may include a retrusive chin, a small jaw or flat cheek bones. Optimal treatment may involve surgery to enhance these features in addition to rhinoplasty. Many patients seeking rhinoplasty also have impaired nasal breathing. This may be due to deviation of the nasal septum, enlargement of turbinates or other structural problems. These conditions may be treated simultaneously with rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is typically performed in adults and older teenagers. If a teenager is contemplating rhinoplasty, it is preferred to wait until completion of nasal and facial growth, which usually occurs by 15 or 16 years of age.

Rhinoplasty is most often done under general anesthesia but can be done with intravenous sedation (“twilight sleep”) if the procedure is of a more minor nature. The majority of patients go home after surgery but some elect to spend the night in a hospital. Time off of work or school usually amounts to one or two weeks. Activity must be limited for at least 8 weeks until healing has progressed appropriately. The visual results of rhinoplasty are gradual and require at least one year to reach the final outcome.

My personal approach to rhinoplasty is to individualize the procedure to each patient’s wishes, their ethnic or familial traits and overall facial structure. It is one of my favorite operations and, thus, I perform it frequently. By enhancing facial balance and proportion through rhinoplasty, patients are likely to gain self-confidence and self-esteem.