When You’re Considering Rhinoplasty

If you have never been fully satisfied with your nose’s appearance, your cosmetic concerns may be the first factor in identifying yourself as a candidate for rhinoplasty. Whether you have a bump on your nose, a crooked portion of cartilage or an area that you consider slightly too large or small, these are all issues that affect your appearance and may make you a rhinoplasty candidate.

But not too fast — the best rhinoplasty candidates have realistic expectations. Your surgeon can correct some, but not all of the aspects you may wish to change in your nose shape. Rhinoplasty surgery can address the following shape issues with your nose:

  • Adjust nose width
  • Alter the tip of an upturned, large, drooping or bulbous nose
  • Correct an uneven nose shape
  • Even the nose profile
  • Thin the nasal bridge

The most important aspect of considering if you are a candidate for rhinoplasty is if the surgery is something you and only you are wanting. Rhinoplasty must be your choice, not the influence of another person or a celebrity image you are trying to achieve.

“Patients will often bring in a photo from a magazine and ask for that specific nose,” says A. Dean Jabs, MD, Ph.D., FACS, an American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified plastic surgeon practicing with Cosmetic Surgery Associates, P.A., based in Bethesda, Md., and McLean, Va. “This can give your surgeon an idea of what you think is appropriate and pretty, but may not be realistic in terms of exact replication.”

Medical Conditions

While you may think of rhinoplasty as strictly a cosmetic procedure, the procedure has corrective possibilities. This includes a procedure to correct facial deformities from birth or from a traumatic injury to your face. Nose shape also can affect your ability to breathe, and your surgeon may recommend rhinoplasty to correct any defects you may have that keeps you from breathing at your best. When this is the case, describe the breathing issues you are experiencing to your surgeon to ensure you truly are a candidate for rhinoplasty.

Age Considerations

Your nose must be fully developed before you can be a rhinoplasty candidate, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Your surgeon will evaluate your bone structure to ensure your facial growth has completed. Typically, a physician will not perform rhinoplasty on someone 13 years of age or younger because the bones may not have yet set in place. Performing a rhinoplasty procedure before your face has fully developed means your results may not be lasting or your results may not be as effective as you hoped.

Who Isn’t a Candidate for Rhinoplasty?

Whether due to a medical condition or a mental health issue, not everyone is a candidate for a rhinoplasty. Your plastic surgeon will likely recommend a psychiatric evaluation prior to surgery to assess your understanding and expectations for the procedure. If you have undergone a number of cosmetic procedures or even previous rhinoplasty procedures, your surgeon may recommend a waiting period before undergoing an additional procedure to ensure rhinoplasty is the right procedure for you.

Certain health factors may keep you from being a candidate for rhinoplasty. Always disclose major health conditions, such as the following to your surgeon:

  • Anemia
  • Are a current smoker
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart murmur
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat

Patients who smoke also may have recovery issues related to rhinoplasty because smoking decreases small vessel perfusion, or blood flow to the small vessels in your nose. Less blood flow can equal extended healing time for some patients.

Because these and other conditions may affect your surgical outcome and post-surgery wound healing, your surgeon will evaluate your unique health status to determine if surgery is the right option for you.