Understanding Rhinoplasty

By: Herbert Romaro

Rhinoplasty, better known as a “nose job," is a surgical operation on the nose, either to enhance appearance (cosmetic), facilitate breathing or correct a birth defect (reconstruction). This procedure can either be partial or full reconstruction, depending on preference and necessity.

The procedure of rhinoplasty can vary, depending on necessity. Major work would require general anesthesia, whereas minor or less reconstructive work may only require a local anesthesia. This is not clear-cut of course, as patients and doctors preferences also play into which is to be used. Small, usually inconspicuous incisions are made inside the nostrils where any impending scars cannot and will not be seen. However, if a total reconstruction is necessary, major incisions will also be applied to the outside.

Skin from the colu mel la, separating the nostrils, or even cartilage from the ear, rib, or other parst of the body may be used in the process to strengthen or reshape the nose. This is done in both cosmetic and functional objectives.

Rhinoplasty can also involve synthetic implants if the structure of the nose is either too severely damaged or weakened, but alloplastic synthetic materials tend to cause complications such as migration or extrusion so synthetics are used in rhinoplasty on an “only-as-necessary" basis.

A septoplasty, strongly related to the rhinoplasty, is sometimes conducted to assist in the rhinoplastic surgical process. This procedure can include or not include cosmetic alterations. The cartilage of the septum may be moved, removed and reshaped to be used in the restructuring of the nose, either to enhance appearance or to facilitate breathing or both.

A rhinoplasty is usually an easy procedure (although, like anything else, not without its risks), but it can also have its complications, especially in the more serious and severe cases. A person thinking about having one should consider all the advantages and disadvantages before making the decision. Still, it's popular, especially among film stars in Hollywood, since “facial beautification" operations are rampant there!

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