Case 33: For this young woman, the nose felt boxy and unrefined in comparison to her more defined facial features. Goals of rhinoplasty included lifting and definition of the tip along with subtle hump reduction to create a more sleek and streamlined nasal contour. Achievement of these goals creates a nose that harmonizes rather than dominating other features.
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Dr. Miller says it’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations. “It’s not a good idea to take a wide, thick nose and turn it into one that’s thin and tiny,” he says. “But if the steps are done properly, we can make the desired changes.” Thick nasal skin that makes it challenging to refine the nasal tip needs to be thinned out, for example. It’s important to find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic rhinoplasties.
As with most plastic surgery, getting more than one procedure done at one time can save you money in anesthesia and facility fees. Prices will vary by surgeon, but it is always best to look for the most qualified doctor rather than the lowest price. Also, some doctors will offer discounts to patients who agree to give testimonials or allow the doctor to use their before and after photos.
Some might think that this patient had had previous rhinoplasty with tip collapse, but she did not. Occasionally, the shape of the tip cartilages is very vertically-oriented, causing a deep groove in the nostril. She felt this, along with her marked tip crookedness, drew unwanted attention to her nose. Now, her nose is smaller, smoother, more defined, and just blends with the rest of her face.
How much you’ll swell really depends on you and on your surgeon’s technique—not so much the type of rhinoplasty you had. Dr. William Portuese, a facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, says that “The amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure depends upon the type of rhinoplasty performed [open versus closed], the thickness of the skin, the amount of alteration required to the nasal tip, and the patient’s variability with the healing process itself.” He notes that “Some patients require taping and steroid shots in the tip of the nose to reduce swelling in that area for the first several months after the procedure.” According to Dr. Miller, “A very clean open rhinoplasty can result in minimal swelling, while with a closed procedure that isn’t performed in the ideal tissue and cartilage, you can have a lot more swelling. If the dissection travels through soft tissue or muscle on top of the cartilage, more bleeding and swelling will develop.” He notes that most people can also expect some bleeding from days two to five, but it should lessen with each passing day.
Some people opt for a temporary nonsurgical nose job—also called a liquid rhinoplasty—with hyaluronic=acid-based injectable fillers, like Voluma or Restylane Lyft. This minimally invasive procedure can camouflage bumps, create more symmetry, or lift and build up the tip of your nose. This approach has its limitations though. “If you have a large nose, it’s not going to get any smaller with fillers,” says Dr. Miller, though changes in proportions can sometimes make it appear smaller. It also can’t fix a crooked nose.