Rhinoplasty is designed to improve the appearance of the nose by reshaping the underlying cartilage and bone. Cosmetic rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of the nose, change the shape of the tip or bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between the nose and upper lip. Nasal surgery may also correct a birth defect or injury. If the nose is twisted or crooked, or if airway problems exist, reconstructive surgery may involve modification of the nasal septum.
The consultation is very important. The patient should have a concrete idea of what he or she does not like or wants to change. Those changes should be explained by the surgeon, possibly placing them in order of importance. It is also important to interview the surgeon to see if their plan fits with your concerns. Some changes are easy to obtain and others are more difficult.
Some changes cannot be achieved. There are the questions you must ask so you can understand whether the surgeon is or is not comfortable with the desired changes. The patient must listen and hear the surgeon’s experience and their concerns. The patient’s desires, the surgeon’s abilities and the potential reasonable clinical changes all have to come together for the operation to be a success.
Some patients have a misconception that a rhinoplasty is like carving the new shape of the nose. If that were the case, a rhinoplasty would be easy and consistent. Rhinoplasty is a delicate operation to make the underlying structures take on the new desired shape, have it heal that way and at the same time maintaining the function of the nose.