Derived from the Greek for "to shape the nose", Rhinoplasty is just that - cosmetic surgery to change the appearance of the patient's nose. Although its name might be Greek, the techniques of modern nose surgery were actually invented in ancient India, and were only integrated into western medicine in the 19th century. Nowadays, surgeons can carry out a wide range of procedures to rebuild damaged nasal structures, change the shape of the human nose and deal with problems such as deviated septums. Techniques can deal with both cartilage and bone features on the human nose, making it possible to radically alter somebody's facial appearance.
There are a number of options for anyone considering nasal cosmetic surgery. In some cases, the nose is felt to be too large. In these cases, a reduction procedure might be recommended. Nostrils can be narrowed and any unsightly bumps on the nose can be removed. Similarly, the nose can also be augmented. For example, the tip of the nose can be lengthened and the nose could be made wider to provide better balance to the patient's face. In cases of traumatic injury, more advanced techniques can deal with severe bone and cartilage injuries. Different ethnic groups can also have different nasal shapes, so some clinics will offer specially tailored ethnic treatments.
In a reduction procedure, the skin which covers the nose will not be altered. Instead, the structures beneath the skin are moulded by skilled surgeons, altering the shape of the nose. In some cases, cartilage might be removed from the base of the nose and the nostrils, or a technique called Septoplasty might be recommended to ensure that the patient can breath easily. Conversely, an augmentation procedure entails building up the structures beneath the skin. This could use materials like bone or cartilage as well as synthetic materials that have been developed to be accepted by the human body. In both reductions and augmentations, the procedure can be either 'open' where cuts are made on the exterior of the nose) or 'closed' (with cuts made inside the nose).
Nowadays, it is routine to create computer models of the predicted outcome of Rhinoplasty. These accurately show what the patient can expect, although there will always be some slight difference in the final outcome. In some cases, nasal surgery can lead to prolonged nosebleeds and chest infections. In extreme cases, infections can lead to implants being temporarily removed. There is also the chance that an implant can breach the skin after the operation. In all cases, it is likely that patients will experience minor breathing difficulties for a short adjustment period, but this is nothing to worry about. There are also some limitations on cosmetic surgery. For example, in older patients the degree of reduction may be limited as ageing skin tends to be less elastic. Scarring can also result from some reduction procedures.