Rhinoplasty, more generally known as a “nose job,” is a surgical procedure that addresses cosmetic concerns such as size and shape, as well as structural concerns that leave you unable to breathe properly.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that surgeons performed over 220,000 rhinoplasties in 2017 alone, making it the most common facial plastic surgery procedure.
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, with offices in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, our board-certified oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Dustin Heringer, routinely performs both open and closed rhinoplasties for our patients who want to change their looks or improve their breathing.
Dr. Heringer knows there’s a lot of misinformation circulating about the procedure and wants to set the record straight. Here are some of the myths you might have heard and the facts that debunk them.
Myths and facts about rhinoplasty
There are a great many myths surrounding rhinoplasty; here are a few.
Myth #1: Rhinoplasty always looks fake
Fact: Two of the major goals of cosmetic rhinoplasty are to enhance the shape of your nose, and to achieve harmony with your facial features. Whether your procedure is cosmetic or medical, Dr. Heringer pays attention to facial aesthetics, giving you a nose that not only functions better, but also looks “just right” for your face.
Myth #2: I can have whatever type of nose I want with rhinoplasty
Fact: Dr. Heringer can work wonders in the operating room, but the fact is that rhinoplasty can’t magically create any nose. If your nose’s anatomical structure doesn’t support a certain size or shape, you may not be able to get the results you want. As the doctor will confirm in your consultation, it’s important that you have realistic expectations for the surgical results.
Myth #3: Rhinoplasty is painful
Fact: This myth is also “painfully” untrue. Rhinoplasty has one of the easiest types of recovery for plastic surgery. Generally, any pain and discomfort abates after only 3-4 days, so recovery, which may last about a year until you see your final results, is essentially painless. Just one day after the procedure, most people rate their pain 0 to 4 out of 10.
Myth #4: Rhinoplasty leaves obvious scars
Fact: Unlike many other surgeries, rhinoplasty leaves no obvious scars. Dr. Heringer performs one of two procedures: open or closed. For an open procedure, where he lifts and exposes the skin and other soft tissues, he makes a small incision across the columella, the thin area between your nostrils at the bottom of your nose. When the area heals, the scar will be virtually invisible.
For a closed procedure, where the doctor doesn’t expose the inner tissue, he makes a small incision inside the nose, so it won’t be visible at all when it heals.
Myth #5: People who get rhinoplasty are vain
Fact: Some people think that wanting to improve your appearance is vain, but that’s giving short shrift to the procedure’s many applications. Physical abnormalities, trauma, birth defects, and even the psychological harm of dissatisfaction with your looks are all valid reasons for having the procedure done.
Take a cleft lip and cleft palate, for example, which are among the most common birth defects. The baby is born with openings, or splits, in the upper lip, the palate, or both. Sometimes the split extends all the way into the nasal cavity. These splits occur when facial structures in the developing fetus don't close completely, and all three defects lead to functional problems.
When the split includes the nose, rhinoplasty becomes an integral part of the treatment plan; it reconstructs the nose for both functional and cosmetic reasons, letting the child have a normal appearance.
If you’re thinking about rhinoplasty, make sure you have all the correct information about the procedure. Give Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery a call at either of our offices to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, or book online with us today. In the right hands, you’ll breathe easier.