By Carla Walsh
Plastic surgeons draw from a list of ‘canons’ when planning a nose job. This extended list of rules that define the ideal nose, guides how the surgeon sculpts the nose and harmonises it aesthetically with the rest of the face. But without going into these complexities, most of us would agree that the ideal nose has
- A refined, non-bulky nose tip
- A straight and slender bridge, which joins the tip in a smooth gentle curving slope
- A base that is not wide
These 3 ideals are often the aims of a rhinoplasty. Rhino- means nose and –plasty refers to molding. Apart from this definition of sculpting the nose externally, some rhinoplasties are ‘prescribed’ to relieve breathing difficulties by correcting internal deformities. For those who prefer non-invasive options, nose fillers and thread lifts can also achieve the “non-surgical rhinoplasty”. Although these treatments produce subtler, temporary results, they have the advantage of less downtime.
The recovery time of a rhinoplasty depends on the extent of the surgery. Most of the swelling would have resolved within 1-2 weeks. This continues to improve and the final look takes around 3-6 months.
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Refining The Tip
During a rhinoplasty, the tip is made slimmer and more pointy by reshaping the cartilage and by using a strut. The strut is like a pillar that holds up the nose tip and is usually cartilage taken from the nose (septum), ear or rib. By changing the structure of the nose, rhinoplasty is the most reliable way to define the tip.
Without going under the knife, nose thread lift can lift the tip using barbed threads. PDO threads are a common type of thread used. Although PDO threads dissolve over time and the results are temporary, they stimulate a matrix of new collagen formation which may partially maintain the nose lift.
Compared to rhinoplasty, the lifting capability of threads is less and it cannot slim down the tip. So for those with flat and bulbous noses, surgical correction will be a better option.
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Raising The Bridge
Common materials used to raise the nasal bridge in surgery are silicone or goretex. These materials are safe and come in many sizes and shapes, which can be further carved to create the ideal smooth curving bridge. Natural materials can be used too, such as your own rib cartilage or dermis (skin). Similar to the nasal tip, threads can be placed to lift the bridge and is suitable for those looking for a mild lift. Filler injection is another option for the bridge but often recommended if you are looking for a small lift or to correct bridge irregularities. Fillers do have the perk of having the least downtime. Being a gel form, the lifting ability is limited and has the disadvantage of broadening the nose as the gel dissolve and migrate. This problem is not encountered in nasal thread lifts and rhinoplasty.
Narrowing The Base
According to the canons, the ideal nose width is no wider than the distance between the inner corners of the eyes. In Asians, it is common to have ethnic noses with a wide base. Non-surgical filling and lifting may perceptually narrow the nasal base. To effectively and permanently reduce fleshy nostrils and the width of a nose, an alarplasty surgery is the answer. A wedge of tissue is removed from the outer nostril to reduce the base of the nose. It leaves an inconspicuous scar and is a common procedure in an asian rhinoplasty.
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