Plastic surgery to alter the nose takes serious skill. Dr. Daniel E. Rousso offers insights and a simple test for a deviated septum.
“Of all the things on the face, you must be much, much more accurate with the nose. Rhinoplasty is an operation of millimeters,” says Daniel E. Rousso, MD, with Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Birmingham. He performs over a 100 rhinoplasties a year and stresses that whether you want to correct something cosmetic or functional with the nose, altering this most prominent feature requires proven experience and delicate skill.
Like a magic mirror. “A small change of the nose can truly change your appearance,” says. Dr. Rousso. “So people are understandably scared they’re not going to be happy with what they get. But we can show them a computer image that’s proven very close to accurate to our outcomes.”
Not so bad. “People also believe that rhinoplasty is a very painful plastic surgery operation and, in general, it’s not,” states Dr. Rousso. “Often times, we don’t ‘have to pack the nose, so it’s minimally uncomfortably as it heals, and the splints and sutures are gone after just one week.”
Do this test. A deviated septum offers a prime reason for rhinoplasty because it inhibits normal airflow through the nose. You can test for a deviated septum by pushing a finger against one side of your nose to see how well you can breathe. Then do the other side. “If you can’t breathe as well on one side, chances are you may have a mechanical obstruction with the nose,” says Dr. Rousso.
Skin makes a difference. Surprisingly, thick skin can make a big difference in the outcome of your rhinoplasty. “It’s like the difference between seeing the outline of an object after laying a silk sheet over it versus a thick comforter. If it’s a very thick comforter, you won’t see any definition of the object beneath it,” describes Dr. Rousso. “Same with skin. If you have thick skin, you’re going to have a limited ability to have a refined final result.”
Look good in a week. “Most of time, by the end of one week when the splint comes off, no one will recognize a patient’s had anything done,” explains Dr. Rousso. Most rhinoplasty patients are doing light activities within two weeks. But take six weeks before you do contact sports to allow the bones to heal.
How to choose your plastic surgeon. “Ask how many revisions — fixing other surgeon’s procedures — they do a year. If they do a significant number, they‘re usually more able to give you the result you want to achieve,” advises Dr. Rousso. “Also ask to see their book of before and after shots. Ask to see photos of anything that looks like your nose.” Also ensure they’re board certified in plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, or otolaryngology.
by Jane Ehrhardt
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