Rhinoplasty: it’s a balancing act

rhinoplasty to balance facial featuresThe Rhinoplasty operation, commonly known as a ‘nose job’, is one of the oldest performed cosmetic surgery procedures and it is popular amongst men and women who may have always been unhappy with the appearance of their nose.

The most important consideration when planning a rhinoplasty is balance. Sometimes, there may be an aspect of the nose – such as a marked hump, crookedness or a very bulbous tip, or any combination of these – that requires attention, but some patients that I see at my Leamington cosmetic surgery practice, may not be able to pinpoint exactly what is wrong, simply saying, “My nose is too big” or “I can’t stand my nose” without being able to quite put their finger on exactly what it is about their nose that bothers them.

Whilst they may be right about the size, quite often it is more that their nose is out of balance with the rest of their facial features. My job as a cosmetic surgeon is to create balance between the nose and the rest of their face and often only quite subtle adjustments are required to achieve proportion.

The rhinoplasty consultation

This is probably the most important stage of the rhinoplasty procedure. I discuss with the patient, at length, the source of their dissatisfaction and what they are hoping to achieve. Sometimes their expectations are unrealistic in which case I politely decline to do anything and sometimes their concerns are suggestive of a possible wider picture, in which case a psychological assessment is sought before taking matters any further.

However, if perceptions and expectations are realistic and coincide with my own assessment, the surgical approach to improvement is explained in detail, together with necessary precautions in the weeks after surgery, potential problems and complications, the fact that perfect symmetry is not always achievable and that sometimes surgical revision is necessary.

The perfect nose for me

If the nose is in perfect balance, then it should complement your other facial features rather than dominate them. Typically, your nose should be about a third of the length of your face and, in the Caucasian face, the width at the base should be about two-thirds of the width of your mouth. The angle of the nose should also be proportionate, with the tip revealing neither too much of your nostrils nor obscuring them completely.

The chin should also be taken into consideration. In profile, if a line was drawn from the edge of your lower lip, it should touch the edge of your chin. Often, though, the chin can either protrude or recede beyond that point and this can have a drastic impact on facial balance and the nose in particular. A receding or ‘weak’ chin can throw the nose into more prominence and reducing the size of the nose alone may fail to achieve optimal enhancement of your facial features. For some patients, surgery to the chin alone may be the best option or chin augmentation or reduction may be required, generally to match the nose once initial rhinoplasty swelling has resolved.

If you are unsatisfied with the appearance of your nose and would like to discuss in more detail your options, please call my secretary on 01926 436341 to arrange a cosmetic surgery consultation.