Despite being one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedures (for both men and women) in the United States, facial plastic surgeon Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS still comes across patients for rhinoplasty at his Philadelphia area practice who have heard some misconceptions about the procedure.
- “I’ll look like I’ve had a nose job.”
While the goal of any cosmetic rhinoplasty is to resize and/or reshape your nose, an experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon will also ensure that the results appear to blend harmoniously with the rest of your face. While close friends and family may notice a change in your appearance (which is only normal if your appearance has, in fact, changed after a rhinoplasty), it should still look natural and proportionate to the rest of your face. Even any scarring from a well-performed open rhinoplasty – which consists of a single incision on the underside of the nose – will be very inconspicuous to the casual observer.
- “Only women get nose jobs.”
While women still make up the bulk of cosmetic surgery patients in the United States, men are increasingly opting to receive aesthetic procedures themselves. In fact, statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that the top cosmetic surgery for men in 2016 was rhinoplasty or nose surgery. As societal factors that make attractive men versus attractive women differ, so do the approaches and goals of rhinoplasty.
- “I can get Nicole Kidman’s nose.”
While you might have a specific look for a new nose in mind, be prepared for your surgeon to say it won’t suit your face or isn’t possible to achieve. A rhinoplasty can remove a hump, change width and projection, straighten a crooked bridge, or refine a tip, but a responsible plastic surgeon will only recommend realistic possibilities for you – ones that are surgically attainable, aesthetically balanced, and don’t compromise nasal function. While a celebrity’s nose may look great on them, your face is unique, and your nose should be complementary to other facial features.
- “A rhinoplasty is only cosmetic.”
Nose jobs or rhinoplasties are performed for a variety of reasons, ranging from the cosmetic to the functional. Many patients, in fact, seek to improve both cosmetic and functional imperfections that they were either born with or acquired later in life (broken nose, etc.). Common functional concerns include a deviated septum (a partition made of bone and cartilage that separates the right and left nasal passages) and enlarged turbinates (curled shelf-like structures on either side of the nose). Each may be corrected with functional rhinoplasty procedures known as septoplasty and turbinate reduction respectively.
- “Rhinoplasty is so common now that any surgeon can do it.”
While a lot of people might be receiving it, it doesn’t mean that any surgeon can and should perform it. Rhinoplasty is one of the most technically complex and delicate surgical procedures, and as such, requires the hand of a facial plastic surgeon that has extensive skill, knowledge, and experience in dealing with functional and aesthetic nasal components. The best thing you can do for yourself as a patient is to choose a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with a substantial amount of experience performing successful rhinoplasty operations in particular.
- “The recovery period is too long.”
Modern techniques incorporated into rhinoplasty procedures minimize post-surgical side effects such as swelling, bruising, pain, or discomfort. Most patients are able to return to work (provided it is not physically strenuous) after two weeks, and some even after a week if they are comfortable in public with minimal residual swelling or bruising. Patients can generally perform strenuous exercise about several weeks after the procedure.
- “It will be too painful.”
Typically, patients experience more discomfort due to swelling and pressure than actual pain. Your surgeon may prescribe some pain medication, but most patients only require them for two to three days before switching to over-the-counter medication.
Dr. Greco is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, and would be happy to answer specific questions from anyone interested in a rhinoplasty or other facial plastic surgery. To request a consultation, contact his practice online or by calling (610) 664-8830.