Curious about a surgically perfected nose? Rhinoplasty is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures. Our Cosmetic Enhancement Expert, Ricky Allen interviews two of Australia’s top plastic surgeons Dr. Peter Callan and Dr. Michael Zacharia to bring you the key facts and to answer your questions before deciding if this procedure is for you.
The first think you need to know is that there are two groups of surgeons who perform rhinoplasties (nose jobs). Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT Surgeons (some of whom are also Facial Plastic Surgeons). As a general rule of thumb, if you require more extensive functional and form improvements then you should see an ENT or Facial Plastic Surgeon. I spoke to two of the top nose job experts in Australia to gather more insight into one of the most complicated cosmetic surgical procedures- Dr. Peter Callan from Geelong Victoria, specialist plastic surgeon and Dr. Michael Zacharia ENT. (Facial Plastic Surgeon) from Double Bay NSW.
Top tips for the perfect rhinoplasty
Both surgeons agreed that there are some simple rules to follow:
- Make sure that you go to a surgeon who has performed many rhinoplasties. According to Dr. Callan it should be noted that 10-15 % of surgeries need some sort of revision so an expert will lessen the need for any redo.
- Ensure the surgeon checks your functional levels. Dr. Zacharia performs extensive testing from checking the nose score, to CT scans and perhaps even a nasal endoscopy. It is important to make sure that the surgery leads to full function as well as the desired improvement in appearance. Sometimes the patient is so focused on their nose appearance that they overlook any functional concerns and often do not even mention them which is why such extensive testing is often needed to be done.
- When assessing how the nose should look post- surgery, doctors should take into account the full facial appearance including their bone structure as well as their ethnicity. The end result should create full facial harmony and balance by looking like the nose they should have been born with. The surgery can improve the tip of the nose, its projection as well as the shape and even its length.
Age is just a number
Dr. Callan’s patients range in age from young women because they are unhappy with the appearance of their nose, to older women whose nose tips have dropped because of ageing.
The oldest patient who DR. Zacharia has performed a rhinoplasty on is 86 and she got an amazing result with no problems at all. His practice is also made up of all ages.
The op; what you need to know
- The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital with patients usually can go home the same day. Packing is rarely used any more by either Dr. Callan or Dr. Zacharia.
- The new rhinoplasty surgery techniques are so much more sophisticated and less invasive than ever which is why the dreaded nose packing is now rarely required. This is also why the patient’s results today are so much better and more natural looking than could be achieved years ago. Dr.Callan holds a course for other doctors every three years in rhinoplasty to update them on all the latest techniques as the doctors understanding of the nasal anatomy increases. When Dr. Zacharia was doing post graduate work in the USA their doctors were the world leaders but now he feels that some of the best results are being achieved right here in Australia.
- It is most important that the patient pre-surgery takes no asprin, fish oil tablets or vitamin E to minimize the risk of bleeding and they should not smoke for at least three months beforehand.
- Patients can usually return to work a week after the procedure.
- There is often some bruising under the eye area which will be lessened if the patient sleeps sitting up for a few days and applies ice under the eyes for the first post-operative day. This bruising can easily be covered up with concealer.
- Most patients wear a splint on their nose which stays on for a week. This performs a dual service. It protects the nose as well as helping to lessen the post- operative swelling. When the splint is removed the side view of the nose is the final one but the bridge of the nose has swelling which can last for months. If a patient has undergone a redo then that swelling will last much longer.
- Patients generally experience a period post operatively where they have lost their sense of smell but this always returns in a few weeks. Dr. Callan is careful to make sure that the patient is told this before surgery so that they do not panic when this occurs.
- Interestingly, considering it is such a complicated surgery, patients rarely complain of much post-operative pain.
Dr. Zacharia said that sometimes people bring in pictures of what they feel would be their perfect nose and it requires spending time with these patients educating them to make them realize that it may not be the right nose for them. Imaging is one tool which can be used to show the different shapes and projections leading to their perfect one. This is one surgery where the doctor will usually see the patient at least twice before the operation so that they can feel fully aware of all aspects of the surgery and this helps to greatly ease their level of preoperative anxiety.
Both doctors agree that even though it is one of the most difficult surgeries they perform it is also one of the most rewarding as nothing beats that look of real wonder and joy when their patient’s splint is removed and they see their new nose for the first time.
Disclaimer: Results may vary between patients.
Ricky Allen is the founder of Aesthetic Reconstructions. She holds a Health Science Degree, a nursing diploma, a Bachelor of Arts/Science (Psychology), a Certificate in Cosmetology (Aesthetics), a diploma in Marketing and PR, an a Diploma in Health Management and a number of other post-graduate beauty qualifications from the USA. including Camouflage and Advanced Peeling.