The nose is the centerpiece of the face. It frames the shape and proportion of the face. The appearance of an aesthetically appealing nose varies amongst different cultures, but a nose that is out of balance with the remainder of the face can be distracting to an observer.
The nose functions to filter, humidify, and warm air as it passes into the lungs. Obstructions to either the size of the opening of the nose or the passageway along the length of the nose can lead to difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, and a nasal tone to one’s speech.
Adjusting the shape of the nose involves managing one or more of three components; the skin, the cartilage, and the skeletal structure. This often requires work to the dorsum, or “hump”, of the nose. Additionally, adjustments to the size and position of the tip can help refine the appearance of the nose. Lastly, while not always necessary, adjusting the bones of the nose can help narrow a widened nose or be an important contributing part of the work done on the hump of the nose. That being said, it should be the goal of all rhinoplasty surgeons to produce a result that appears natural, and one that does not have any of the signs of an “operated” nose.
For patients with obstructed breathing, work is often performed on the center supporting cartilage of the nose, known as the septum. Additionally, extra support may be necessary in the form of cartilage grafts to help bolster the natural support of the nose.
While significant swelling and bruising can result after nasal procedures, very little pain is felt. Newer techniques and approaches allow many of these procedures to be performed with no external incisions in appropriate patients, and the amount of bruising and swelling can often be reduced so that after one to two weeks, patients can often interact in public without having any signs of having had a procedure.