The nose occupies the center of the face and, therefore, from early on attracts attention. The structure of the nose basically consists of a skin envelope surrounding various bones and cartilages. It is the bony and cartilaginous structures that are contoured by the plastic surgeon. The purpose of the operation is to alter the size and shape of the nose to help achieve balance with the rest of the face. Most patients seek a reduction in the nasal profile, but some cases, especially certain ethnic groups like Asians and African Americans, may need augmentation or enhancement of the profile. We tend to use human cartilage as the source of the implant rather than synthetics.
While the earliest age to perform the operation on varies, we tend to operate by age 15- 16 years. The Rhinoplasty operation is performed in our office operating suite under general anesthesia, after appropriate pre-operative blood testing and physical examination. The incisions generally lie inside the nose but in some cases small incisions may be made on the outside which are inconspicuous. Some nasal operations have a functional component, such as a deviated septum (the midline structure separating the two nasal chambers) and/or enlarged turbinates (structures lying along the side walls.) These situations are often covered by major medical insurance's.