Many people are often hesitant when considering rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) surgery. Many people would like to change something about their nose. Small changes can often make a big difference in appearance. Changes can be made in several areas of the nose. The bridge of the nose can have a hump or be too wide. The tip of the nose can be too wide or slope downward or upward. The width of the nostrils can be too wide or have too much flare. One or all of the above can be changed. These factors do not affect breathing but are cosmetic in nature.
Computer imaging can often help the surgeon visualize what you are trying to achieve and if your expectations are realistic. What are unrealistic expectations? For example, unrealistic expectations can be assuming that your nose can look entirely different and nothing like your present nose. Unrealistic expectations can be assuming that your nose can be made to look like a famous movie star’s nose, especially if there are no similarities in common.
Realistic expectations are reviewing the features of your nose that you would like to change and determining if these changes are possible. It is important that the surgeon understands what you are trying to achieve and if it is possible to achieve the look that you desire. Rhinoplasties often consist of removing excess cartilage for tip refinement. Removal of bone and/or cartilage may be necessary to refine a dorsal hump (bridge of the nose). Skin may need to be removed if the nostrils are made smaller. To narrow the bridge of the nose, it is often necessary to break the nasal bones. It may take close to a year before all of the swelling has resolved. It may not be obvious that swelling is still present but as time progresses, more refinement will be visible.
Rhinoplasty surgery is tailored to the patient and it is important that the surgeon understands the goals that the patient is trying to achieve. The patient must understand what to realistically expect to avoid disappointment.