b-aTake a good look at your nose in the mirror. Are you aware of the various ways you could improve the appearance of your nose? From minimally invasive skin peels to improve skin tone to rhinoplasty (nose surgery), there are many ways you can improve the function, symmetry, shape, and skin of your nose.

Improve the Function
A surprising number of people have difficulty breathing through their nose and choose to suffer unnecessarily. A functional rhinoplasty can address this problem. Nasal obstructions may be caused by a crooked septum (cartilage and bone that divides the nose into two air chambers), by enlarged internal structures, or by weak sidewalls of the nose. Your facial plastic surgeon can improve your ability to breathe by adjusting and supporting the inside of your nose. This type of surgery may be covered by your insurance company since symptoms making the surgery necessary and appropriate cannot be controlled by medication. Be sure to check.

faceCorrect the symmetry
Your facial plastic surgeon will evaluate your nose from several different angles. From the front, the nose should lie within parallel lines drawn down from the inner corners of the eyes to the nostrils. From the base, the nasal tip should appear triangular and the nostrils should be symmetrical in shape and size. In order to bring the nose into better balance, your surgeon may employ several techniques of adding, removing, and refining. The benefit of returning symmetry to the nose has a tremendous affect on the overall appearance of the face.

Refine the shape
Patients may be surprised to learn that their small imperfection can be improved by a non-surgical option. Injectable fillers can be used to provide more definition to the top and sides of your nose. This provides immediate results with no recovery time. The disadvantage is that the results are not permanent, with fillers lasting between three months to two years depending on the substance. Implants made of a synthetic sponge-like material can augment parts of the nose and offer long-lasting results. Changes that are more extensive will require underlying bone and cartilage to be rearranged, removed, or added.

Common questions regarding changing the shape of the nose include over-projection, bumps, saddle nose, and width. How much a nose sticks out, or projection, can be reduced by removing cartilage from the tip of your nose. A bump on the nasal bridge (dorsum) can be reduced by using a file-like instrument to shave off and smooth down the excess bone. For some cases, it may be necessary to create controlled breaks in nasal bone to achieve simple bump reduction. The skin easily re-drapes and adheres to the new shape of the nose. When the middle of the nose is too close to the face this is called a saddle nose. This can be improved by building up the dorsum with your own cartilage from the nasal septum, ear, or rib, or by using an artificial material. If you are unhappy with the width of your nose, your surgeon will take into account several factors that may be contributing to the width, such as the distance between the nasal bones, the width of the cartilage in the tip of the nose, and the thickness of the nasal skin. The width of the nasal tip can often be made more harmonious with the face, but the width of the middle third and nasal base are not usually as changeable.

Refresh the skin
Your skin tone on your nose may not be what it once was—consider a chemical peel to remove the damaged outer layer of skin so that a new, refreshed layer may emerge. Other options that will improve the skin of your nose and entire face may include laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion. Talk with your facial plastic surgeon about your options and what will work best with your skin type.

Once you and your physician determine the optimal plan for enhancing or improving your nose, it is time to schedule the surgery. The procedure typically takes one to two hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. The incisions are usually hidden inside the nose when possible. Once adjustments are made, the tissues are re-draped over the new frame and the incisions are closed. A small plaster cast is applied to the outside of the nose. This will protect and aid in healing for the first week. Most of the swelling and bruising will disappear within the first week or two. The cosmetic results will not be noticeable for some time. In fact, the shape of the nose will continue to change and improve during the first few months, with final results taking up to 12 months. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you will be able to return to work one to two weeks after surgery.

Rhinoplasty may be your answer to improved health, increased self-confidence, and a younger looking you. Whether you are looking to improve the function or form of your nose, your surgeon will evaluate your needs and share what options will help you achieve those desired results.