Rhinoplasty is one of the most challenging plastic surgery procedures while at the same time it is one of the most rewarding for both the patient and the surgeon. One of my former medical school professors Dr. William Havener use to say the eyeball is the most important square inch of the body. This very well may be true, however, the nose, particularly the tip is the most frequently written about square inch of the body. It is highly unusual when I am reading one of my several plastic surgery journals not to see an article on Rhinoplasty surgery. I always read them, because I enjoy the procedure and do a lot of them. Not surprisingly however they don’t often offer anything new. The articles are usually just a repackaging of information which has been around for a long time. The fundamentals of rhinoplasty surgery haven’t changed much since my training years at Michigan with Dr. Charles Knause and Dr. Eugene Trady, who used to visit the University of Michigan quite often. Dr. Trady in is an internationally renowned rhinoplasty surgeon who played an equally huge role in my understanding of rhinoplasty mechanics. He would equate the cartilage frame work of the nasal tip to a three legged stool. Surgical alterations to one leg of the stool always have consequences to the other dimensions of the nose. So, ultimately rhinoplasty surgery is a series of maneuvers, each which lead to minor changes that effect the whole. Mastery of rhinoplasty requires three key components.
- A good rhinoplasty surgeon needs first and foremost a solid understanding of rhinoplasty mechanics.
- Second a rhinoplasty surgeon has to have a good sense of three dimensional space.
- Last but not least, a good rhinoplasty surgeon needs experience. Rhinoplasty is not an easy operation. In fact I think it is the most complex of all plastic surgery procedures but unfortunately most surgeons and patients don’t think of it as such. Consequently only 81% of rhinoplasty patients are satisfied with their results according to the patient education website www.realself.com.
This is also the reason why the national rhinoplasty revision rate is so high. I am in the process of updating the nasal procedure page on our website www. sullivancentre.com. Please visit the site if you would like more information on rhinoplasty surgery.