The Surgeon Minute

Crafting a Feminine Nose with Rhinoplasty

Crafting a Feminine Nose with Rhinoplasty

The nose is one of the most defining features on your face. While a great nose can be either big or small, the important thing is that it fit your face, that it is proportional. When it’s not, it can be devastating.

One of the biggest complaints that board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephan J. Finical of Charlotte, NC hears from his female patients is, “I got my Dad’s nose.” A rhinoplasty can not only change the shape and size of your nose, but it can also make it look more feminine.

Rhinoplasty Delivers a More Feminine Nose

According to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), rhinoplasty is the third most popular cosmetic procedure in this country with over 223,000 performed annually. Of those patients, it is estimated that 90% are women. One of the biggest complaints that young women have when they come in for a rhinoplasty consultation is the fact that they got their father’s nose.

A man's nose.

While in a some cases this may actually be true, what most of these patients are really trying to say is that their nose exhibits a lot of male characteristics. These typically include:

  • a wide bridge to the nose
  • a dorsal hump
  • a wide tip
  • the end of the nose tips down, not up

The goal of any rhinoplasty is to create a nose that fits the individual patient’s face and goals. However with female patients, this goal often includes restoring a more feminine look to the nose. A plastic surgeon can achieve this by removing any hump by making the bridge narrower and the tip smaller. On a woman, it is important for the tip of the nose to extend slightly beyond the bridge, and for the nose to rotate up more than down.

Each Patient is Unique

The concept of ideal proportion as a standard of beauty has been around since the time of Leonardo da Vinci, if not earlier. Artists, and this includes plastic surgeons, understand that the human brain naturally translates specific facial proportions as “beautiful”. If the head is a “golden rectangle” and the eyes are the mid-point, then the nose and mouth need to be at a specific distance between the eyes and the chin. So, creating a nose that is in proportion to the rest of the face can completely change not only how a patient feels about him or her self, but also how he or she is perceived by others.

Every nose is unique.

For Dr. Finical, he has had patients come in who’ve had multiple consultations with other surgeons who pushed the patient to get a chin implant in order to restore proportion. He is not a fan of chin implants for his female patients because he doesn’t think that they need a strong chin if the nose is smaller. The right nose puts everything in balance. It’s “really about re-balancing the face.”

Rhinoplasty should never be a factory procedure; each surgery must be unique to the patient. While for most womenm a rhinoplasty will entail making the features of the nose look softer, the important thing for surgeons is that the patient always look like themselves. No one today wants to look operated on or “done”. After a successful rhinoplasty, you won’t look different. You will just look like yourself, only better.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

A rhinoplasty typically takes about 2 hours under general anesthesia. Dr. Finical, like many of his colleagues, practices what is called an open approach. This means that he exposes the tip of the nose so that he can work on it under direct vision. When feminizing a nose, he excises or removes any dorsal hump, makes the bridge of the nose more narrow and then balances the tip of the nose to the new bridge by taking out cartilage. The cartilage in the tip is similar to the cartilage in your ear while the cartilage of the bridge is stiffer, like the outside of a shark. There are not a lot of bones in the nose, but those will be adjusted as well. Stitches are placed inside the nose and it is packed with soft packing.

Nose fixing with rhinoplasty - before and after.

The day after surgery, the patient comes back into the office to have the soft packing removed. Recovery is not painful, but can be uncomfortable. Most patients are back to socialization between the first and second week. You will have bruising, but this can be covered with makeup. If you have a big event coming up such as a wedding, you want to give yourself at least a month to recover, but keep in mind that the nose really does take up to a year to fully resolve.

The vast majority of rhinoplasty patients are really happy with their results, and the surgeons who oft perform the procedure love it. “I love to do it because it’s a place where a millimeter makes a difference,” shares Finical. “It’s very precise and very challenging.”

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