In the cosmetic world, one of the most sought after procedures is nose augmentation. This is especially so in Singapore, where we have a wider or bulbous nose tip and a flatter nose bridge due to our Southeast Asian genetics. Such proportions alone can cause the middle face to lack definition. Patients looking for permanent and dramatic changes can opt for a rhinoplasty if they don’t mind going under the knife and the long recovery period that comes with it. 

A rhinoplasty changes the upper structure of the nose (bone), lower portion (cartilage), skin or all three. This surgery is usually done under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation depending on the complexity. Depending on what needs to be done, your surgeon can alter the shape of your cartilage or nasal bones in several ways. Some cartilage may be retrieved from your rib or other parts of your body to supplement the changes. 

Apart from aesthetic reasons, a rhinoplasty can also be done for medical and functional purposes, such as to correct a birth defect or improve breathing difficulties that come with a deviated nose. This is called reconstructive surgery; its aim is to restore function of the nose than change the appearance of the nose. Reconstructive rhinoplasty is usually done by an ENT surgeon trained in facial plastic surgery.

Dissatisfaction from rhinoplasty results

During your consultation before your surgery, your doctor will take photographs from different angles of your face. These photos are then manipulated so you get a rough idea of how you’ll look like post-surgery. This process allows for the patient to communicate anything that needs to be changed. This is standard practice. 

There have been cases however, especially for cosmetic rhinoplasties, that a patient does not like how their nose looks after surgery. What the patient can do now is to unfortunately accept this new look or wait about 6-12 months to get a revision rhinoplasty. There are of course exceptions where post-surgical correction can take place in the early weeks to months. They include: 

  • Notching or asymmetry of the nostrils 
  • Deviations of the nose 
  • Hematoma (bleeding outside blood vessels) of the nose 
  • Infection in the nose 

Other concerns (primarily cosmetic) will have to wait. Some common issues I see raised from patients include: 

  • A nasal tip that’s still bulbous after surgery. But the results will improve with time so give it about 6 months to a year to settle down before deciding if you want to further correct it. 
  • A swollen nasal dorsum. This is usually not something to be worried about and the swelling should get better after 3 months. 

In general, most revisions take at least about 6-12 months to take place and see fruition, so be patient and wait to see changes. Of course there are also very unfortunate instances where the surgeon makes a mistake. Even though rhinoplasty is a common operation, it is still a challenging procedure. For one, the nose is a complicated 3D shape located in the middle of the face. Second, changes made during a rhinoplasty are usually very small — so small that the surgeon has to be extremely precise, and the margin of error has to be even smaller. One tiny deviation and it can drastically affect the way the nose looks and functions. 

Additionally, each rhinoplasty is unique. There’s no standard protocol or steps that doctors follow; they tailor each operation to the patient. Which is why if you ever want to do a rhinoplasty, please look for a surgeon with the necessary certifications and a good track record among patients.

Is it possible to correct a rhinoplasty with a nose thread lift?

If you clicked on this post, I assume you already know what a nose thread lift is and the biomechanics of how it works so I do not need to explain any further. Now, we know that the threads used in a nose thread lift are extremely safe and this non-invasive procedure is perfect for those looking for a little elevation on their nose bridge and tip or for contouring reasons. For someone who wants a minor correction on their nose after rhinoplasty, the nose thread lift sounds like the safest and most reasonable procedure… except I wouldn’t recommend it. 

If you had bridge augmentation done, getting nose thread lifts would be too risky. Not only is it tough to get satisfactory results, the risk of complications is way too high. The best case scenario would be if you did not get any bridge augmentation during your rhinoplasty. So long as the bridge is not scarred, a thread lift should be fairly straightforward. 

But remember nose thread lifts are meant for mild augmentation of the nose. Is this procedure enough to give you what you need? If even a rhinoplasty cannot give you satisfactory results, is a thread lift able to? 

As always, consult a skilled and experienced doctor before coming with a decision. Best of luck!

References

  1. Toriumi, D. M., & Swartout, B. (2007). Asian rhinoplasty. Facial plastic surgery clinics of North America, 15(3), 293–v. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2007.04.003
  2. Lu, G. N., & Papel, I. D. (2020). Revision Rhinoplasty: Conservation versus Deconstruction. Facial plastic surgery : FPS, 36(1), 28–33. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1701487