Archive for July, 2011

The Tricky Rhinoplasty and Upper Lip Lift Combination Surgery

While many surgeons feel uncomfortable with performing an upper lip lift, let alone one simultaneously with a rhinoplasty, it can be safely done. The concern revolves around the fear of losing vital blood supply to the columella (the fleshy straight partition that exists between the nostrils), because if the blood flow is compromised to this area then necrosis or loss of the columellar skin can result. This, in turn, can lead to a possible unsightly scar. If the nose job is performed through an endonasal or closed approach ( whereby all incisions are strictly confined to within the nose itself) there should be little concern for this. However, caution must be exerted when the rhinoplasty is performed with an open technique- one that involves making a scar across the columella in order to gain better access and therefore better visualization and control of the operation. In a normal open technique the incision is placed about halfway up on the columella. Since an upper lip lift necessitates making an incision at the base of the columella (where it joins with the upper lip), the incision needed for the open rhinoplasty can also be the same one- so the incision will be used for two different purposes.

Scar placement for rhinoplasty alone and in combination with an upper lip lift

The situation becomes more complicated, however, when a persisting scar stemming from a previous open nose job is present. In this situation, the plastic surgeon must carefully plan his incisions so as not to compromise the blood supply. More often than not it is safer to keep the upper lip lift incision separate from the rhinoplasty’s in these revision cases.
The planning becomes even more critical when the nostrils need to be narrowed during the nasal aesthetic surgery ( Weir excisions). Not only does the upper lip lift need to be blended well onto the columella, but it also needs to be conformed to a freshly narrowed nasal base, with minimal undesired tension across the final scar ( which can increase the chance of it being noticeable). Intricate surgery along with an intimate knowledge of the regional anatomy and the biophysics of an upper lip lift are key ingredients to a beautiful outcome in this combination surgery. Following are two examples of before and afters of this combo surgery.

To view more upper lift results go to:http://www.drhaworth.com/procedures/upper-lower-lip-lifts/

Patient 1.Preop: 52 year old female

After Rhinoplasty with Weir excisions, Upper lip and corner Lip Lifts along with a lower V-Y plasty

Note the improved visual interplay between the nose and upper lip along with youthful tooth show and narrower oral span.

Patient 2.Preop: 35 year old. Note lack of upper tooth show and nasal tip disharmony

Postop after Rhinoplasty, upper lip lift, lower V-Y platy and lip fat transfer

Rhinoplasty Philosophy – Dr. Randal Haworth

Rhinoplasty, or what people refer to in colloquial parlance as ” nose job” surgery, is one of my favorite specialities. I have performed literally thousands of these challenging procedures as far afield as the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia. What I find so fascinating about rhinoplasty is how it can impart such dramatically positive change to the face as a whole – a classic case of the final result being greater than the sum of it’s parts. Not only do I find it immensely gratifying to invent new solutions to challenging problems, I actually like the ” feel” of the surgery- the intricate interplay between skin, cartilage and bone. Even after 16 years of private practice, I discover new, exciting nuances in techniques that the average surgeon performs without feeling. Though I considered myself “top of my game” at the time I was doing plastic surgery on ” The Swan” in 2004, I look back upon those patients today and realize I could do better on a third of those rhinoplasties I performed! Like an artist, I always aim to do better and realize that my work today is better than it was in 2004 and will be better still 5 years from now, barring some personal tragedy. The first era for me in rhinoplasty surgery was about creating beauty and my second era is about controlling beauty- imbuing a subtle softness into the result, and erasing all signs that humans hands had anything to do with the patient”s nose. A good pianists doesn’t just play the notes and chords accurately but also with crescendo and pianissimo- with feeling.
My next series of blog posts will revolve around the subject of nasal surgery and aim to share with you certain concepts, both basic and advanced, that are important to both the lay person and surgeon alike.

Dr Randal Haworth of Beverly Hills is a specialist in all forms of aesthetic plastic surgery including primary and revision rhinoplasty.For further information go to drhaworth.com