As one of the leading rhinoplasty specialists in the United States, Dr. Randal Haworth continues to challenge himself to be the best he can be. By constantly questioning his results and asking himself how he can do things better, he feels he is subjecting himself to the highest quality assurance and delivering the best possible outcomes in plastic surgery .
Performing rhinoplasties are one of my favorite specialty since the nose place such a central role in the total harmony of the face. Consider it like one of the leading instruments in the orchestra. Though most plastic surgeons and patients alike obsess on nasal humps, wide bones as well as drooping, boxy, pinched and ill-defined tips and, of course, the width of the nostrils, little attention is paid to the actual shape of the nostrils. In other words, a surgeon should not only assess whether the nostrils are wide at their base, but also whether they are arched, pointy, thick or sigmoid in shape.
One of the most common and unflattering nostril shape is that of the “samurai nostril”. Look at the following two photographs and you will see what I mean.
There are a few ways to correct this but probably the most reliable is to harvest a “composite” graft from the hidden portion of one’s ear. This detailed surgery involves insinuating this graft between an incision made on the inside of the nose, corresponding to the actual width of the retracted portion of the nostril. This graft is then sutured into place with the skin side facing the actual inside of the nostril to maintain the continuity of it’s lining. One can lower the nostril about 3 to 4 mm with this technique. Of course, some resorption of the graft occurs so it is best to over-correct this.
Other techniques involve strategic V-Y plasties, which are essentially internal tissue rearrangements of the inner aspect of the nostril in order to lower its rim, cartilage grafts in the actual substance of the nostril to help correct pinched tips while lowering the rim and, finally, filler. These latter techniques, though successful to some degree, are not as effective as an ear “composite” graft.
Note the following two cases in which “composite” grafts were taken from the ear and placed within the nostril to lower them. Of note, simultaneous upper lip lifts to further enhance a feminine appearance were performed.
In order to perform a nose job or rhinoplasty whether in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles or wherever, the plastic surgeon must be physically able to manipulate only two things under the nasal skin-cartilages and bone, Well, the debate rages on and on as to what is the best of the two methods in gaining access to the internal cartilaginous and bony structures of the nose. The two methods are the “closed” and “open” techniques.
The “closed” technique involves creating incisions confined solely to within the actual nose (usually located just within the nostrils proper) whereas the “open” utilizes the same incisions as the “closed” but also incorporates a small additional one across the columella (the fleshy partition separating the left and right nostril at the bottom of the nose).
In this age of less invasive surgery afforded by modern technology through the use of endoscopes, modern radiology, etc. one would think that the “closed” technique represents a newer evolution in rhinoplasty surgery, but surprisingly, the opposite is true. The “closed” technique is the more traditional approach while the “open” evolved and gained in popularity as both patient and surgeons expectations grew. Perhaps unrealistically, patients increasingly expect perfection and in their quest to deliver the acme of results, surgeons need as much control as possible when performing the surgery. Control involves extremely accurate symmetrical suture placement (to reshape cartilage), hemostasis (to minimize bleeding), strategic cartilage graft location and stabilization among other factors. In order to gain the most control as possible, visibility must be maximized and this is where the “open” method far surpasses the”closed”.
Proponents of the “closed” technique cite prolonged swelling and a potentially visible scar across the columella as two distinct disadvantages to the “open”. However, in proper hands these supposed shortcomings can almost always be avoided. I, as a rhinoplasty specialist, used to perform 80% of my rhinoplasties as “closed”, but now I carry out 90% as “open” and I can safely say that over 95% of my rhinoplasty patients are delighted with their new nose by the end of the second week. If the surgery is carefully undertaken, I have seen essentially no difference in swelling between the “closed” and “open” techniques. However, the one difference I have seen are the clearly superior results afforded by the “open” method.
To see many “open” rhinoplasty results, click here and here for revision rhinoplasty.
Dr Randal Haworth can be contacted at 310 273 3000 and Is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (American Board of Plastic Surgery) who practices at The Haworth Institute in Beverly Hills.
Dr. Haworth of Beverly Hills gained much of his advanced experience as both a primary and revision rhinoplasty specialist back in the Middle East. He performed literally hundreds of nose jobs there on patients from all walks of life. One of the most common complaints there are boxy and bulbous nasal tips.
What constitutes a bulbous nasal tip?
The bulbous nasal tip is most likely caused by thick alar cartilages (see accompanying diagram)and/or alar cartilages that are splayed out instead of shaped in a neat triangular formation.
This anatomic situation can be exacerbated by a thick layer of oily, sebaceous nasal tip skin. Think of the latter as a sleeping bag as opposed to a thin silk sheet., draped over delicate structures
How does an experienced plastic surgeon correct the thick bulbous nasal tip during a nose job?
In my hands, I prefer performing a rhinoplasty utilizing an “open” approach because it affords me vital binocular vision so I can assess up to half-a-millimeter asymmetries that otherwise I would would be unable to appreciate utilizing a closed approach. The closed approach is one where the incisions are solely confined to the inner rims of the nostril, whereas an open approach utilizes the same aforementioned incisions in addition to a small hidden incision below the columella (that fleshy partition that separate the left and right nostril). The open approach allows me to see both the left and right nasal tip cartilages simultaneously so that any maneuver I would perform on the other can be immediately assessed with its opposite counterpart. Sutures are meticulously placed in a strategic fashion in order to change the shape of the cartilages from a round convex shape into more of a triangular one which, in turn, will translate to a more refined, elegant nasal tip. Think of assembling a ship in a bottle via strings, so to speak. The rhinoplasty surgeon cannot just bend cartridges, he must utilize sutures in order to shape them. This is part of the stock-in-trade of nasal tip/nasal cartilage manipulation.
Of course, some cartilage is removed as the surgeon sees fit. The importance of not being too aggressive cannot be overemphasized since doing so could result in an unsightly “pinched tip”. Finally, it is more often than not necessary to “defat” the under surface of the thick sebaceous nasal skin that would accompany such a bulbous tip. This allows the thick “sleeping bag” to redrape more fluidly over the newly reconstructed nasal cartilages.
Swelling of the nose may take many months to even a couple of years to fully disappear. This does not mean that the patient would not enjoy the effects of a rhinoplasty before then. It is just that the skin can remain slightly swollen for prolonged periods of time. The last area for swelling to dissipate is at the nasal tip area. So even though great of a 95% of my patients love their nose at the 21st day postoperatively, some will say that they would like their nasal tip to become further defined. I may either inject some Cortizone underneath the skin to turbocharge the swelling to go away quicker or just recommend patients. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing for inpatient to digest.
This lesser known anatomic point of the nose is often purposely overlooked by rhinoplasty specialist surgeons because of the challenges it poses to those attempting to alter it. It is represented by the angle formed by the uppermost portion of the nose as it blends into the forehead proper. Yes, altering this area does have a subtle, yet profound influence upon the final appearance of a nose job- it can differentiate an excellent result from a “so-so” one. The surgeon can raise the radix so that the nose blends into the forehead at a higher latitude as well as softly elevate the natural valley that can exist at this are if it is too deep. Furthermore, one can deepen the radix if too much bone is present between the eyeball and the bridge on profile view.
The ideal position of the radix lies approximately at the latitude of the upper eyelash/upper eyelid crease. Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr Randal Haworth can raise it by placing a precisely shaped softened cartilage graft (usually harvested from the nasal septum or ear) with beveled edges onto the bone of the radix area. Alternatively the radix or nasion can be rasped or chiseled with specialized delicate instruments to a lower, deeper position.
Why does raising a radix from a low position improve the final appearance of a nose? Well, imagine two noses which are identical in shape and forward projection except that one has a low radix while the other has a high one. The one with the low radix is shorter compared to the one with the high. Now imagine two men, both with the same 34 inch waist, but one is short while the other tall. Who appears fatter? The short person does, of course. This same optical illusion applies to the nose with a low radix-it appears as it projects further out from the face as compared with the one with the higher radix and not necessarily in an attractive way.
The following photos represent a beautiful result of a corner lip lift and concomitant rhinoplasty in which the radix was raised.
Note where her radix point lies. It is lower than the level of her eyelash, making the nose look more projecting than it really is.
The result after a corner lip lift and a rhinoplasty with Radix enhancement.
Work here results in some extra swelling localized to the space between the eyebrows in the sense that it lasts a few days longer. Dr Haworth at the Haworth Institute has a few tricks up his sleeve to accelerate the resolution of the nasal swelling by injecting a dilute mix of Kenalog under the skin (and it is relatively painless) two weeks out. This “turbocharges” the swelling to go away!
Of course, the radix can also be augmented with a filler of some sort, such as fat, Radiesse, Juvederm, Aquamid and Artefill.
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.
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
Rhinoplasty is a form of nose surgery aimed at improving the shape of the nose either for aesthetic or correctional reasons. While the procedure has become quite popular in modern-day society, nose jobs are still not without risks. Without the careful supervision of a professional plastic surgeon, complications such as infection, nosebleed, or a negative reaction to anesthesia may occur.
It is important to listen carefully to the surgeon’s orders before and after the operation to minimize any post-surgical risks. Reactions to anesthesia can be prevented by avoiding certain vitamins or medication before the surgery. The doctor may also advise certain guidelines on eating drinking and smoking. To prevent any scarring or permanent spot discoloration from nose surgery, careful care must be taken while washing the face after the procedure has been administered.
At The Haworth Institute located in Beverly Hills, Dr. Randal Haworth takes great care in every aesthetic surgical procedure he administers. Learn more about how to minimize the risks of plastic surgery at DrHaworth.com. Call 310-273-3000 for inquiries.