While there are many similarities to any nasal surgery, with common techniques and approaches, there are some aspects that are far more common among those of Asian descent. For example, many, though certainly not all, Asian rhinoplasties involve increasing the height of the nose. This is achieved by raising the bridge, or nasal dorsum, and also increasing tip projection, or the distance that the tip of the nose projects from the face. The nasal cartilage that forms the framework for the lower two thirds of the nose in Asians may also be thinner, with less ability to support the heavy skin that may cover it. Therefore, unlike primary rhinoplasty for Caucasians, there may be a need to add to aspects of the nose, such as the bridge, even while the nasal tip and nostrils are refined to look smaller or more proportionate to the rest of the face.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Jen Chow will perform a complete history and physical examination of your face and nose to determine if Asian rhinoplasty, or nasal reshaping, is the appropriate solution for your cosmetic concerns. In some cases, nonsurgical rhinoplasty is a viable temporary alternative. The two of you will then discuss the procedure in full. In many cases, the use of digital imaging to see what the nose might look like after surgery is a powerful tool that can significantly assist in communication between you and your facial plastic surgeon.
Once you have decided to have surgery, Dr. Chow will fully explain the risks and benefits of the procedure, taking the time to answer any and all questions you may have.
A thorough work up based on your age, health history, and any risk factors you might have (previous surgery, certain habits such as tobacco use, over the counter nose sprays, specific vitamins and supplements) will be reviewed. In order to be certain that you will be safe for the procedure, specific tests or a consultation with your primary care physician may be needed.
You will be provided with written instructions regarding what to do in the weeks leading up to surgery. Foods, supplements, and even vitamins that may thin the blood should be avoided. Aspirin, ibuprofen, Alleve, and other over the counter non-steroidal inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) should be avoided as well.
Should you have any questions prior to the procedure, you should always feel free to contact Dr. Chow. He will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Most Asian rhinoplasty procedures that are performed by Dr. Jen Chow are done in a fully accredited outpatient surgery facility. Depending on the specifics of your procedure, you may have twilight sedation, where you will be comfortably resting, but breathing on your own, or general anesthesia, in which your airway is fully protected.
You will be given specific instructions leading up to your procedure. Some helpful tips for the day of surgery include: avoiding clothing that must be pulled over the head (zippered or buttoned shirts are recommended), leaving jewelry and valuables at home, and keeping the face and hair free of makeup and hair sprays or gels, respectively.
If all you desire is an implant to raise the bridge of the nose, you may undergo the closed rhinoplasty approach. Should you desire to refine, change the projection of, or rotate the nasal tip in order to improve its appearance Dr. Chow will likely perform an open rhinoplasty. You can learn more about the approaches by reading the rhinoplasty description.
Often, the simplest, most direct and effective way to improve the look of the Asian nose (making it longer, with a taller bridge, and with more refined tip and nostrils) is to simply use a composite implant. However, Dr. Chow is also well versed in the use of your own cartilage to achieve excellent results. Cartilage from the nose itself, from the ears, and from rib cartilage can be used for augmentation and reshaping the nose. In order to change the shape of the tip, Dr. Chow almost always uses cartilage rather than a synthetic implant.
When only dorsal augmentation (raising the nasal bridge) is required, Dr. Chow favors the closed technique, in which any and all incisions are made inside the nose, with no visible scarring outside the nose. For more complex changes including the tip or nostrils, the open technique may be used. This allows for more direct visualization of the area and includes a small, inverted “V” incision on the columella, which is the portion of the nose that separates the two nostrils.
The nostrils can be reduced in size either during the surgery or later, as an office procedure. Realizing that the primary function of the nose is to breathe plays an important role when deciding on changes of the nose. Having a nose that looks great, but causes constant congestion and breathing difficulties is not the right choice. Because Dr. Chow is a facial plastic surgeon, he understands the nose inside and out, and can provide the nose with both form and function.