There are so many different techniques and nasal features involved with rhinoplasty surgery that you may not know exactly what you will need to have done to get the results you want. There’s nothing wrong with this, since a board certified facial plastic surgeon will be able to make an appropriate surgical plan that will likely get you the results you’re looking for. However, it is helpful to understand some of the techniques that are used in nasal surgery so you can communicate easily with your surgeon and understand what your procedure may entail. There are many terms in rhinoplasty that can be new and confusing, including different areas of the nose. One of these is a feature known asthe alar rim. So what is the alar rim and what are some reasons it may requirereshaping?
What Is the Alar Rim?
The alar rim refers to the upper rims of the nostril. While there are some deformities and aesthetic issues that can occur naturally, alar rim problems are more often seen in revision rhinoplasty cases. Improper technique and/or healing can cause problems which necessitate a second surgery. Knowing the potential pitfalls of rhinoplasty can help you avoid them by allowing you to discuss them with your doctor.
The alar rim frequently has problems with retraction and irregularities. Retraction is when the rim has receded or pulled back, compromising the normal shape of the nose. In these cases, alar rim grafts or struts are used to augment and reshape the area. These grafts strengthen, shape, and support the nostril rim.
In contrast, a “hanging ala” refers to an alar rim that hangs down too far, in which case, the surgeon must retract some of the tissue. In these cases, care must be taken to not over-resect, in order to avoid alar rim retraction (or “notching”).
Sometimes, a deformity occurs in only one of the alar rims, in which case every effort is made to even out the appearance of the two sides. Alar grafts are also often used to help prevent or improve pinched tip problems. The alar rim area is highly influential in the appearance of the nose, and grafting to the area may be necessary in a large number of rhinoplasty cases.
You don’t have to know everything about your nose’s structure before you head to your consultations, but it can be helpful to learn as much as you can beforehand, and be sure to go to each meeting armed with specific questions unique to you. Consultations are valuable for planning your surgery, learning more, and most importantly, choosing your surgeon.
You will be able to get a rough preview of your results during your consultations, as most surgeons utilize imaging software to give patients an idea of what to expect and to aid in communication about goals for the surgery. Keep your expectations realistic; you don’t want to hype up the results in your head and find yourself disappointed. Studying before and after photos can help you get an idea of what is possible with rhinoplasty.
Schedule Your Consultations
You will learn a great deal from your consultations, and it is important to use your time wisely, only meeting with plastic surgeons who have the skills and qualifications necessary to produce good outcomes for most patients. Due to the complex, unique, and difficult nature of the surgery, it is best to rule out surgeons who do not specialize in rhinoplasty. Additionally, it is best to seek help from aboard certified and experienced surgeon like Dr. Robert A. Mounsey of Revesse in Toronto. Dr. Mounsey has helped patients of all demographics get beautiful, natural-looking results from surgery, emphasizing each patient’s individuality. To schedule your consultation call Revesse at 416.438.2499 today.