The goal of ethnic rhinoplasty is not to erase ethnic identity and produce a generic “cookie cutter” look, but instead to refine and reshape the nose to produce a more balanced and harmonious appearance, or to resolve aesthetic defects and functional issues. Unfortunately, these intentions sometimes do not carry over to reality, and this is when patients end up disappointed and upset, feeling as though they have lost their ethnic identity as a result of rhinoplasty surgery. If this has happened to you or you are concerned it may happen, don’t get too anxious. If you take the proper steps to help ensure the outcome you want, you have a very good chance of success. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your first ethnic rhinoplasty or second surgery to regain your identity.
Why it Happens
People can feel lost after rhinoplasty for a number of reasons. Rhinoplasty is a major procedure involving one of the most dominant facial features, and it can be difficult to understand before the surgery just how different the face will look afterward. Patients who go to a rhinoplasty surgeon who is not experienced in performing ethnic rhinoplasty procedures are often disappointed with their results because the procedure may not have been tailored to help retain ethnic identity. Regardless of the reason, the loss of ethnic identity is serious, and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Of course, the best way to retain your ethnic identity is to prevent the loss of it in the first place. Experienced rhinoplasty surgeons understand the importance of this identity and will work hard to retain the features that are important to you, while improving the overall balance and aesthetic appeal of your nose. You must understand, however, that the end result may be slightly different than anticipated and that rhinoplasty cannot work miracles.
Already Disappointed? Give it Time
If your first rhinoplasty left you feeling lost and disappointed, you will unfortunately not be able to fix the problem immediately. Because the nose continues to heal and change for the first year or so after surgery, it is extremely unwise to undergo a second surgery soon after your first. Give your nose time to settle. You may find that its final shape is just what you wanted in the first place. If not, you can start interviewing revision rhinoplasty specialists for a remedial surgery after your nose heals.
Revision rhinoplasty simply refers to a rhinoplasty that is performed to correct mistakes caused by or not resolved by a previous nasal surgery. These procedures are far more difficult and expensive than a primary rhinoplasty, but they often prove necessary for fixing deformities or regaining identity.
Be Clear About Your Goals
If you are interested in rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty, it is very important to be clear about your goals and expectations for surgery. Communication beforehand can prevent mistakes that are difficult to fix following surgery. Explain your desire to retain some ethnic features of your nose in addition to which changes you would like made. Imaging software can help you and your doctor get on the same page.
Keeping Your Expectations Realistic
Though rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty can produce amazing results (see before and after pictures of Revesse patients), it is essential to realize the limitations of these surgeries and understand the result may not be quite as you envisioned. Digital previews can help you get an idea of what to expect, but you must be prepared to have an open mind about your results. That’s not to say you should settle if you are displeased with the outcome, but just be realistic about the kind of improvement you can expect and give yourself time to adjust to your new look.
Special Techniques for Ethnic Revision Rhinoplasty
Revision surgery to reassert ethnic identity often requires the nose to be built up, using cartilage grafts or synthetic implants. Since the natural nasal cartilage supply is often depleted during primary rhinoplasty, the surgeon may need to harvest from other areas, such as the ear or rib. Studies have been conducted on the use of porous polyethylene implants to help restore ethnic identity, with good results. However, only your surgeon can make the call as to which approach is right for you.
An Expert Surgeon
Whether you are seeking a surgeon for your first rhinoplasty or trying to reassert your identity with a revision rhinoplasty, it is extremely important to select the right surgeon for you. Only the most skilled surgeons have the ability and subtlety to create a custom nose that reflects your heritage and gives you a beautiful, balanced nose that is in harmony with your other features. Your best bet is to speak only to surgeons who specialize in rhinoplasty for your ethnicity or ethnic rhinoplasty in general.
Keep in mind that some surgeons perform only primary rhinoplasties, while versatile rhinoplasty experts such as Dr. Robert A. Mounsey take on complex revision surgeries as well as primary ethnic rhinoplasty. Dr. Mounsey has a great deal of experience working with all nose types, and provides top-notch facial surgery services at Revesse in Toronto. If you’re looking for the best ethnic rhinoplasty and revision services, call 416.438.2499 to schedule a meeting with Dr. Mounsey.