Rhinoplasty, frequently referred to as a "nose job," dates back to ancient India but is infamous in popular culture due to the changing profiles of our favorite music and movie stars. The procedure generally involves surgically reshaping the structures of the skin, bones, cartilage, and nasal passages of the nose.
Aside from the celebrity set, modern rhinoplasty procedures have become an increasingly common surgical procedure over the past few decades for a variety of underlying concerns, including functional purposes and cosmetic appearance. In fact, over 130,000 people undergo the procedure each year, according to statistics from the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons. As with many other surgical procedures, the technology and practice behind rhinoplasty has come a very long way, especially in the last 30 years.
Now, new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania indicates that the modern techniques used in rhinoplasty are showing excellent improvements in patients’ quality of life and function as compared to older techniques used for the procedure.
“During a rhinoplasty procedure, facial plastic surgeons are attempting to improve nasal aesthetics but in a functionally acceptable way. The goal must be to not only improve cosmetics, but also to strive for long term breathing improvements” said Oren Friedman, MD, director of Facial Plastic Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital and associate professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. “Older techniques, which usually sculpted beautiful noses early on, often degraded into poor cosmetic and functional outcomes over the long term.”
Dr. Friedman recently published a new study in the journal the Laryngoscope, that examined new techniques for rhinoplasty and how they impact patient outcomes for form and function of the nose. In the study, Dr. Friedman and his colleagues performed a retrospective chart review with prospective follow-up of 113 patients who had undergone a rhinoplasty procedure within the last few years. Each of the patients was asked to complete a NOSE and ROE survey for preoperative and postoperative comparison. The NOSE scale consists of five questions about nasal breathing, each scored by the patient on a scale from 0 (not a problem) to 4 (severe problem). The ROE scale is composed of six questions (5 about nose shape and 1 about nasal breathing), each rated by the patient on a scale from 0 (worst) to 4 (best).
They found that with the newer techniques, patients reported significant cosmetic improvements in overall ROE measures, with approximately 90 percent of patients reporting increased satisfaction with their nose shape. Regarding NOSE measures, approximately 90 percent of the patients also reported improved breathing postoperatively.
“We were excited to see that with these newer techniques, form and function can be improved simultaneously for patients without having to compromise one for the other, as has been the issue with such methods as reduction rhinoplasty in the past,” says Dr. Friedman.
But Dr. Friedman isn’t stopping at measuring a patient’s overall satisfaction. He is currently involved in additional research to continue to improve upon the results of the new rhinoplasty approaches, including further personalization and refinements of the techniques.
“It’s all about being able to select the right patient for the right technique,” he says.
Watch Dr. Friedman describe the benefits of modern rhinoplasty techniques in this CBS 3 interview.