Q:Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty, how popular is it in your practice and what are the main goals of this procedure?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Rhinoplasty is probably the most popular and well-known surgery that I perform, as it appeals to all ages, genders and ethnicities. The nose is central on the face and can be seen as the most prominent feature. Therefore, when the nose displays a dorsal hump, drooping tip, wide nasal base or flat nasal bridge, it can lead patients to seek out nasal reshaping. The goal of cosmetic surgery is to have the nose blend in with other features, enhancing the patients’ overall harmony, balance and beauty. We want to see the other characteristics of beauty become the focus, such the eyes, lips, cheekbones and hair.
Q: Is there more than one type of rhinoplasty? What are they and how do you determine which procedure will work best for each patient?
Dr. Philip Solomon: We use different techniques and individualize a treatment plan for each patient. Certain ethnicities can share similar characteristics. People from Eastern Europe and East Africa often require a reductive rhinoplasty, where we are reducing the size of the nose, eliminating a bump and lifting the nasal tip. People of Asian or African American backgrounds are often looking for augmentation and narrowing of the nose. When devising a treatment plan, we take in the entire face, the projection of the chin, the shape of the mandible, etc., and mere millimetres can affect the outcome of a rhinoplasty. Patients will share their goals for surgery, indicating whether they want a straight nasal bridge or sloped nasal bridge, for example. We can show them, using our computer-imaging software, how just a few millimetres can affect facial balance. In some cases, what patients may envision may not suit their face. Our patients trust us. They have seen our catalogue of work and know that they are getting a nose shape that is natural, as if they had been born with it.
Q:Tell us what considerations you require prior to proceeding with rhinoplasty surgery for your patients?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Patient selection, the medical component and cosmetic outcome are all very important. Just as patients research surgeons, we assess our patients to ensure they are good candidates for rhinoplasty. We look at their medical status, whether they have previously injured their nose, if they have breathing issues or a compromised septum from drug use — these factors can contribute to the end result. The patient selection and cosmetic component address the patients desired goal — are they realistic and achievable? Can they manage with the recovery process and healing time required for rhinoplasty? We are always very transparent with our patients to ensure they are set up for success. If we think their goals aren’t realistic based on their anatomy, or they are not in the right head space to undergo surgery, we advise them to take some more time to consider their options.
Q: What are some common concerns that follow rhinoplasty surgery and how long does it take to heal?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Rhinoplasty is a process, and the results will change over many months. For this reason, patients are often anxious in the early post-op period when there may be considerable swelling. Most patients look quite good by four to six weeks. Then, there is a category of patients who may have had more difficult anatomy prior to surgery or have thick skin, that may affect their healing. In some cases, cortisone injections or tape may be used to help reduce swelling. We do our best to help prepare our patients prior to their surgery, as to what they can anticipate afterwards. When it comes to rhinoplasty, we provide the surgical technique, however the patients genetics, lifestyle and anatomy will all play a role in their recovery and outcome.
Q: In your expert opinion, do you think there is still a stigma toward rhinoplasty? Why or why not?
Dr. Philip Solomon: While rhinoplasty has always been a popular cosmetic surgical procedure, there was a period where there may have been more of stigma toward it. The stigma perhaps, was related to an over-operated appearance often seen amongst some celebrities. Over the last few decades, there has been a movement toward natural and more timeless results. As a society, we have become far more open to the idea of cosmetic surgery, I believe. We also live in a part of the world where living a healthy lifestyle and looking good is encouraged. People want to look and feel their best at all ages and we have access to more resources and information than ever before, cosmetic surgery included.