Traditional Rhinoplasty Surgery

A rhinoplasty is a procedure for correcting and reconstructing the shape of the nose, whether it is for aesthetic reasons or to help make it more functional. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures today, with over 223,000 surgeries performed in 2016 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (ASPS)

New Techniques for Rhinoplasty

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The origin of the nose job dates back to a time when it was common practice to cut off the nose and upper lip of one’s enemies during battle. The term “plastic” surgery originated from the Greek word “plastikos,” meaning to “grow” or “form.”

To reconstruct a nose that was sliced off in a dual was a painful surgery, but once anesthesia and antiseptics were improved upon, the procedure became less brutal and more successful.

Modern Day Rhinoplasty

It wasn’t until 1892 that Dr. Jacques Josepth developed a more modern technique for rhinoplasty:

Dr. Jacques Joseph, who practiced in Berlin, Germany, in 1892, is revered as the “Father of Modern Aesthetic Surgery,” and in particular, rhinoplasty. He developed the standard procedure of rhinoplasty, using the “hammer and chisel” technique to break and reshape the boney part of the nose.

Things hadn’t changed for more than 100 years. Traditionally, if the nasal bone needed thinning, the surgeon used a chisel-like steel tool, called an osteotome, and tapped it manually with a hammer causing a fair amount of bruising of the tissues and black and blue results around the eyes. Depending on the desired result, it may take a few taps to break the nasal/facial bones precisely. If a hump is present, may be filed down with a special rasp.

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What is Piezosurgery?

There has been a lot of progress in the field of rhinoplasty, including a much gentler technique. One such procedure uses a crystal which vibrates at an ultra-high frequency for cutting bone. Originally utilized in dental surgeries, this technique, referred to as piezosurgery, minimizes surgical trauma and promotes faster healing.

Piezosurgery was invented by Professor Vercellotti in 1988. It initially offered advantages over the limitations of traditional instrumentation in oral bone surgeries, but is now utilized with rhinoplasty surgeries.

I found a number of videos that demonstrate actual surgeries using the Piezo method but in case you have a weak stomach, I found one that shows it using animation.

This technique has been shown to reduce bleeding and bruising following surgery. It is said to provide better accuracy and precision for the surgeon.

However, it is fairly new and not commonplace in the world of rhinoplasty. One doctor had this to say about piezosurgery:

This technique is new and not entirely accepted by the entire rhinoplasty community and was initially promoted by a French rhinoplasty surgeon. Time will tell if it becomes mainstream. One concern with it is that it required much more extensive exposure and stripping of the soft tissues and periosteal lining at the sides of the nose and these layers are normally kept intact with traditional methods and provide stability against collapse of bony segments which may be a concern with piezosurgery.

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No matter whether you choose a traditional rhinoplasty surgery or an ultrasonic technology, be sure to consult with as many Southern California cosmetic surgeons as necessary to find one that you are completely comfortable with. Always check online reviews and get referrals from friends if possible.