March 1st, 2013
Some patients who visit Dr. Rizk have relatively minor aesthetic issues with the tips of their noses, and therefore do not need to undergo complex rhinoplasty procedures. For this reason, tip refinement is sometimes referred to as “rhinoplasty light.” In many cases, a minor refinement procedure can go a long way.
The appearance of the nasal tip depends largely on the lower lateral cartilages. Tip refinement techniques often concentrate on refining this cartilage in order to reshape the nasal tip. The surgeon will decide what approach to take with the cartilage depending on the specific needs of the patient. In some cases a small sliver needs to be removed; in others, the cartilage needs to be “scored” or “morselized” (crushed) before removal.
Usually, the facial plastic surgeon uses a combination of techniques, such as removing some cartilage and utilizing internal suture methods; this allows the surgeon to rotate, enlarge, narrow or otherwise modify the nasal tip. In some cases, cartilage grafts may be used to achieve elevation.
The techniques used in tip refinement depend on the ultimate aesthetic goal of the procedure. For example, some patients require upturning or elevation of the tip. It depends on whether the patient’s nose is too boxy, too bulbous or too wide prior to surgery.
Your facial plastic surgeon will use tools such as computer imaging to demonstrate what the various tip refinement techniques can accomplish. For more information on tip refinement techniques, speak to your rhinoplasty specialist.