Asian nose is characterised by a broad low dorsum (nasal bridge), decreased nasal tip projection, thick skin, abundant subcutaneous tissue, and a weak cartilage framework. As a result, Asian patients often request a higher nasal dorsum and a more projected tip. Augmentation rhinoplasty is the most common rhinoplasty procedure amongst the Asian population.

Augmentation rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that can be performed for both aesthetic and functional reasons. Functional reasons for augmentation include providing structural support for deficient areas of the nose, such as the upper or lower lateral cartilages. Augmentation can also be performed to enhance the appearance and proportion of nose to the face to restore facial harmony.

There are varieties of materials that can be used for augmentation rhinoplasty. An autologous graft is made from materials harvested from your own body. For example, cartilage grafts may come from your ear, ribs or nasal septum. Bone grafts may derive from your leg or hip. When tissues from your own body are used, there is a reduced risk of complications. Non-autologous or artificial materials used for implants or grafts include medical-grade silicone, medpore or Gore-Tex.

The ideal candidate for augmentation rhinoplasty:

  • Completion of facial growth (preferably 13 years of age or older)
  • Healthy individuals who do not have life-threatening illnesses or medical conditions
  • Preferably non-smokers
  • Individuals with realistic goals in mind for the improvement of the appearance

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Augmentation Rhinoplasty

Preoperative evaluation before augmentation rhinoplasty

Communication is vital to achieving the patient’s goals. During the initial consultation, patients should discuss their goals and expectations with the plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will work closely with the patients to reach an agreement about the desirable results from the surgical procedures involved and their long term benefits. Every patient is different. Therefore a specific treatment regimen is planned to suit an individual’s need.

  • Discussion about expectation and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical or surgical treatment
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs should be revealed
  • Discussion of type of anaesthesia
  • Examination and measurement of the face and nose
  • Photography for preoperative and postoperative evaluation

Preparation for augmentation rhinoplasty

  • Get laboratory testing or a medical evaluation
  • Adjust your medications if you have certain medical conditions
  • Stop smoking and alcohol well in advance of the scheduled date for surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements before surgery

The risks and safety information on augmentation rhinoplasty

The practice of medicine and surgery is not a perfect science. Therefore, some risks may occur even in the hand of an expert. Although good results are usually achievable, some potential risks may arise such as

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Poor wound healing
  • Numbness (temporary)
  • Scarring
  • Skin discolouration
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Post rhinoplasty swelling
  • Nasal asymmetry
  • Alteration in the nasal airway
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • Anaesthesia risks

Postoperative expectations of augmentation rhinoplasty

A splint or bandage is usually placed on the surface of the nose to support and protect the new structures during the initial healing phase. After the surgery, there may be swelling, bruises or discomfort, irritation for several days that can be controlled with oral medications, cold compression and ointment. Oral antibiotics and analgesics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and postoperative pain, respectively. Any external sutures on the nose will be removed about 7-10 days after the surgery. It may take several months for swelling to resolve and up to a year for the shape of the new nose to be fully refined.

How much will an augmentation rhinoplasty surgery cost?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Augmentation rhinoplasty prices can vary widely.
The cost of augmentation rhinoplasty may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anaesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Medical tests

When rhinoplasty is performed for nasal trauma or to improve breathing function, this procedure is considered as reconstructive surgery and may be covered by insurance. If rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic reasons, it will not be covered by most of the health insurance companies. This requires a detailed examination to verify the cause before authorisation from your insurer. Patients are advised to contact their insurance company for further verification.