11 Signs of a Well-Done Rhinoplasty, According to Plastic Surgeons

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When opting for a rhinoplasty, the hope, of course, is to walk away with a nose you love more than ever. However, if the procedure isn’t performed correctly or isn’t entrusted to the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can end up with a nose that’s not up to par with your expectations.

Performing a rhinoplasty requires a skillful eye to balance the nose with the rest of the face, ensure a healthy breathing passage, create an aesthetically pleasing nose and more. According to experts, these are the top signs of a well-done rhinoplasty.

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Your nose looks great from the front and side

After investing in a rhinoplasty and committing to the downtime, you want your nose to look amazing from every angle. According to Campbell, CA plastic surgeon R. Laurence Berkowitz, MD, “a good rhinoplasty has a pleasing profile, but a great rhinoplasty is beautiful from the front as well.”

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The nose has just enough volume

“Just like the eyes and lips have some softness, appropriately positioned volume in a nose is an important component of a youthful and attractive feature,” says Palo Alto, CA facial plastic surgeon David Lieberman, MD. He notes that volume and softness are often left out of the rhinoplasty discussion because some people worry about bulbosity (too much volume). However, Dr. Lieberman feels that “an overly skeletonized nose” can draw attention toward the nose and away from other facial features.

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The tip of the nose is slightly higher than the bridge

Dr. Berkowitz says the tip-defining points of the nose should be just slightly higher than the bridge unless a patient requests otherwise. Chicago plastic surgeon Michael Byun, MD says he has patients smile after a rhinoplasty to make sure the tip does not plunge downward. “Many surgeons just shave the top of the nose and it makes the tip weak, thus creating a bird’s beak when they smile,” he warns.

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There is no over-rotation

A rhinoplasty involves a very delicate balance between doing enough and not going overboard. While the tip of the nose should turn up slightly, Stanford, CA facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sam P. Most says there should not be any over-rotation.

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The nose has good highlights

According to Dr. Berkowitz, “the presence of attractive highlights” indicates a good rhinoplasty. Some of these highlights include “the dorsal aesthetic lines that begin under the brow and define the bridge as they slowly diverge into the tip defining points and extend into the upper lip as the philtral columns.”

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The nose has a smooth transition

Following a rhinoplasty, there should be a smooth transition between each part of the nose. “There should be no discrepancy from the boney vault to the cartilaginous middle vault,” says Dr. Berkowitz. He explains that this often manifests in an inverted V as a result of “inadequate maintenance of middle vault width” during surgery.

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There is no visible scarring

Dr. Byun says you can pinpoint a poorly executed rhinoplasty by looking at the bottom of the nose. If you see a scar there, it’s not a great procedure.

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The proportions of the nose compliment the face

You may be seeking a smaller or different-shaped nose, but experts must be careful to balance your desires with what will look natural with the rest of your face. “Good rhinoplasty results in a nose that matches facial features and is not a ‘cookie-cutter’ look,” says Dr. Most.

When performing a rhinoplasty, other facial features must be taken into account. “The proportions of the nose should match the face. A wider face will call for a slightly wider nose and vice versa. The same goes for the length,” says Dr. Berkowitz. If done correctly, Dr. Lieberman says a rhinoplasty should serve to enhance other facial features.

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The nose appears straight

Whether your nose was crooked before your procedure or not, following the procedure, it should be as straight as possible. “The nose should appear straight in both profile and front view,” advises Dr. Berkowitz.

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There are no signs of surgery

“The best sign of a good rhinoplasty is that you can’t tell you had a rhinoplasty,” says Dr. Most. This means that following the procedure, the results are beautiful, natural-looking and devoid of any obvious traces of surgery.

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The airway is clear

With all of the aesthetic concerns about our noses, we sometimes forget that its main purpose is to help us breathe. Dr. Berkowitz says a well-done rhinoplasty must leave a patient with a clear airway. “If it looks good, but does not work well, then it is not a good rhinoplasty. Every patient should breathe at least as well as before surgery if not better.”

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