By Dr. Kaycee Reyes
What’s your best feature?
Some might say their eyes, the color of their skin, or their height, but only a few among us Filipinos would pick our nose—until now.
Rhinoplasty has been increasing in popularity through the years, not only in the Philippines, but around the world. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), almost 850,000 nose jobs were performed in 2014 alone, with South Korea having the most rhinoplasty surgeries done, accounting for 12 percent of all nasal surgeries performed worldwide, followed by Brazil, and the US. And it looks like everyone agrees that the nose can change one’s look instantly, with nose jobs being the third most in-demand surgical procedure on the face, only next to eyelid surgery and fat grafting. So what is with the fascination in our noses?
The nose is the central feature of the face. Change its look and it improves your facial features and enhances your expression as well. Since the nose is located in the middle of the face, having a rhinoplasty can make or break your whole look! Not all nose jobs, however, are for aesthetic reasons—some have breathing or sinus problems because of a deviated septum, others are caused by an accident, and others because of a birth defect.
Rhinoplasty comes from the Greek word rhino, or nose, and plastikos, to mold. Believe it or not, rhinoplasty has been around since 30 centuries ago in India, when nasal deformities were being treated using patches of healthy skin, also called a skin flap. Then into the late 1800s, newer methods of rhinoplasty were introduced by trained orthopedic surgeon Jacques Joseph, whose concepts are still being used today. Fast forward to the 2000s, there are a lot of ways to perform rhinoplasty, and it requires not only a trained surgeon, but an artist with an aesthetic taste and a keen eye for detail. Did you know that aesthetic surgeons look to Da Vinci’s measurement and mastery of the human face as a guide in studying a patient’s profile? While a lot of aesthetic surgeons are perfectionists, there are also some who aren’t (and some still are not even qualified to perform surgery) and thus, the patient gets the disadvantage of having a misaligned, deformed, exposed silicone, infected, or unnatural nose. Rhinoplasty, as well as other surgical procedures, requires constant learning and training so that surgeons need to learn them all to perform at their best. This is why last August, the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, as well as The Philippine Society of Otorhinolaryngology, conducted a Silicone Implant: Basic Augmentation Rhinoplasty Workshop for Beginners and Experienced Surgeons at Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center. The workshop was able to cover the latest in rhinoplasty, from perfect silicone implant carving, proper silicone fitting, to a live demonstration of silicone rhinoplasty. This is why it is very important for patients to know their doctor and, at the same time, let the patients know their limitations and manage their expectations, too.
Now is a great time to live in, where cosmetic surgery is becoming more accepted in society, and people have a lot more choices and options to choose what they want to do with their bodies and their lives. While all of us have imperfections, not everyone can change them, nor would they like to change them. If you are interested in going through a rhinoplasty or any other cosmetic procedure, always make sure that the surgeon is experienced and well trained. Let your physician go through your medical history and let him/her assess your concerns slowly and carefully, and do not rush to have it done your way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, but in order to fully appreciate your own uniqueness, be the beholder of your own beauty and love yourself fully, nose and all!