This article will have nothing to do with rhinos, in case you are wondering. Okay, very poor jokes aside, rhinoplasty or nasal surgery is the commonest kind of plastic surgery performed in the US today, according to some statistics.
At its most basic, rhinoplasty is a procedure to alter and improve the appearance of the nose, modifying bone, cartilage structure and skin.
If you are familiar with Tintin comics, you will agree that the vile Mr Rastapopulous seriously needs a nose job!
While not many of us have been unfortunate enough to be born with a nose like his, or a Proboscis Monkeys, a lot of us could do with a little surgical help so that attention is drawn away from our noses towards our eyes.
Why the eyes? Well, all experts on facial symmetry agree that when the focus of attention on a persons face is any feature other than the eyes, that face is considered asymmetrical, which is a fault that rhinoplasty can help correct.
Most people opt for rhinoplasty to correct noses that are too large, too small, crooked or displaying any other deformities.
Of course, you may have been in a bar brawl too many and the old nose and its adjoining areas need a bit of TLC, and the surgery will consequently will be more widespread, but we still call it rhinoplasty.
Just in case you thought rhinoplasty was as simple as a facial, think again. The procedure is delicate and complex and you should consult your surgeon thoroughly about what you want done and how he is going to do it.
At the end of the day, rhinoplasty is as sensitive and open to disasters as any plastic surgery procedure.
So, not only must your surgeon be competent, s/he must also have enough aesthetic sense to create a harmonious whole from an off-kilter face.
After all, it is crucial that after the surgery, your face is natural-looking and more importantly, that the effects of surgery will last a lifetime.
Despite this, however, the actual surgery these days is an extremely quick, painless affair. In fact, the operation does not involve external incisions at all.
Furthermore, a rhinoplasty can easily be performed in the surgeons office and the patient can go home after a few hours, and return to normal life after a few days, usually a week.
Thats how long youll have to wear a splint around the nose for protection.
Earlier, surgeons would put some sort of nose packing in place to hold the bone and cartilage together, but that is history now. All you will see after surgery is some inflammation, which lasts barely a week.
Finally, do not confuse rhinoplasty with the surgical procedure that mends a deviated septum to improve a persons breathing, though the two surgeries may be performed simultaneously.
The first is an external, in many cases, cosmetic, process, while the second is an essential operation that plays a role in a persons breathing and day-to-day survival.