(article for Didsbury and Hale Magazine, A. Camilleri July 2010)
A nose job is one of the commonest cosmetic procedures after breast augmentation and liposuction. Why are so many people unhappy with the shape of their nose? While watching Jonathan Ross last night I was amazed to see that Britain's top male super-model David Gandy did not have a straight nose!
Nose shape varies with ethnic origin: the main shapes being Caucasian (European), African, Chinese and Middle Eastern. Ladies noses tend to be different to male noses. A baby's button nose would look ridiculous on an adult. What about fashion? Thirty years ago Caucasian ladies went for little turned up noses, but this is much less popular now. Clearly there is no single perfect nose shape. The only common feature of perfection of all these noses is symmetry. The nose should point straight forward and not to the side (sorry Mr Gandy!).
Most people who are unhappy with the shape of their nose can usually identify particular features. Anyone interested in a rhinoplasty operation should seek an initial consultation with the operating surgeon (not an assistant or nurse). At this consultation the patient and surgeon form a contract of a realistically achievable aims.
The operation is usually carried out up the nostrils to avoid scarring, but occasionally small external scars are hidden in natural folds in the skin. On waking after the operation most patients are surprised about the lack of pain, but this is not surprising as the newly shaped nose is held still in a plastic or plaster-of-Paris cast. Also expert nasal surgeons rarely need to leave any packing in the nose. It is usually possible to go home on the day of surgery. There may be bruising around the eyes. The hospital may supply salt-water washes to soothe the nose.
The plaster-of-Paris is usually removed a week after the operation. This can be quite an emotional moment for patients. Due to healing the nose shape continues to change for six weeks after the operation and sometimes even after that.
This procedure is only available in the NHS after recent nasal trauma. As insurance companies do not fund cosmetic operations, the operation can cost about £4500. Despite this many patients talk about the confidence and happiness they feel with their new nose and it still remains a very popular procedure.
Thank you for being such a perfect consultant and surgeon, I couldn't have wished for better. This was a massive undertaking for me, (although I know it must be routine for you) - and I so appreciate your skill, your care and warmth. I feel great!!
With much appreciation and thanks,