Rhinoplasty requires meticulous adjustment of the nasal bones and cartilage to reduce, restructure and reshape it to the patient’s desires, whether for cosmetic or functional reasons. Overall facial integration is tantamount and a surgeon has to be more adept for this procedure than for almost any other. After-all, the nose is one of the most obvious features of the most frequently seen part of your body. The rhinoplasty procedure itself varies greatly depending on the thinness or thickness of the nasal skin of a patient.
How do I know if I have thin or thick skin?
If while looking into a mirror you can see details of the underlying framework of bone and cartilage in your nose (and particularly in the tip of your nose), you likely have what is considered thin skin. If that underlying structure isn’t easily visible, you likely have thick skin. In your pre-procedural consultation, Dr. Westreich will be able to definitively inform you either way and to suggest the appropriate surgical plan.
Thin Skin vs Thick Skin
Neither of the two nasal forms are particularly better or worse than the other, but from a cosmetic surgery perspective, a vastly different approach to rhinoplasty is required. Patients with thick skin have a layer of subcutaneous tissue below the skin, that provides volume as well as distance from the underlying nasal bone structure.
Thick Skin Rhinoplasty
As the shape of the nose is mostly dependent on its underlying skeleton, most rhinoplasties are concerned with reshaping the bone and cartilage. A patient with thick skin requires a different approach in the operation. In thin skinned patients, the underlying nasal structure is operated on with extreme care and precision. There is little skin above the structure to conceal and potential errors, asymmetries or over correction of a rhinoplasty.
In a thick skinned rhinoplasty, cartilage and structure is often added to the nose to produce a more refined appearance, whereas in a thin skinned rhinoplasty, the opposite is done: cartilage is removed to produce definition.
Thick Skin Rhinoplasty Recovery
Patients with thick skin undergoing rhinoplasty will have a very different healing and recovery runway. Moderate pain is easily managed will pain medication, and immediate swelling can be eased through application of ice packs. However, as thick skinned patients have a bigger subcutaneous layer, swelling is liable to continue for some time after the procedure and the full and final results of the procedure will only be visible within about 12 to 18 months.
Thick Skin Rhinoplasty Specialist Dr. Richard Westreich
Rhinoplasty is already one of the most intricate cosmetic procedures a surgeon can perform. Thus it is important to contact a cosmetic surgeon well trained and extremely experienced in thick skinned rhinoplasty especially. Dr. Richard Westreich is an Ivy League-educated and double board-certified facial plastic surgeon widely recognized for his rhinoplasty skills. He has delivered more than 5,000 successful surgeries and been in practice for nearly 20 years.