Summary: A patient’s quality of life after a cosmetic surgery procedure is not an easy element to measure. However, when it comes to rhinoplasty, researchers have begun to notice certain instances, both functional and cosmetic, in which patients report enhancements within their lives. Various studies and surgeons support the idea that rhinoplasty can be an ultimately satisfying procedure for patients.
A nose job is one of the rare surgical procedures whose success is measured both in its cosmetic and functional results. It’s unlikely that patients who go in for rhinoplasty are going to be all that happy if they have a hard time breathing after the surgery, no matter how attractive their noses become.
That close relationship between form and function has recently caused researchers gauging patient satisfaction to ask whether patients believe the quality of their lives has improved. One group of researchers noted that most studies focus on either functional or cosmetic rhinoplasty exclusively, instead of combining the two.
“We argue that their intimate relationship precludes studying one without looking at the other,” the researchers say in their study.
Many of the recent studies are finding most patients report an improved quality of life after having a nose job.
“Throughout my years in practice in Houston, rhinoplasty has proven itself to be one of the most satisfying procedures for my patients. Not only do their noses look better, they function better, too, improving the overall quality of their lives,” Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, says on his website. “I’m excited that there’s new data to back up what rhinoplasty patients already know.”
Refined rhinoplasty techniques used by some plastic surgeons have led to enhanced patient satisfaction with both the appearance and function of their noses following surgery, according to the above study. In general, researchers who conducted the study say, the goal of rhinoplasty is to improve the aesthetics of the nose without compromising its function.
“Stated somewhat differently,” the study’s authors wrote, “we often are attempting to improve breathing but in a cosmetically acceptable way.”
A study published earlier this year in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that both men and women were more satisfied with their facial appearance after having rhinoplasty and that women, in particular, showed significant improvement in their perceived quality of life after the procedure. It also found that patients under age 35 were the most satisfied with their outcomes of all age groups.
Quality of life is usually pretty subjective when researchers try to measure its improvement or decline following cosmetic surgery. But in the case of rhinoplasty, there are some clear-cut ways that patients describe how the quality of their lives has been enhanced. For example, breathing-related disorders such as sleep apnea and chronic sinus infections can be alleviated through nose surgery.
There are also patients who benefit emotionally and psychologically after having cosmetic nose surgery. Stories about teens targeted by bullies, or men and women who have thought about getting rhinoplasty for years because they were so self-conscious about the appearance of their noses, have cropped up more frequently in recent years.
Cosmetic surgery, either for the nose or some other part of the face or body, shouldn’t be seen as a cure-all for personal problems. But for individuals who feel like their noses draw unwanted attention, or who have a difficult time breathing through their noses, rhinoplasty offers an attractive solution.