Nasal Surgery

Nasal Surgery

Surgery of the nose can make a significant positive impact on a patient’s quality of life. Changes can be made to the way a nose looks and/or functions depending on the needs and desires of each individual. The time you spend in consultation with Dr. Lee will be very important in determining which changes you might consider to meet your expectations.

“By virtue of location, the nose is very important to facial aesthetics. My goal in rhinoplasty is to create better balance between the nose and face. Some patients only need small changes while others desire more dramatic changes. It’s considered among the most challenging operations in plastic surgery because every millimeter counts. That’s why few surgeons specialize in rhinoplasty – I do, and if I cannot do a great job, few people can.” — Michael Lee, M.D.

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Nasal Surgery Discussion

How our nose looks and how it functions can have a huge impact on daily life. Aesthetically speaking, many people are self-conscious about the appearance of their nose. There is a spectrum of nasal deformities that rhinoplasty can address to help with these problems. Some of the most common issues include smoothing out a hump, making a big nose smaller, and making the nose more defined.

It is not uncommon for an unsightly nose to also have functional problems. This makes sense when you think about it. A crooked nose is usually associated with a crooked septum. The septum is the partition inside of your nose that divides the right and left side. When this septum is crooked or deviated it can obstruct air flow through the nose. Nasal surgery can be used to correct anatomic problems like a deviated septum. Once these structures are correctly repositioned, airflow can be improved.

Whether the goal is to improve appearance, breathing, or both – rhinoplasty can help you achieve your goals. Having a functional nose that is aesthetically balanced with your face can lead to greater self-confidence and improvement in overall quality of life. For many patients, rhinoplasty will help in getting a better night’s sleep, which leads to a more rested overall look, complementing a new, beautiful nose.

Patient Priorities

Rhinoplasty demands an extensive understanding of nasal aesthetics and function. Patients should take the time to research their potential surgeon. Understand that there are varied skill levels even among Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. Not all are created equal because not everyone achieves the same level of training in nasal surgery. Dr. Lee has achieved the highest level of training for a rhinoplasty surgeon. He underwent a combined 8 years of training with intense focus on the nose and nasal airway. Very few surgeons dedicate this amount of time to learn the art of rhinoplasty during their training.

Dr. Lee feels strongly that plastic surgery of the face and nose is best performed by those who have dedicated their career to achieving the very best results possible. This sense of dedication is why Dr. Lee has achieved certification by both the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Both of these boards are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Dr. Lee is a frequent lecturer and teacher at the Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium. Surgeons around the world have benefited from the research and techniques presented at this annual symposium. He has been invited to speak both nationally and internationally on rhinoplasty, presenting both cutting edge research and surgical techniques. He is extensively published on the topic of rhinoplasty and septoplasty and continues to advance this subspecialty of plastic surgery.

Dr. Lee’s Priorities

Listening to the individual concerns of each patient provides the foundation for successful rhinoplasty. Some patients want very minor changes made to their nose while others desire a more dramatic result. Some patients have coexisting breathing problems while others may not. Each patient is different and therefore each operation must be individualized.

Dr. Lee takes the time to educate patients on each area of concern. He wants them to have an understanding of the problem and how it will be addressed in surgery. It is important to Dr. Lee that patients understand how the nose and face are closely related and that surgical goals must focus on achieving a harmonious relationship between the two structures. A great deal of time is also spent explaining how the nose functions in patients with breathing problems.

Dr. Lee’s Techniques

Dr. Lee will individualize the surgical approach and techniques used for each patient. Every detail of the surgery is planned according to the surgical goals of the patient and the agreed upon operative plan. Many times Dr. Lee will suggest what is called an open approach rhinoplasty. What this means is that a very inconspicuous incision is made to allow comprehensive assessment and treatment of the nose. This approach provides decisive control and visibility where stakes are highest. Dr. Lee believes the risks are too great to practice “blind maneuvers” and leave the result to chance. Without benefit of full vision, you can inadvertently disrupt bone, cartilage and soft tissue attachments can be inadvertently disrupted. Being a procedure involving millimeters, control is essential to feel confident everything humanly possible was accomplished.

Dr. Lee is not only technically superb, but a visionary as well. Every dimension and proportion is planned ahead of time and every patient is unique. It is not the same surgery for every patient. Every alteration influences another structure, so a precise operative plan is essential.


Surgical revisions

Revision rhinoplasty can be a much more difficult operation for both the surgeon and patient.. It is no longer a virgin nose. Essential tissue may have been destroyed and restructuring may require grafts from other parts of the body. I’m often referred secondary and tertiary rhinoplasties. These surgeries are very complex and may require cartilage grafting from the ear or rib. This emphasizes the benefit of getting it right the first time. My advice is to do your homework and feel confident that your surgeon is a knowledgeable specialist in rhinoplasty. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I get quite a few referrals for those patients whose first operation was unsuccessful. Find someone dedicated to the pursuit of perfection so you can minimize the chance of facing a second operation.

How nose reshaping has changed in the last 10 years

Thanks to social media, patients are hyper aware of how they look from every angle. Where it used to be a question of addressing the profile, patients now expect to look great from every angle. This requires meticulous attention to the entire nose—profile, tip, straight on, above and even below. One example is correcting the Basal Aesthetic Lines (BALS) —looking up into the nostrils. This is a term we coined in a series of research papers several years ago. The goal of our articles was to draw attention to an area of the nose that has long been ignored.

Men vs. women

Men have different expectations than women when describing their perfect nose, so communication is important when developing the surgical plan. It’s critical to maintain a masculine aesthetic while making the changes the patient desires. Usually the changes are intentionally more modest in men. Improving their appearance and function without feminizing the outcome takes a balanced approach.

Injectable Rhinoplasty

There is a small patient population who are seeking very subtle changes and are not convinced they want surgery. Using temporary fillers will simulate the changes they can expect with surgery to a certain degree. As the product slowly dissipates over perhaps a year, the patient can determine if a more permanent correction would make them happy. It’s a low risk way to “try on” a result, but the vast majority of rhinoplasty patients would not be candidates.

“I want Angelina Jolie’s nose”

Years ago noses were fashion statements. A “Roman” nose, a “bobbed” nose. To copy a celebrity nose may not be the right thing for you considering your other facial features. Your nose is the most prominent part of your profile, and it should be highly individualized and in relation to your overall appearance. Noses are not interchangeable. There was a time you could actually tell what surgeon did a person’s nose, because every patient got the same nose. Fortunately that is no longer the norm. Adding Angelina Jolie’s nose to your face may actually be less aesthetically pleasing, considering your facial features, than the nose you are trying to alter. This is why a consultation is so important. A great rhinoplasty surgeon isn’t running a parts factory. The true art of rhinoplasty is about establishing harmony. The best results enhance and improve what’s out of proportion without changing someone’s total appearance.


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Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Lee. This is the next step to determine which Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery procedure is the best option, giving you the desired outcome after surgery. Dr. Michael Lee will spend time with you to learn about your medical history and your expected outcome for surgery, as well as explaining the procedure in detail and answering all of your questions.

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