What parts of a rhinoplasty might be considered 'easier' or a lot less complex?

They say rhinoplasty's are one of the most complex surgical procedures out there. Are there any aspects of a rhinoplasty that may be considered less harder than other parts of it? for example the shortening of the nose might be relatively easy to do compared to a straightening of the bridge etc. Where does each part of a rhinoplasty rank in terms of difficulty?

Doctor Answers 4

Complexity of a rhinoplasty

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 The most complex component of the nose is changing the nasal tip. The tip is three-dimensional structure  and it must look  great in all three dimensions. Conservative cartilage removal, suture techniques, and cartilage grafts are all techniques are employed to make changes in the nasal tip. Shaving down a dorsal hump and performing osteotomies are rather straightforward,  but only by an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Easiest part of the rhinoplasty

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In my opinion the easiest part of a rhinoplasty is a basic, closesed rhinoplasty that does not need cartilage grafting.

 That grafting, adds an order of magnitude of uncertainty:

  movement, warping , visibility, absorption and infection and rarely, extrusion

However we need to do cartilage grafting in selected cases.

Dennis Barek, MD (retired)
Great Neck Plastic Surgeon

What Parts of a Rhinoplasty are "Easier"?

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There are an infinite number of variables that make it impossible to answer your question. Regardless of what you're considering select an experienced rhinoplasty specialist. Over the years I've seen many patients who came to me because they had terrible results when only minor changes were necessary.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Probably the dorsum but all aspect of rhinoplasty demand precision

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You are right rhinoplasties are a difficult operation and even in the best hands will still have about a 10% revision rate. So all aspects of the surgery need to be based on a thorough understanding of the aesthetics of nose, its anatomy and rhinoplasty techniques. That being said taking down a small bump is usually an easier endeavor in that there is 1-2 mm of leeway in how much can be removed. However, even this can be over or underdone and can leave an open bony roof or breathing problems if not done properly. Fixing a crooked nose can be a challenge especially if there is cartilaginous involvement as the cartilage has memory and this can rebend with time. Tip changes when they are small can be straightforward but again can cause major issues if overdone. Changing rotation, projection and length of the nose are all very technically demanding and are difficult to execute well. Best bet is to not ever assume a rhinoplasty will be easy and only go to a board certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic and reconstructive surgeon who does a lot of these operations. 

Matthew Wolpoe, MD
Billings Facial Plastic Surgeon

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