Rhinoplasty is the fifth most common cosmetic surgery procedure for women and the second most popular for men, yet nose tweaking remains one of the trickiest operations to get right. But a new ultrasound technique could be about to change all that.
French plastic surgeon Dr. Olivier Gerbault has developed ‘ultrasonic rhinosculpting’, a concept that promises a less invasive procedure with more precise and natural-looking results. The approach involves shaping the nasal bones using ultrasonic instruments, as opposed to traditional techniques that involve breaking the nose’s original structure, avoiding potential complications such as unforeseen secondary fractures, irregularities or dents.
The method is being marketed as a ‘bespoke remodeling’, and will be one of the focus points of the IMRHIS Rhinoplasty World Congress launching in Versailles Thursday, reuniting key industry specialists from around the world.
“Instead of breaking the bones ‘blind’, as we have been doing until now, ultrasonic rhinosculpture allows us to sculpt via direct visual control,” explains Dr. Gerbault, who was inspired by the medical instruments used in trauma or dentistry when developing a series of specialist tools for the procedure.
These tools are driven by a ‘piezoelectric’ ultrasonic motor and conduct rapid and accurate micro-movements allowing surgeons to polish, cut and smooth bones and cartilage without breaking them or damaging the tissue and mucous membranes and surrounding blood vessels.
In addition to more aesthetically pleasing results, he claims the operation requires a shorter recovery time — of just one week — and leads to less severe bruising than traditional rhinoplasty. According to Dr. Gerbault, ultrasonic rhinosculpture is ideal for correcting asymmetries, bumps and other irregularities, and could be particularly useful when operating on patients of 40 years and older, whose bones are often more fragile and brittle, in addition to patients wary of manipulating the inner structure of the nose for professional reasons, such as musicians.
Over 450 patients have tested ultrasonic rhinosculpture until now, with the procedure costing anything between €4,000 and €8,000. With 849,4451 nose surgeries performed annually around the world, there is a long way to go before it becomes the go-to rhinoplasty of choice, but the promise of accurate results and a less traumatic post-op phase means it is causing a stir in the industry. After all, surely no one would turn their nose up at that?
Image by: ©Courtesy of Piezotome