Is ultrasound rhinoplasty really a thing?
Posted by Dr. Sam Rizk April, 04/21/2017 - 12:00 AM
Surgical rhinoplasty remains the gold standard for nose reshaping, but it’s not the only option. For example, the ultrasound rhinoplasty technique claims to employ sound waves to remove nasal humps and bumps without surgery, and without damaging the surrounding tissue, membranes or blood vessels. This can mean less bruising, bleeding and swelling, plus a shorter recovery time. In addition, advocates say it is extremely precise. Ultrasound or sonic rhinoplasty can also be useful for making necessary tweaks after rhinoplasty surgery.
To perform sonic rhinoplasty, your facial plastic surgeon uses an ultrasonic bone aspirator such as the Sonopet device from Stryker Corp. This tool was originally developed for neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery. In one study, published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, 103 individuals underwent sonic rhinoplasty to address a multitude of concerns about their noses. All were satisfied with the results of the procedure. Seven participants experienced minor complications.
Advice from Dr. Rizk:
Sonic rhinoplasty is one of several options available to facial plastic surgeons to reshape the nose. It is not something I perform at this time, but I am watching the research as it evolves. While there may be some advantages to the procedure, we simply do not know enough about the longterm risks vs. benefits at this time. Drawbacks may include cost, as well as the devices’ limited use if the surgeon decides to go in inside the nose (the endonasal technique). It also would take longer to remove large amounts of bones with soundwaves, compared with traditional surgical rhinoplasty.
I do, however, understand the appeal of such a procedure. Precision makes the difference between good and great results, and reduced recovery times and minimal scarring are desirable. This is why I developed the use of high-definition three-dimensional endoscopic telescopes for nose reshaping surgery. With this tool, I get a precise view of the inside of the nose so I can avoid disrupting blood vessels, muscles, and other tissues. This equates to less bruising and swelling, which generates a quicker recovery time.
If you are interested in rhinoplasty, consult a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is well versed on all of these approaches. He or she will suggest the method that is best for you, based on your anatomy, goals, tolerance for downtime and scars, and budget. There is not a one-size-fits all rhinoplasty, nor should there be in my view.
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