For over one hundred years, rhinoplasty surgeons have used the same principle to help patients feel more confident with their faces. The simple method - though it sounds brutal!- involves using tools, like a hammer and chisel or rasp, to break the nasal bones in the bridge, remove excess cartilage, and create a more refined nose.
However, a new technology, Piezo Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty, has revolutionised the world of plastic surgery: allowing surgeons to conduct a rhinoplasty and achieve the same refined aesthetics, without having to undertake the process of bone breaking and correction.
What is piezo ultrasonic rhinoplasty?
A piezo rhinoplasty, also known as an ultrasonic rhinoplasty or rhinosculpture, is a new form of cosmetic nose job which uses an ultrasonic saw and rasp (also known as a “piezotome”) to reshape the bone. There are a number of benefits to using this more tech-based message, including the patient experiencing less trauma and soft-tissue damage and more precision than traditional methods.
Piezo rhinoplasty is a very specialist new technology, offered by few surgeons in the UK. Mr James Murphy, our rhinoplasty expert, is pleased to be one of the first surgeons to offer ultrasonic rhinoplasty treatment from our practice in Manchester. Interestingly, the use of ultrasonic energy to reshape and remove bone has been used for years in dentistry, where it has demonstrated its efficiency and safety, though it has only recently been introduced as a new rhinoplasty method.
How does piezo rhinoplasty work?
Instead of using a chisel or rasp to break the bones within the nose for reshaping, in Piezo rhinoplasty, the surgeon uses an instrument called a piezotome which transmits ultrasonic energy to the bones to reshape and reduce them, without damaging any of the surrounding tissue.
The piezotome instrument has various shaped heads to allow for delicate reshaping of the nose, using ultrasonic rays to address the bony areas of the nose, making it a great tool for correcting a nasal hump, a wide nose, an asymmetric nose, or to correct a deviated nasal septum.
With this new technique, the surgeon can specifically target the section of bone they wish to reduce or reshape, meaning there is no collateral damage as there can sometimes be with more traditional methods. One of the great benefits of this technique is that the reduction in trauma to the nose leads to less swelling and bruising immediately post-treatment.
What are the advantages of piezo ultrasonic rhinoplasty?
Although there will still be some swelling and pain, a piezo rhinoplasty results in significantly less downtime post-treatment due to the ability to correct certain bones within the nose without causing any damage to the adjacent tissue – a massive bonus for all of our patients who lead busy lives or require a swift return to work.
About the treatment
The treatment typically takes between two to three hours, depending on the complexity of your case. Like a traditional rhinoplasty, the treatment will be performed under general anaesthetic and may require an overnight stay in one of our state-of-the-art private suites at Spire Manchester Hospital.
A piezo rhinoplasty will typically be carried out as an ‘open’ treatment rather than from within the nose, since this allows greater access and visualisation of the targeted bones. However, most patients feel that the advantages of using the piezotome for rhinoplasty outweigh the minimal scarring incurred from an open treatment.
How do I choose between piezo rhinoplasty and traditional rhinoplasty?
Both piezo rhinoplasty and traditional rhinoplasty techniques have their advantages. However, there are specific circumstances in which a piezo rhinoplasty will not be able to correct your concerns. For example, if you are concerned with the appearance of your nasal tip or the placement of your nostrils, an ultrasonic rhinoplasty will not be suitable because the piezotome instrument is only designed to target the high-density bone.
At your consultation, Mr Murphy will advise you on which treatment would be best for your specific case. During this initial consultation, you will have time to ask any questions about risks and scarring with each treatment method so you can feel comfortable you’ve chosen the right option for you.
What is the recovery time for piezo rhinoplasty?
Since less trauma is caused to the bone and surrounding tissue than a traditional method, swelling, pain, and bruising are usually significantly less with a piezo rhinoplasty. However, expect to still experience some swelling around your nose, cheeks, and upper lip in the first few days post-treatment. You may also find your nose feels blocked and tender post-treatment, but we will prescribe the necessary medication you need to ease your discomfort.
A nasal splint will be required to keep the nose in position during the first week of healing. However, once the splint is removed, there will be minimal bruising. We will also use sutures to seal the incisions at the end of treatment, which will be removed after the first week.
We advise our patients to plan recovery time like they would a traditional rhinoplasty, allowing at least 7-10 days to rest and recover before returning to their usual daily routine and at least 3 weeks before returning to exercise or other strenuous activities.
As with a traditional rhinoplasty, your final results will not be seen until around a year post-treatment, when all the residual swelling will have completely resided.
Find out more
If you’re interested in finding out more about the piezo ultrasonic rhinoplasty, don’t hesitate to get in touch by completing the form below. At your initial consultation, Mr James Murphy will explain in detail your treatment options and help you decide if a piezotome rhinoplasty is right for you.