I can’t tell you how often I hear the words “ I don’t want a nose like Michael Jackson’s.” At least two or three times a day. It’s unfortunate that a poor rhinoplasty result is associated with a particular person, but his name has become a synonym for a poorly operated and surgical-appearing nose. So, the questions are “ how does that happen?” and “can that happen to me?”
Let’s discuss the first one. The most common reason a nose can have a surgical appearance is from over aggressive removal of cartilage and bone. In an attempt to make the nose smaller, the surgeon removes too much. By doing this, the structural framework of the nose is compromised, leaving little support for the skin. The skin contracts and the end result is a nose that looks done. This is the classic “reduction” rhinoplasty. Today, cutting edge surgeons perform what is called “structural rhinoplasty,” where the rhinoplasty is performed by removing very little cartilage and bone. The tip is shaped, not by removing cartilage, but by re-shaping it using special sutures. The end result is a nicely shaped nose with a strong and long lasting skeleton.
The answer to the second question depends on your choice of surgeon. By choosing a surgeon that is experienced in the art and craft of rhinoplasty, the patient will usually have a good cosmetic outcome. While even the best of surgeons occasionally have less than perfect results, their results are usually good. However, the surgeon has little experience in the rhinoplasty surgery, it is likely that the nose will not have a satisfactory outcome.