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What Your Nose & Pinocchio’s Have in Common

by | Aug 18, 2017 | Blog

One of the questions often posed at our Edgecliff practice is “How old is too old for rhinoplasty?” While many people in their twenties and even late teens are having nose jobs, it may be especially valuable for men and women who are over 60. In fact, when it comes to having your nose fixed, you may need it more as you age.

The Nose Grows, Stops & Grows Again

The overall shape of your nose is more or less determined by the time you reach ten years old. By then your nasal bones, subcutaneous tissues, lower lateral cartilages, and upper lateral cartilages have stopped growing. At this point, you can get a good sense of what the shape of your nose will be in the long term.

By the time puberty is over, the nose has come into its full glory and settled into one of 14 human nose shapes, from Daniel Radcliff’s aquiline nose to Helen Mirren’s thin and pointed one. At this age, many individuals choose to have rhinoplasty. Others do nothing, as they are content with their noses…until gravity sets in.

It’s Not Growing…It’s Gravity

Like the rest of your body, your nose changes with age. Over time, the tip of your nose may droop and elongate. This is caused by the tug of gravity (on the outside) and a breakdown of collagen, cartilage, and protein (on the inside). Sorry, post-menopausal women. Your cartilage is at a greater risk due to your loss of oestrogen. As it weakens, the tip of your nose loses its support and droops.

As the distance between the tip and top of the nose continues to change, it can give an individual a bulbous nose. “Patients may need a full rhinoplasty to achieve their aesthetic goals,” reports Dr Marcells. “For some, however, a ‘tip rhinoplasty’ is all that is needed.”

Full Rhinoplasty vs. Tip Rhinoplasty

Full rhinoplasty requires reshaping of the nasal bone. In tip rhinoplasty, the focus is on altering the cartilage to make the nose

  • Elevated if it is droopy
  • More narrow if it has widened
  • Thinner if it has rounded
  • Straighter if it has curved

There are several techniques that Dr Marcells uses, always selecting the procedure that is best suited to an individual’s anatomy and goals.

Tip rhinoplasty is considered a low-risk procedure that delivers a big reward. Since the bones are not disturbed during tip rhinoplasty, there is minimal swelling and very little bruising. Generally, stitches are removed within a week. As with full rhinoplasty, it will be many months before the nose takes its final shape.

Let Dr Marcells Help Your Ageing Nose

Rhinoplasty is major surgery that should be considered with care and forethought. If you would like to change the form and function of your facial centrepiece, we invite you to book a consult at our practice. You’ll get the specialised treatment and superior patient experience you deserve. Call us today to book your consultation.

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Meet Dr Marcells

MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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