Rhinoplasty 101: The Anatomy of the Nose
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is a very prevalent form of plastic surgery which involves the reshaping of the nose by modifying the underlying bone or cartilage. Commercially, people often identify it as a “nose job”.
Rhinoplasty can be of two types:
Closed or Endonasal Rhinoplasty: This surgery comprises of surgical incisions inside the nostrils which are exclusive to each other. Although the access of the nose to surgeon is limited, this process leaves no external scars.
Open or External Rhinoplasty: This surgery comprises acute bridging incisions that connect both nostrils i.e. trans-columella incision. The surgeon has better access to the entire nasal framework but the risk of having external scars always exists. Modern techniques and cautious post-operative care by the patient help heal these scars without a trace.
Given the nature of the types of surgeries, it is best that the patient also get informed about the anatomy of the nose
Know Your Nose:
One can say that the nose is the most pronounced feature of the human face. Whenever the human face is subject to any kind of attack or injury, it is also the most likely part to suffer damages. Just like any other sensory organ, the nose very soft and sensitive and it requires great care and caution on behalf of the patient as well as the medical practitioner treating it
The Anatomy of the Nose:
Nasal Soft Tissues:
These include –
- The Nasal skin, which is divided into 3 sections i.e. between the eyebrows, the bridge, and the lower nose.
- Nasal lining i.e. the mucous membrane inside the nasal tracts. It retains the necessary moisture and also prevents bacterial infection of the respiratory tract due to foreign objects.
- Nasal muscles comprising of a sheet of dense, fibrous, collagenous connective tissue that covers, invests, and forms the terminations of the muscles.
Made of nasal subunits and segments which serve as a map of the nose for the surgeon. The external structure of the nose is seen as a set of 9 aesthetic nasal subunits which can also be seen as 6 aesthetic nasal segments i.e. the dorsal nasal, the lateral nasal wall, the Hemi-lobule, the soft-tissue triangle, the alar, and the columella.
The Nasal Blood Supply:
Being a sensory organ, the nose is supplied with an abundance of blood through a two-fold arterial blood vessel supply. No wonder it bleeds so profusely upon injury and requires the utmost caution by the surgeon. The two-fold system has internal carotid arteries including branches from the ophthalmic artery as well as branches from the external carotid artery.
The Nasal Lymphatic System:
The lymphatic system of the nose is intricately connected to the glands of the lower jaw and the throat and the surgeon must factor in the individual structure of this system for the surgery.
The Nasal Nerves:
There are nerves that provide sensation to the nose and then there are nerves that provide the sense of smell. The nose is the host to extensions of the cranial nerve V as well as the trigeminal nerve.
Most patients are already aware of the bones of the nose. The upper pair that attach to the frontal bone as well as the side lacrimal bones that connect with the upper jaw as well as the bridge, the perpendicular plate that divides the nasal passages and the bone connecting to the roof of the mouth.