Skin Is Too Thin for Rhinoplasty? These Techniques Are For You!

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If you have thin skin and require rhinoplasty done on your nose, you are likely to have the same issues as having thick skin. A special set of skills is the only way to achieve above par results. When you have had several nose surgeries, your skin is thin and a revision rhinoplasty will work with the thinner soft tissue. People of northern Europe are likely to have thin skin.


When a patient requires an enlarged tip cartilage or a bump and has thin skin, a two-fold procedure will be done. This involves creating smoothing edges on the nasal bridge and tip at the end of the nose surgery, to reduce the visibility of imperfections once the swelling fades.


To camouflage minor irregularities, the surgeon places soft tissue at the nasal bridge or tip to thicken the skin. The soft tissue can be from the ear, or Alloderm which is an available collagen sheet obtained from cadavers, and approved by the FDA. Alloderm has been used for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, and for over 20 years as a skin replacement for burn patients.


With the different rhinoplasty techniques available there are different forms of challenges that affect each surgery. When you decide to get a surgeon to work on your thin skin, ensure that you find one who has experience in this field or they are likely to make the situation worse than it already is.


There are advantages and disadvantages of having thin skin when it comes to rhinoplasty, which is the same case as patients with thick skin. An advantage is having less swelling when you are healing and it will heal fast, and also the incisions are likely not to form scars.


Challenges with thin skin


The underlying imperfections that are as a result of nasal framework or any other rhinoplasty surgery are going to be noticeable. This is not the case with thick skinned patients who can easily conceal their imperfections.


Thin skin tightens or at times shrinks after any surgical procedure is done on the skin. Shrinking skin makes it possible for deformities and distortions to occur because the pressure is placed on the skeletal framework.


Shaping a flawless and smooth underlying nasal framework is difficult because imperfections will form, and become easily visible.


Techniques to deal with Thin Skin Challenges


The first method is a 3D high definition telescope or camera that can help to visualize the bump and this will help to create smooth edges. Your surgeon can also do traditional cosmetic surgery which involves inspecting the bump from a distance without magnifying it.


The surgeon can decide to use a specialized 3D camera and telescopes that magnify the inside together with the traditional methods. This technique allows your surgeon to sculpt the bridge of your nose better.


The second method is using specialized graft and cartilage sculpting that uses filing or sanding instruments that will result in a smoother result, than when you use the normal surgical knife. The surgical knife tends to achieve angled edges instead of round edges.


Your experienced surgeon can decide not to divide the tip-cartilage through a procedure called vertical dome division. On thin skin patients, it will result in noticeable cartilage edges over time. The tip cartilages can be trimmed without dividing them completely. It is common for patients who have had vertical dome division done to have their edges sharp, and unnatural.


Rhinoplasty on Thin Skin results in Irregularities


If you have irregularities after surgery, it is possible to have revision rhinoplasty to smooth out the visible edges by placing soft tissue between the cartilage and bone framework and thin skin of the nose to give you a softer and smooth look. It is best to wait for one year before you go ahead and seek revision rhinoplasty. This way it will allow the swelling to completely dissipate.


Pros and Cons between Temporalis fascia (soft tissue from above the ear) and Alloderm to thicken skin in nose surgery.


With the Temporalis fascia being the patient’s own tissue, infection is not likely to occur, but a second surgery will be done to obtain the tissue from above the ear. The pro is that it will heal quickly.


Alloderm has been used for many years with minimal infections. Absorption rate depends on the patient, as for some it won’t absorb as fast as others. The pro is that there is no second surgery required because it is easily available.


Risks of Revision Rhinoplasty


Thin skin patients can go and have a revised rhinoplasty surgery to reduce the irregularities they have, but there are some risks that are going to occur.


Some of them include infection, bleeding, scarring, asymmetries. These risks are not frequent, but the surgeon needs to talk to the patient about the possibilities of them occurring, this way the patient is prepared.


If the benefits outweigh the risks, the revision rhinoplasty can be carried out, but if the risks such as deformity, outweigh the benefits, there’s no need to put the patient through a second surgery.


There are plenty of challenges that arise when doing rhinoplasty, but patients with thinner skin have extra challenges, and risks that accompany them. It is best to work with a surgeon who is going to make sure that the end result is not going to require you have another surgery, but you end up having a softer look and be pretty.




If you want to have your revision rhinoplasty surgery done by Dr. Andrew Frankel, from Rhinoplasty Revisions, you can contact his office at 310.552.2173 to book an appointment. Dr.Frankel has performed several rhinoplasty surgeries on various patients for many years, and this has given him the skills to adapt to each surgery depending on the patient’s needs. Dr.Frankel is among the best rhinoplasty doctors in Los Angeles.


Dr. Frankel is a facial plastic surgeon who will discuss with you all the benefits and risks you are likely to encounter once the surgery is scheduled.

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