It may come as a surprise that rhinoplasty, or nose job in layman’s term, could make someone look younger, an effect more commonly attributed to neck lift and facelift surgery.
An aging nose has some archetypal traits: more prominent hump along the dorsum or bridge, and drooping tip, which contributes to the elongated appearance.
Aging causes the skin to lose its elasticity and the cartilaginous framework of the nose to weaken, leading to the drooping nasal tip, which could create an illusion of a more acute nasolabial angle and a longer looking nose.
Sometimes, the aged-related drooping of the tip causes breathing difficulty and abnormal airflow, which are considered medical conditions and thus some insurance may agree to cover the cost of rhinoplasty surgery.
Leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley, who has performed over 3,000 rhinoplasties as of this writing, says the “inadvertent rejuvenating effects” of the surgery can be achieved when the drooping tip is de-rotated.
However, the amount of de-rotation should take into account the patient’s ethnicity, gender, nasal anatomies, and cosmetic goals, he says.
For instance, women of short stature in general can have more angle of tip rotation (i.e., angle between the tip and upper lip) with studies suggesting that they can tolerate up to 110 degrees angle.
The ideal angle of rotation of the nasal tip for men, meanwhile, is close to 90 degrees giving it a stronger, straighter profile. The upturned appearance is avoided like a plague during male rhinoplasty due to its feminizing effects.
De-rotating the tip entails improving its structural integrity; hence, Dr. Smiley often uses the patient’s own cartilage derived from the nose itself or the back of the ear to raise it a bit. The use of “living tissue” eliminates the myriad of risks associated with artificial implants.
Shaving down the prominent dorsal hump can also result in a younger, more feminine appearance. Nonetheless, it might be ideal to preserve some minimal fullness along the bridge when dealing with male patients to ensure a more natural and masculine result.
A 2012 study published by Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery has shown that patients who have had rhinoplasty looked 1.5 years younger on average compared with their “before” photos.
The researchers enlisted 53 rhinoplastic patients aged between 15 and 61 (35 was the average age) who were photographed before and one year after surgery; 50 “ordinary observers” were then asked to rate their appearance based on the perceived youthfulness.
The study noted that the rejuvenating effects were more evident for older patients than younger ones, although regardless of age, individuals who had dorsal hump reduction and greater nasal tip de-rotation appeared to lose more years than other patients.