The Nose Anatomy Impact on Surgery

The anatomy of the nose plays a role in the complexity of nose surgery. The nose is comprised more components than most any other feature of the body. Plastic surgeons examine the every aspect of the nose to identify the appropriate treatment plan for people interested in nose surgery. Understanding the anatomy of the nose helps to optimize surgery results and reduces the risk of dissatisfaction and complications following nose surgery.

  • The upper cartilages frame the appearance of the nose. The lower cartilages have an impact on the shape of the nasal tip and nostril width. Plastic surgeons take special care to treat the precise cartilages necessary to achieve a satisfactory result.
  • The septum provides the midline structure to display symmetry or asymmetry between the sides of the nose. The nasal septum is comprised of quadrangular cartilage and the ethmoid plate of the nose. The deviated septum must be delicately repositioned into place.
  • Nasal skin is equipped with fibrous tissue, muscles and blood vessels. Plastic surgeons must take precautions to treat the appropriate tissue planes during surgery to reduce the risk of excessive scarring.

The anatomy of the nose may limit the surgeon’s ability to alter the aesthetic appearance of the nose in some ways that you may desire. For example, the two nasal bones that sit on either side of the nose are joined by cribriform plates are not treated in aesthetic nose surgery. Cribriform plates form a portion of the nasal cavity, contain ethmoidal nerve cells and assist in the sense of smell. The nasal bone is responsible for part of the shape of the cranial floor, eye sockets and nasal cavity. There is another plate that runs downward in the middle of the cribriform plates which helps to shape the nasal septum, but may not be altered in nose surgery. Turbine bones turn inward towards this plate to assist nasal cavity mucous membranes. There are mucous membranes in the four paranasal sinuses called maxillary, ethmoid, frontal, and sphenoid sinuse. These hollowed spaces help to frame bone shape and add sound to the voice. The mucous membranes and blood vessels warm the air before the air reaches other parts of the body. Mucous membranes help to filter debris from the nose and provide clean air for the lungs as well. Because certain features of the nose provide functionality and cannot be altered, aesthetic nose surgery is designed to improve the appearance of the nose. Cosmetic surgery will not completely alter the nose’s appearance.

Blood flow is another important consideration in surgery. The blood flow to the nose is integrated by the ophthalmic artery as it divides into the two ethmoidal arteries and the dorsal nasal artery. The nose maxilla area blood flow involves the carotid artery. The blood supply of the nose exterior is fueled by the anterior ethmoid nerve, supratrochlear nerve and infraorbital nerve. The nose interior is supplied by the ethmoidal nerve, sphenoidal nerve and nasopalatine nerve. Indeed, maintaining blood flow is crucial in nose surgery.

Undoubtedly, the nose is an intricate feature. Plastic surgeons that focus on nose surgery have usually dedicated a significant amount of time for advanced training in surgery. In fact, the number of procedures performed by nose surgeons suggests the extent of experience in nose surgery. The advantage in surgery today is that there are less invasive techniques available to refine the appearance of the nose and do not interfere with critical functions of the nose.

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