Aging Gracefully Tip: Don’t Rule out a Rhinoplasty

In the modern era people are living healthy at older ages, and feeling younger. However, the tissues of the face undergo well-known age-related changes like thinning, sagging, or jowling. These changes, when they occur in the nose, can lead to a drooping nasal tip and weakness of the nose that results in the development of blocked nasal breathing. Many older patients feel they are past their prime for elective or even cosmetic surgeries, but it is important to realize that there can still be many years of great benefits to a rhinoplasty surgery in the right candidate, especially when it comes to nasal breathing.  You may be surprised to learn that you are far from too old for rhinoplasty.

As long as you are healthy enough to undergo elective surgery under general anesthesia, having corrective nasal surgery remains a safe and effective treatment that can make a big difference in quality of life. These days, patients are living healthy well into their sixties, seventies, and beyond, and I have seen many patients who are surprised to develop nasal obstruction when they have spent their entire lives without it. The frustration is magnified in those individuals who enjoy an active lifestyle during their retirement, rich with travel, family, and exercise. 

The main areas to address in these aging rhinoplasty cases are the drooping or “ptotic” tip and the sidewalls of the nose, or the “external nasal valve” (link to functional rhinoplasty page).

These areas are directly affected by the aging process and contribute directly to worsened nasal breathing. It is also not uncommon to address a deviated septum or a dorsal hump during these cases. Another scenario in older patients occurs in those who underwent a rhinoplasty decades ago, performed to narrow the nose or reduce the nose in some way, that wasn’t done with structure in mind and has resulted in the slow development of nasal collapse over the years. This is a more complicated situation, requiring the techniques and expertise of revision rhinoplasty to correct. However, with patients living healthy at older ages, this option should not be ignored as it, too, can have many benefits if performed by a qualified and experienced revision rhinoplasty specialist.

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