Although fairly non-invasive, current corrective nose surgery procedures involve a reshaping of the nose with tools such as bone saws, carbide rasps, and power-assisted rasps, which can result in a lengthy recovery process, but a recent look at ultrasound technology may promise to change the world of rhinoplasty.
Although not common, some nose surgery patients have experienced deformities and damage to surrounding tissue with the use of modern rhinoplasty tools. Even with a successful nose surgery operation, the recovery time is a very gradual process and will take at least two weeks before patients can remove their bandages, stitches, packing, splints, and sometimes cast.
The internal recovery is even longer, sometimes taking months to completely heal.
With new ultrasound technology however, the way cosmetic surgeons do rhinoplasty may be about to change. A report in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery recently introduced a device called the ultrasound bone aspirator, a machine typically used for neurosurgery and dental procedures. The aspirator works by using sound waves to remove bone without damaging the surrounding tissue.
In rhinoplasty specifically, the device could be used for aesthetic refinement, such as correcting deformities, sculpting bone fragments, and smoothing the nose’s bony edges.
What excites cosmetic surgeons and patients alike the most is the safety and precision that the aspirator is capable of, possibly resulting in a faster recovery process. The same characteristics that make the device ideal for the precision of neurosurgery and dental work, offer to serve rhinoplasty by providing a gradual removal of nasal bone without significant risks.
In rhinoplasty, the ultrasound aspirator could possible play a key role in a host of nose surgery procedures. The authors of the report, Dr. Jewel D. Greywoode, M.D., and Edmund A. Pribitkin, M.D, specified that “Multiple applications in nasal surgery can be found […] and although long-term results are lacking, the device’s positive safety profile and early results warrant further use and investigation.”
So when can we expect to see it put to use?
Well unfortunately, that’s difficult to tell, as researchers must study any long-term negative effects of ultrasound rhinoplasty before opening it up to public use, but you can be sure that we will be the first consider this new procedure when we determine whether or not it is a safe alternative for our patients.