Fixing a “Cookie Cutter” Nose

There is no doubt that a rhinoplasty procedure can offer great hope in helping to correct or overcome a wide range of different functional and aesthetic issues. This helps to explain why it’s the third most common cosmetic procedure in the United States behind only breast augmentation and liposuction. Patients suffering from a deviated septum or other nasal issues that interfere with their sleeping or breathing are ideal candidates for rhinoplasty, and the same is true for people who are simply unhappy with the shape, size or overall appearance.

Of course, there is no guarantee that your rhinoplasty procedure will provide the desired results or that you’ll be fully satisfied with the way your new nose looks once you’ve fully recovered from the surgery. In this sense, the plastic surgeon you choose to perform your rhinoplasty is often one of the biggest determining factors in whether or not you’re satisfied with the end result. Moreover, it is not just the surgeon’s skills and experience that matter as their method and how they approach each rhinoplasty procedure can be equally important. The issue here is that many surgeons tend to perform so-called ‘cookie cutter nose jobs,’ which you will soon see is virtually never a good idea.

The Definition of a Cookie Cutter Nose Job

It’s probably fairly obvious just from looking at the term that a cookie cutter nose job refers to a rhinoplasty procedure that basically uses a one-size-fits-all approach—or in this case, a one-nose-fits-all-faces approach. What this means is that the surgeon basically just gives all of their patients the same nose instead of taking the time to ensure that the shape and size of the nose match the person’s face.

Although this type of cookie cutter nose job is becoming less common nowadays, the fact is that there are many plastic surgeons who have made a big name for themselves and earned lots of money simple because of one specific nose. The problem is that the end result is that you can almost inevitably always tell the person had a nose job simply because a cookie cutter nose job looks exactly how you expect a nose job to look. In the past, this type of cookie cutter rhinoplasty was so popular and widespread that some surgeons even had specific names given to their new noses, such as the Diamond nose from the 1970’s—named after the surgeon who perfected this specific nose shape, Dr. Howard Diamond.

Cosmetic Reasons to Avoid a Cookie Cutter Nose Job

For most people considering rhinoplasty or some other cosmetic procedure, surely the last thing you want is to come out of your operation looking like you’ve had plastic surgery. Of course, this is precisely what will happen if you choose to go with a surgeon who specializes in cookie cutter nose jobs.

Nowadays, most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons understand the importance of fully taking into account their patient’s reasons, both aesthetic and functional, for undergoing the surgery as well as the shape and size of both their face and their nose. Only by taking all of these various factors into account is it possible for the surgeon to shape a new nose that both helps the patient to overcome whatever issues led them to seek surgery in the first place and that actually matches the person’s face.

A cookie cutter nose job can look perfectly acceptable on one face, but there is no guarantee that that cookie cutter shape will match the shape, size and contours of your own face. Moreover, most of these nose jobs have a very ‘done’ look, i.e. most people will probably instantly think you’ve had a nose job after only a quick glance at your face. Nonetheless, the problems that this type of rhinoplasty procedure can lead to are much more than just cosmetic.

Potential Damage Caused by a Cookie Cutter Nose Job

Again, it is essential that a rhinoplasty surgeon take the individual patient’s face into account when planning the surgery. Especially important here is the quality of the cartilage and skin. Every person’s face is different, and some people have much thicker or thinner nasal skin and/or cartilage in their nostrils. This is significant since thicker nasal skin and cartilage both provide much more support for the external nasal valve.

The problem is that a cookie cutter nose job usually doesn’t take these two vital factors into account, and this can potentially lead to nostril deformities or even cause the external nasal valve to collapse if it no longer has enough support. Any nostril deformities will obviously ruin the aesthetic appeal of your new nose, while an external valve collapse will directly interfere with your ability to breathe properly.

Many different methods during the rhinoplasty procedure could potentially lead to these issues if not done correctly. Improper cartilage grafting is one common cause, but even issues when suturing the tip of the nose or when closing the nasal incisions can potentially cause deformities or external valve collapse if not done properly.

Revision Rhinoplasty Can Correct Issues Caused by Cookie Cutter Nose Jobs

The best way to avoid a cookie cutter nose job is to be extremely careful when choosing your rhinoplasty surgeon. In this sense, looking at before and after photos of their previous patients is the obvious place to start. If every patient’s nose looks almost identical in the after photos, this is a definite sign that that surgeon mostly specializes in creating the same cookie cutter nose.

Unfortunately, cookie cutter nose jobs are still common. Many patients simply are in too big of a rush or don’t do their research first and then end up being dissatisfied with the end results of their rhinoplasty. In this case, revision rhinoplasty could be an effective option for fixing any issues that originated from your original procedure.

Statistics show that approximately 15 percent of rhinoplasty surgeries need to be corrected through a second surgery, which helps to show just how important it is to choose the right surgeon. The best way to avoid needing revision rhinoplasty is to choose an experienced cosmetic surgeon that will take their time during your initial consultation to fully understand your needs, your goals and your facial construction.

This is precisely what helps set Dr. Frankel apart. As a world-renowned primary rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty specialist located in Beverly Hills, Dr. Andrew Frankel has years of experience in performing a wide range of cosmetic surgery procedures out of his office in LA.