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What is an Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty?

Ultrasonic rhinoplasty, also known as piezoelectric rhinoplasty or diamond rhinoplasty, is the latest advance in cosmetic nasal surgery.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 13th August 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 5th February 2024

What is an Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty?

Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty, also known as Piezoelectric Rhinoplasty or Diamond Rhinoplasty, is an innovative approach to cosmetic nasal surgery. 

Introduced in 2004, this modern approach to the nose job involves a device which uses high-speed soundwaves to expertly and precisely sculpt the nasal bones. This means that the rasps, hammers and surgical chisels used to lower the dorsal hump and narrow the nasal bones in traditional rhinoplasty are not required. 

Due to the precise nature of Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty, this means there is less downtime involved than in traditional rhinoplasty treatment. This makes it an attractive option for people looking to reshape or reduce the size of their nose but do not want a lengthy recovery period.  

At Cadogan Clinic, we have several specialist rhinoplasty surgeons who regularly use this technique. 

How does it work?

Vibrating piezoelectric inserts (PEI) are used to work on bones or hard cartilage, without impacting on the surrounding soft tissues, including the skin, mucosa and flimsy cartilages such as the upper lateral cartilages and lower lateral cartilages. By avoiding these surrounding soft tissues, the procedure results in less bruising and swelling than traditional rhinoplasty procedures. There is also less risk of bleeding as the precise nature of this device means the surrounding blood vessels are less likely to be damaged. 

The PEI’s work with such precision that they eliminate the risk of radiating fracture lines which can occur when traditional rhinoplasty instruments are used. Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty provides a highly accurate and safe result to reduce the likelihood of revision Rhinoplasty at a later date.  

However, the device can only be used in open rhinoplasty, an invasive procedure which requires the nose to be cut open to expose the nasal structures inside. This is in order to fit the device and expose the nose to ultrasonic energy. 

Ultrasonic rhinoplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic. We use Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA), meaning you will wake up quickly from the operation and will not feel sick. The procedure generally takes around two to three hours to complete.  

Who is Suitable?

Your surgeon will assess your suitability for ultrasonic rhinoplasty in a bespoke one to one consultation. They will consider: 

  • If you are bothered by the size or shape of your nose and want to alter its appearance 
  • If you would like to correct damage or an injury that has occurred to your nose 
  • If you snore loudly, experience sleep apnoea or have breathing difficulties 
  • If you are in good health, both mentally and physically 
  • If you have realistic expectations about what can be achieved through diamond Rhinoplasty 

You should stop smoking and vaping in the weeks leading up to the procedure and during the recovery period as this can negatively affect the healing process. 

At your initial consultation, the surgeon will ask you questions about your medical history and any prescription or over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies you may be taking. It is important that you are open and honest about your medical history. They will also show you a range of ultrasonic rhinoplasty before and after photos, so you are able to see the options that are available for you. 

Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty vs Traditional Rhinoplasty

As we have already discussed, there are pros and cons to using ultrasonic rhinoplasty. Because it is more precise, the overall trauma to the nose is much less and therefore the recovery time is lower. However, as PEIs can only be used in open rhinoplasty procedures, this approach is not suitable if your concerns can be addressed with a closed rhinoplasty or a rhino–tip procedure. As with a traditional rhinoplasty, the results of an ultrasonic rhinoplasty are permanent (as long as your nose isn’t injured). Due to the precision equipment required, ultrasonic rhinoplasty cost may be slightly higher than a traditional rhinoplasty.

This doesn’t mean that the traditional rhinoplasty is now obsolete, and although ultrasonic rhinoplasty has a number of benefits, it is not always better. Closed rhinoplasty has the benefit of having very little scarring (however due to its complexity some surgeons prefer not to use this technique). Rhino-tip surgery only addresses concerns around the tip of the nose such as a droopy or bulbous tip. Your surgeon will discuss all these options with you at your consultation. 


Recovery time and aftercare

Compared to traditional rhinoplasty, ultrasonic rhinoplasty usually has a much faster recovery time. This is one reason why this form of nasal surgery is becoming so popular. 

The precise nature of this surgery means there is far less bruising and swelling involved during the recovery. After undergoing a traditional rhinoplasty, you will need to take up to two weeks off work to recover. With ultrasonic rhinoplasty, you are unlikely to need to take more than one week off work. Overall, your ultrasonic rhinoplasty recovery time will be 6-8 weeks

What Can’t You Do During Recovery?

Your surgeon will explain what you cannot do during your recovery period. This usually includes: 

  • Avoid strenuous physical activity, including lifting heavy weights or sexual activity. 
  • Avoid sleeping on your front - you may wish to prop yourself up with a few pillows as this may be more comfortable. 
  • Avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen every day to protect your nose 
  • You will have been asked to stop smoking and vaping before the procedure. You will have to continue this after your surgery as well to assist with healing. 

What You Can Do During Your Recovery?

  • Any pain or discomfort you are experiencing can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers 
  • Your surgeon may recommend gently massaging your nose, a few weeks after your procedure to lessen any stiffness  

Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty Side-Effects

There are a few normal side-effects which may occur following your ultrasonic rhinoplasty: 

  • Change in skin sensation
  • Numbness around the nose 
  • Skin discolouration 
  • Breathing difficulties

These are all normal, and a temporary part of the healing process. On rare occasions, they may develop into complications which are longer term and require surgical intervention.

It is vital that you follow all the aftercare instructions issued by your surgeon following your ultrasonic rhinoplasty. Failure to do so could lead to delayed healing. 

Contact our dedicated patient advisors today to book a consultation with one of our leading rhinoplasty experts here at the Cadogan Clinic. 


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty is a significant development in surgical technique, allowing for extra precision and minimal trauma during nose reshaping. This allows for shorter recovery times for patients, as it reduces post-operative swelling and discomfort. I am always excited to see these advancements, prioritising patient comfort and optimal outcomes. With Ultrasonic Rhinoplasty, we can achieve natural-looking results with greater accuracy making Rhinoplasty a suitable option for more patients than ever before.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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