The Art of Rhinoplasty - Facial Plastic Surgeon

Hello. I’m Dr. Michael Sullivan, facial plastic surgeon at the Sullivan Center in Columbus, Ohio. I specialize in rhinoplasty surgery. I’m also a stone sculptor and I’m here with a small piece that I did many years ago of the nose and many times people will ask me, “Well, what do you do in your studio?” and I will tell them that what I do is fairly similar to what I do in my office when I’m doing rhinoplasty and actually the instrumentation that I use in my stonework is very, very similar to what I use for rhinoplasty.

In general, the instruments that I use are chisels and files and a mallet. So when I’m doing stonework, this is actually a piece of Carrara marble. I’m using chisels of various sizes, depending on how much stone that I want to remove and we actually have much larger ones if I’m working on bigger pieces. But you can see that these are sharp along the edge here and when I’m taking off stone, I’m really working along with my mallet here and this is about a two-ounce mallet I believe. Get much larger depending again on how much stone you’re removing.

So we have the same type of chisels when I’m doing rhinoplasty work. When I’m taking off for example a bump, I might use a chisel like this that allows me to shave that off and then we have very fine chisels as well, very small two-millimeter chisels that allow me to do really some fine work. So when I’m actually narrowing the nasal bones, I will place this chisel inside the nose and just make a small cut in the bone along the side that allows those nasal bones to come in closer to narrow the bridge of the nose. That’s done with a very small mallet and so we’re just kind of tap, tap, tapping along the side here to cause that nasal bone to weaken enough that it can be brought in, in the side.

The other similarity is that we use in sculpture a lot of fine detail work. So this is called a tooth chisel and so after I do the roughing out, I might do some tooth chisel work and that’s why you see these little grooves along in here and then a file or a rasp that will allow me to do some smoothing and then of course there’s a lot of smoothing that happens after that to get it to the fine detail that you see here. But in surgery, we use the same thing. We use what’s called a rasp. You can see that there are a lot of little jagged edges along here.

So when I need to do some smoothing along the upper portion in the nose, I might do a little bit of rasping there and then I have a very delicate instrument that actually has crushed diamonds that allows me to do some really fine work to get the smoothness that I need of the nose.

So I hope this was helpful for you, lo oking at the difference between sculpture tools and rhinoplasty tools.