Plenty of people who are self-conscious about their noses have considered plastic surgery. However, the pain, swelling, bruising, and significant downtime associated with traditional rhinoplasty techniques can be prohibitive. Ultrasonic rhinoplasty, a cutting-edge technique used by Montreal-based cosmetic surgeon Dr. Hani Sinno, dramatically reduces risks and recovery time, making the procedure more feasible for many.

"Imagine da Vinci or Michelangelo chiseling with a mallet and hammer. That's how we used to chisel the nose," Dr. Hani Sinno says. "I did that for the first 10 years of my practice. Then, I discovered the piezo. It carves the bone and doesn't cut soft tissues. It doesn't cut blood vessels, nerves, tissues, anything."

The piezo device uses ultrasonic vibrations to make very tiny cuts on the surface of the bone. When used by a skilled surgeon, it can precisely carve and reshape the delicate bones of the nose.

"If you're cutting the nose manually, you could break a bone by accident," he says. "It's not as precise. With the piezo, you get micron-by-micron precision and the ability to truly reshape and structure tissue." Most patients who undergo rhinoplasty have a specific aesthetic in mind, and the more precision a surgeon has, the closer they can get to a patient's vision.

Understanding how the piezo works is often easier with a demonstration. "This is an eggshell," he says, selecting a pristine, unbroken shell from a carton on his desk. "So you see, I carved a 'Dr.'" He rotates the egg to reveal "Dr." etched into the shell by the piezo. "If you used a mallet, it would be broken."

As you might imagine, recovering from a piezo procedure is simpler — with a lot less swelling and bruising — than recovering from a traditional rhinoplasty. Because the ultrasonic technique causes far less trauma to the nose, patients can get back to feeling and looking normal much faster. Furthermore, the risk of scarring after ultrasonic rhinoplasty is no more significant than the risk that comes with traditional rhinoplasty.

"You have 80% less swelling and bruising, which is the problem you have with traditional rhinoplasty," says Dr. Sinno. "People swell up a lot, and they can't go out."

Ultrasonic rhinoplasty has another key benefit: it reduces the risk of complications and revisions. After all, the last thing a patient wants after healing is to have to undergo the entire process all over again. "When you do it manually, sometimes you don't know that you haven't taken out all the bone," he says. "And if you have some bone dust left, the bone reforms into a hump. It was one of the complications I was getting most commonly in my practice in the beginning, and I've never had that complication again."

Patients looking to improve the contours of their noses know not to choose just any plastic surgeon. But when you combine the touch of a skilled surgeon with a tool precise enough to etch an eggshell, there's a good chance you'll end up with exactly the results you'd hoped for.