BY the time you are done reading this, I guarantee you’ll be doing one of these things: Look at yourself in the mirror; or check out the nose of the next person you meet.

Guys, how many times have you given up your seat not for the old lady or the pregnant mom who’s been standing in front of you, but for the first cute girl you see? And for equally guilty ladies, how often have you picked dates based on their looks instead of personality?

Let’s face it, regardless of how technology has changed our way of living, there’s one thing that will never change: We are all suckers for beauty. Whether it’s in school, at work, or in social gatherings, the beautiful people will always have their way.

Facial beauty
Nothing speaks of beauty more than the face, that’s why models and the celebrities get rich just by flashing their killer smiles or donning their trademark poses, while you work yourself to the bone to earn the equivalent of their coffee money.

“When people talk to each other they look directly into the eyes. They observe the sincerity in your eyes and then observe the beauty of the nose,” stated Dr. Levi John Lansangan, medical director of the Shimmian Manila Surgicenter in an interview with The Manila Times.

According to Lansangan, the nose already comprises 80 percent of facial beauty. “Aside from its sensory functions, it is the only anterior projecting part of the face that acts as a driver carrying all of the components of the face. It dictates the direction, projection and orientation of other facial features such as the cheek and chin alignment and the philtral advance which is a key feature if you have a happy or sad smile,” he explained.

Searching for a mirror already?

Unfortunately, no matter how proud and beautiful we Filipinos feel, it’s clear that we have not been blessed with the most ideal of noses.

Thankfully, with all the technological advances, the solution to an imperfect nose has become a lot simpler.

The demand for rhinoplasty, commonly called “nose lifts” or “nose jobs” has dramatically increased in the last two decades due to advances in surgical technology. In fact, the cosmetic surgery of the nose has become the most common operation done by plastic surgeons in the country.

Necessity vs. vanity
Still, having cosmetic surgery is not something Filipinos would readily admit.

“They say cosmetic surgery is comparable to vanity,” acknowledged Lansangan, and Filipinos don’t want to be called vain. “There is, however, a very thin line separating those two. Haircuts are a necessity, right? But when you have it dyed or colored it becomes vanity. The same thing goes for colored nails,” he points out. “But is it still vanity when it falls under a person’s line of work?

“Models, entertainers, and those engaged in the beauty business are paid to look good, so being beautiful becomes a necessity for them.

“Rhinoplasty falls under two categories: functional and aesthetic. Functional is for those who have deformities, or have acquired some malformations because of diseases. Aesthetic is for improving your features and to make someone look better,” continued Lansangan.

“Aesthetic surgery can boost one’s confidence and makes people appreciate themselves even more. This gives them better opportunities, better job offerings and even better partners, thus opening up a whole new world for them.

“Beauty is as important as any other necessity in this world. How many times have you seen beautiful people receiving preferential treatment and attention?” he asked.

“Improving your looks can give you the same advantage and opportunity, which could change your life.”

Lansangan quickly adds that he is not telling everyone to undergo rhinoplasty. “It is just an option for those who want to change and feel good about themselves.”

Nose technology
Lansangan explains that unlike before, having a “nose job” is virtually safe, and worry-free.

“Shimmian Manila Surgicenter is an affiliate of the prestigious Shimmian Plastic Surgery Center in Seoul, Korea where research and technology on nasal reconstruction have been on the advanced state,” he explained.

South Korea is the first Asian country to adopt rhinoplastic surgery to craft in precision to the nasal anatomy. This type of surgery has been proven in several short and long-term studies to be safe, rejection-free, and more importantly, results in a more natural-looking noselift.

Because of the expertise gained by Lansangan during his study at the Shimmian Center in Korea, Shimmian Manila has gained a reputation as one of the best cosmetic surgery centers in the country today.

It was Shimmian and Dr. Lansangan who pioneered the use of advanced rhinoplastic procedures through the use Gore-Tex way back in 2004.

“The use of silicone has already been banned due to its many side effects,” he revealed. “Some even describe it as like placing a nail on your nose because it removes the nose’s natural flexibility. Gore-Tex is the complete opposite of this.”

Gore-Tex was originally used in pulmonary and heart valve operations because of its strength, biocompatibility, and ability to carry blood at arterial pressure without leaking. With its non-biodegradable properties, in 1975, the FDA approved the expanded use of this material as a replacement for human tissue including its use in facial plastic surgery.

It is also biologically inert, adding to its appeal as a good implant material. It is used to fill facial lines, wrinkles and nasolabial folds, plump up lips, and augment nose, chin or cheek.

“Unlike silicone implants wherein tissues simply encapsulate it, Gore-Tex has the ability to incorporate into the surrounding tissue thus eliminating material rejection, eventual nasal contractions and other complications,” he explained. “A good implant material allows normal facial contours after the surgery and encourages natural and rapid tissue growth within and through it, which are known to be the primary properties of Gore-Tex.

The softness of Gore-Tex, the doctor adds, assures comfort and safety enabling the patient to still engage in any sports including volleyball, basketball scuba diving and even extreme sports.

Age does not matter
When asked about who can undergo rhinoplasty, Lansangan says anyone at the right age, so long as they are healthy, can undergo the procedure.

“For males, they can have rhinoplasty done as early as 16 years old, and 14 for females. This is the time when the last growth spurt of the bone will occur. So whatever your nose looks at that age will be your nose for life,” Lansangan explained.

Depending on the health of the patient, the ideal or advocated age for Lansangan is during the transition from high school to college or around 16 or 17 years old. “This is the time one will meet new sets of friends and enter a new environment. Their old friends will not notice the change and they can make the most of the new opportunities presented to them.”

And the oldest?

“The oldest patient I had was 77 years old, but there really is no age limit as long as they are healthy,” he revealed.

Lansangan says most of his patients are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and they do so because of their work and sometimes to avoid racial discrimination. Locally, he says a lot of his clients come from the business process outsourcing industry not only because they have the financial capability, but because they know that the more presentable and beautiful they are, the more advantageous it becomes for them when it comes to job opportunities.

“Since we use the most modern technology, rhinoplasty has become a “lunchbreak procedure. Our patients don’t even have to worry about the pain. The last thing they will remember is the insertion of the IV and when they regain consciousness after a couple of hours, the procedure is over. Recovery is also fast and those with deskbound jobs can return to work just after a couple of days,” he narrated.

While cost remains the biggest hurdle for many people, Lansangan states that Shimmian Manila has managed to retain the same price for the procedure since 2005.

“Our prices have not gone up, because my primary objective was not to accumulate vast wealth, but rather to offer it at the most affordable rate. I think our prices are the most reasonable without sacrificing the service,” he stated.

So how do you measure the success of a nose job?

“It’s when your friends notice something different about you, without being able to point out what exactly it is. That means your doctor did an excellent job. But if they can immediately identify the change in your nose, then the procedure is not as good,” he ended.

For more information about Gore-Tex rhinoplasty, contact the Shimmian Manila Surgicenters located at the Medical Plaza Ortigas (637-2924), Connecticut Greenhills (725-3605) and Tomas Morato (332-7639) or visit their website at www.shimmianmanila.com

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