What It’s Like to Be A Plastic Surgeon for Professional Boxers?
Professional boxers frequently have the same body parts injured during boxing matches, with many of them having sustained damage to their noses on several occasions. It is often necessary for plastic surgeons to correct the damage done by powerful blows to the face that cause injury, and for some boxers, the same kind of surgery may be necessary during their careers.
If you’re a boxing enthusiast who competes in the ring, you can probably expect to sustain some kind of facial damage, especially if you’re frequently in the ring. When you do get injured in this way, the first thing you might have to look for is a plastic surgeon near you. Below, you can read about what it’s like from the perspective of the plastic surgeon, someone who sees a professional relatively often, and with similar facial injuries at each meeting.
What a plastic surgeon typically sees
Probably the most common injury that a boxer could sustain, and which would impact a plastic surgeon, is what’s referred to as Boxer’s Nose. This is a kind of injury that results from some kind of severe damage to the structure in the middle part of your bridge. This structure often collapses as a result of some powerful impact, like a blow to the face.
When the bridge of your nose collapses, a plastic surgeon like Mark Solomon, MD will generally have to resort to rhinoplasty, a procedure that reshapes the nose and is commonly requested by both current and former boxers. During a typical rhinoplasty, the plastic surgeon will restructure the patient’s nose by resetting bones that are essential to the nasal structure.
Volume can be added if necessary, and more support can be provided by grafting cartilage onto the structure as well. This tends to stabilize the results and improve the appearance of the subject by looking more like the original structure. From the standpoint of a plastic surgeon, it will be possible to repeatedly conduct this kind of rhinoplasty surgery, and the same process will always be required – the structure in the bridge of the nose has to be rebuilt either completely or partially.
When boxers seek out plastic surgeons
The nature of contact sports being what it is, it’s absolutely impossible to completely avoid injury, even for the very best of boxers. Safety equipment and ring knowledge will only go so far in protecting a boxer, and after that it all depends on their luck on any given night, as well as the skill of their opponent.
Injuries to the area around the nose are fairly common in boxing, because the nose sticks out prominently and is often the first object that a punch will come in contact with. Whenever a boxer has had their nose damaged by contact, and has had rhinoplasty performed, it is highly recommended that they cease participation in the sport, or to do whatever it takes to avoid repeating the injury.
If a boxer with an injured nose has already had rhinoplasty surgery, all the good work done by the plastic surgeon will be completely negated, and the patient will be once again in need of reconstructive surgery. The problem with that is that just carrying out an additional rhinoplasty can increase the possibility of injury, since rhinoplasty itself will gradually weaken the structure of the nose.
Rhinoplasty is one of the more expensive types of surgery, and it’s very difficult for a plastic surgeon to perform. When it becomes necessary to carry out a revision rhinoplasty, it gets to be increasingly difficult for the plastic surgeon, and increasingly expensive for the patient. For this reason, it’s not recommended that a boxer have rhinoplasty performed on their nose more than one time.
This kind of surgery is designed for noses that have matured and are no longer growing, and for that reason, plastic surgeons will not perform rhinoplasty on young people. Since everyone’s nose ceases to mature at a somewhat different age, the plastic surgeon has to evaluate each individual patient and make a determination on whether or not rhinoplasty is appropriate for a person of that age.
Perhaps the best approach that a boxer can take would be to defer having rhinoplasty performed until they are close to the end of their career, so they can do it once and have it remain in place for the duration of their lifetime. Having multiple rhinoplasties performed will continue to weaken the nasal structure, and eventually the entire bridge may collapse of its own accord.
What a boxer feels
Anyone who has had their face damaged in the boxing ring will understand why rhinoplasty and other plastic surgery might be a desirable thing. It isn’t just appearances that are impacted by having a broken nose or something similar – it can also all affect your breathing. Many boxers have had such extensive damage done to the superstructure of their nose, that cartilage gets displaced, the nose gets flattened out and twisted, and the dermis of the skin may even have had time to thicken up.
What all this amounts to is a serious disruption to the normal breathing patterns that a person has both during waking hours and at night. It can be pretty disruptive during the sleeping hours, when you can’t get enough air to be comfortable enough to fall asleep. When breathing is impacted this way, a level of urgency is added to the need for corrective surgery, and any plastic surgeon will give this strong consideration.
However, if the surgeon feels that another rhinoplasty will damage the nose irreparably, he or she may decline to undertake any kind of nasal surgery. By consulting with a number of different plastic surgeons, you may eventually find one who is willing to undertake the operation in order to help your breathing.
It would be well to remember though, that repeated rhinoplasties performed on your nose is not a desirable situation, and down the road, it may actually cause you as many problems as it solves. That means you just can’t expect to keep turning to it as a solution, because you’ll find fewer and fewer plastic surgeons willing to take on the risk of unsuccessful surgery.