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What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, also known as a “nose job” is a surgical procedure to reshape the nose.

Rhinoplasty Surgery Can Change The Following:

  • Make the nose smaller or larger to achieve facial balance
  • The width of the nose at the bridge
  • The angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip
  • The size and position of the nostrils
  • Alterations to nasal tips that are enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked
  • Alterations to nostrils that are large, wide or upturned
  • Nasal asymmetry
  • Correct bumps, indentations, or other defects in the nose.

During rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes incisions (usually made inside the nose so they are invisible after the surgery) to expose the bones and cartilage that support the nose. Depending on the desired result, some bone and cartilage may be removed, or tissue may be added (either from another part of the body or using a synthetic filler). After the surgeon has rearranged and reshaped the bone and cartilage, the skin and tissue is re-draped over the structure of the nose. To support the new shape of the nose as it heals, a splint is placed outside the nose.

Rhinoplasty may be done using general or local anesthesia. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure but sometimes requires a 1-night stay in the hospital or surgery center.

What Results Can I Expect?

Depending on the desired outcome, the results of rhinoplasty may be minor or significant. Prior to having a rhinoplasty, it is important that you and your plastic surgeon discuss and agree on the goals of the surgery. As long as your expectations are realistic and your plastic surgeon is in agreement with your goals, he or she will probably be able to give you the results you want.

The results of rhinoplasty are permanent; however, subsequent injury or other factors can alter the nose’s appearance. In addition, cosmetic surgery should only be done on a fully developed nose. Complete development has usually occurred by age 15 or 16 in females and by age 17 or 18 in males. If surgery is done before this time, continued development of the nose can alter the surgical results and possibly cause complications.

How Long is the Recovery?

After approximately one week, the splint and bandaging around your nose will be removed.

After surgery, it is normal for your face to feel puffy and the area around your eyes and nose to be bruised and swollen for several days. To help minimize the swelling and reduce the pain, cold compresses can be applied. Your doctor may also recommend pain medicine. Typically, most of the swelling and bruising improves in 10-14 days.

In addition, you may need to keep your head elevated and relatively still for the first few days after surgery. It may be several weeks before you can return to strenuous activities.

Are There Any Risks?

After rhinoplasty, temporary swelling and bruising around the eyes and nose can be expected. Other problems that may occur include:

  • Bleeding
  • Injury or holes to your septum (the wall that separates your nostrils).
  • Skin problems, including breakdown of skin tissue (skin necrosis) and irritation from the tape and bandaging.
  • Preventive antibiotics may be given after surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Serious nasal blockage caused by swelling inside the nose.
  • Complications of anesthesia.

It is also possible that the cosmetic outcome of the surgery will not meet your expectations.