The Facts About Rhinoplasty

Nose Job FAQs and Answers

Rhinoplasty. Getty Images

When you look in the mirror, are you satisfied with the reflection staring back at you? Perhaps you can’t breathe as well as you would like to breathe due to various reasons, such as an injury or a birth defect. The solution for those wishing to change the shape of their nose, or to improve its function, is rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty (also referred to as a “nose job”) is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries in the world today.

The procedure can be performed for cosmetic reasons, as well as for medical reasons. As with all procedures, if you’re interested in rhinoplasty, make sure it’s something that you truly want for yourself, and that it's not something you feel pressure from others to do.

Below I address some of the most common questions plastic surgeons are asked during rhinoplasty consultations.

Am I a good candidate for a rhinoplasty?

Just like with most surgeries, a good candidate is someone who is in good general health and has realistic expectations of the procedure. Rhinoplasty is an excellent solution for those who are looking to balance the size of their nose with the rest of their facial features, modify the width of the nose at the bridge, improve their nasal profile, narrow and reshape the nostrils, contour a tip, change the angle between the mouth and the nose, and/or correct deviation or asymmetry.

Keep in mind that in order to undergo a rhinoplasty, you must be a non-smoker, at least 13 years of age, and your face must be completely finished growing.

What’s the difference between an open rhinoplasty and a closed rhinoplasty?

Basically put, the open rhinoplasty method involves an incision across the strip of skin separating the nostrils, which is called the columella.

During a closed rhinoplasty, the incisions are made inside of the nose.

How is a rhinoplasty procedure performed?

Generally, a rhinoplasty is performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. Overall, the procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours to perform.

If you are undergoing rhinoplasty surgery to correct breathing issues, the procedure can be done in conjunction with septoplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery. Most patients who require a functional rhinoplasty also opt to have cosmetic adjustments performed at the same time.

What can I expect during recovery?

Shortly after surgery, it’s typical for patients to experience puffiness, nose ache or a dull headache, some swelling and bruising, bleeding or stuffiness. Most patients feel more like themselves within two days and can return to work in approximately a week.

As the swelling goes down after surgery, the results become more and more apparent. It is possible for swelling to reappear from time to time in the first year after the procedure.

Typically, it is more noticeable in the morning and fades during the day.

Contact lenses can be worn immediately, but glasses may need to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to seven weeks.

What are the possible risks of rhinoplasty?

Although complications experienced due to rhinoplasty procedure are rare, they are still possible. These risks may include infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the anesthesia.

If you’re interested in learning more about rhinoplasty, consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon.

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