Rhinoplasty Frequently Asked Questions
Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It can reshape, reduce or augment a person’s nose to achieve facial harmony and boost self-confidence. It may be performed as a reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect, or repair an injury such as a broken nose.
Rhinoplasty may be performed for functional rather than cosmetic reasons as well. Combining nose reshaping with septoplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery can effectively treat certain breathing problems, such as those caused by a deviated septum.
What Can Rhinoplasty do for me?
Rhinoplasty is an excellent procedure for achieving the following:
- Balancing the size of the nose with the other facial features
- Modifying the width of the nose at the bridge
- Improving the nasal profile, including removing humps or depressions
- Contouring a nasal tip that is too large, “boxy,” drooping or upturned
- Changing the angle between the nose and the mouth
- Narrowing and reshaping the nostrils
- Correcting asymmetry or deviation
Am I a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
The best candidates for rhinoplasty:
- Are at least 13 years old
- Have finished facial growth
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Have realistic goals for the procedure
- Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not because of pressure from others
How Is the Procedure Performed?
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Surgeons use one of two techniques when performing nose surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, the incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. With both methods, the surgeon gently lifts the soft tissues covering the nose. He or she sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. Any additional cartilage needed to augment the nose can often be taken from the septum.
If the patient has a deviated septum, the surgeon will adjust the septum and the inner structures of the nose to improve breathing. Then the tissues are redraped and stitched closed. If the patient desires nostril reshaping, this is done as the final stage of rhinoplasty.
The entire procedure generally lasts one to two hours.
How long is the rhinoplasty procedure?
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under either local or general anesthesia. It lasts one to two hours unless more extensive work needs to be done.
What is the recovery from nose surgery?
Most patients feel like themselves within two days, and return to work in about a week.
The results of rhinoplasty become gradually apparent as the days pass after surgery and swelling recedes. Swelling may reappear from time to time in the first year after the procedure. It is typically more noticeable in the morning and fades during the day.
Will I like the results of my nose surgery?
Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape of their nose. The exact results depend on the patient’s nasal bone-and-cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age.
What are the possible risks of rhinoplasty?
Complications are rare and, when they occur, minor. These may include:
- Recurring nosebleed
- Reaction to the anesthesia
- Numbness in/around nose
- Very rarely, nasal perforation
In general, a rhinoplasty is considered a very safe surgical procedure.
Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?
Insurance may cover rhinoplasty if it is done for reconstructive or medical reasons, but likely not for cosmetic purposes. This office does not accept or participate with any insurance plans.