Rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as a "nose job" or "nose reshaping" by patients, enhances facial harmony and the proportions of your nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose.
What it is
Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job,” is a popular option for patients unhappy with the size or shape of their nose. In addition to the procedure’s well-known cosmetic benefits, however, rhinoplasty has evolved to have much more versatile applications, such as to improve nasal function after a traumatic injury or illness or to help with breathing problems that affect sleep and the ability to exercise.
The goal of rhinoplasty is to revise the nose to the patient’s desired appearance and functionality, keeping in mind skin type and the entire face architecture. Our plastic surgeons combine the science and art of rhinoplasty to give patients effective, lasting results.
What It Does
A forehead lift removes or changes the muscles and skin that cause signs of aging as drooping eyebrows, "hooding" eyelids, forehead furrows, and frown lines.
What Rhinoplasty Can Treat
Nose size in relation to facial balance
Nose width at the bridge or in the size and position of the nostrils
Nose profile with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
Nasal tip that is enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked
Nostrils that are large, wide or upturned
If you desire a more symmetrical nose, keep in mind that everyone's face is asymmetric to some degree. Results may not be completely symmetric, although the goal is to create facial balance and correct proportion.
The average cost of rhinoplasty is $5,350, according to 2018 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Rhinoplasty costs can widely vary. The average fee referenced above is only part of the total cost – it does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses. A surgeon's fee for rhinoplasty will be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic office location. Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans for rhinoplasty, so be sure to ask.
Rhinoplasty costs may include:
Hospital or surgical facility costs
Prescriptions for medication
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for a rhinoplasty procedure, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Is rhinoplasty covered by health insurance?
When rhinoplasty is performed to improve breathing function, the cause is most commonly an obstructed airway. This procedure, whether performed alone or in conjunction with cosmetic rhinoplasty, is considered reconstructive and may be covered by insurance.
This requires a detailed examination to verify the cause of your breathing impairment and prior authorization from your insurer.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.
Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose. Open rhinoplasty incision across the columella
Step 3 – Reshaping the nose structure
An overly large nose may be reduced by removing bone or cartilage. Sometimes surgery of the nose may require the addition of cartilage grafts.
Most commonly, cartilage from the septum, the partition in the middle of the nose, is used for this purpose. Occasionally cartilage from the ear or rarely a section of rib cartilage can be used.
Step 4 – Correcting a deviated septum
If the septum has deviated, it can be straightened and the projections inside the nose reduced to improve breathing.
Step 5 – Closing the incision
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue are redraped and incisions are closed. Additional incisions may be placed in the natural creases of the nostrils to alter their size.
During your rhinoplasty recovery, a splint and/or packing may be placed inside your nose and a splint or bandages placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during initial healing.
While initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome. Swelling may come and go and worsen in the morning during the first year following your rhinoplasty surgery.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
How to care for the surgical site
Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
After the Procedure
Initial wound healing may take 10 to 14 days. Sutures or clips will be removed when it is appropriate. You should be ready to return to work and normal activity after 10-14 days.
Cosmetics can help camouflage any bruising.
Even though you will look presentable to the public, you will find that the healing will continue for several weeks, as the swelling dissipates and incision lines refine and fade. It may take several months for your complete recovery.
Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It's important that surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of rhinoplasty are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks or potential complications.
Rhinoplasty surgery risks include:
Poor wound healing or scarring
Change in skin sensation (numbness or pain)
Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the nasal septum) is rare. Additional surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the septum but it may be impossible to correct this complication
Unsatisfactory nasal appearance
Skin discoloration and swelling
Possibility of revisional surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
The results of rhinoplasty surgery will be long-lasting. While initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome.
As your body ages, it is natural to have some gradual changes to your face including your nose. But most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.
A healthy lifestyle and life-long sun protection will help extend the results of your new appearance.