(Cosmetic Nose Surgery, Nose Job)

Procedure overview

Rhinoplasty is cosmetic surgery to change the size or shape of your nose. This procedure is usually used to make your nose smaller or to narrow it, but it can also enlarge it. A rhinoplasty can change the appearance of the bridge or tip of your nose, as well as your nostrils.

Reasons for the procedure

Most often people undergo rhinoplasty because they don't like the way their nose looks. In some cases, the procedure is used to help people breathe more easily or to repair an injury or a birth defect.

Risks of the procedure

As with other surgeries, the risks of a rhinoplasty include problems related to anesthesia, the medication given to help you relax and ease pain during the procedure. Anesthesia can cause allergic reactions and can affect your ability to breathe on your own. These effects usually subside once the anesthesia is stopped.

Other possible risks of rhinoplasty include but are not limited to the following:

  • Bleeding

  • Bruising

  • Infection

  • Blood clots

  • Scarring

  • Trouble breathing through your nose

  • Numbness

  • Pain

  • Hole in the septum, the wall of tissue that separates your nostrils

There may also be other risks, depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor before the procedure.

Before the procedure

The surgeon will examine your nose and face at a consultation. This meeting will give you a chance to discuss how you would like your nose to look. It will also allow the surgeon to explain the results you can realistically expect from the surgery. The surgeon will probably take photos of your face at this meeting.

In preparation for the surgery, be sure to discuss any medications or supplements you're taking, as well as any medical conditions or allergies to medications. Discuss whether you should stop taking any medications before the surgery and when you should stop eating and drinking beforehand.

During the procedure

Different types of anesthesia can used for this procedure. You may be awake during the surgery, but the doctor will give you medicines to numb your nose and make you feel relaxed. Or you may have you a type of anesthesia that puts you to sleep during the procedure.

In most cases of rhinoplasty, the surgeon will make incisions (cuts) inside your nose so any scarring won't be visible. The surgeon will then alter the bone and cartilage beneath the skin of your nose. Bone and cartilage may be removed, reshaped, or increased in size. The surgeon will then place the skin back into position and sew the incisions closed.

The surgeon will place a splint over your nose to support it for about a week while it heals. Soft packing may also be placed in your nose for a few days to help maintain its new shape.

After the procedure

Your face may appear swollen and bruised for a short time after the surgery. You may experience headaches, and your surgeon will give you medication to relieve pain. For a while after the surgery, you may need to keep your head elevated and avoid physical exertion or exposing your skin to the sun. You may also need to avoid wearing glasses that rest on the bridge of your nose. You should refrain from blowing your nose for a week after the surgery.

Ask your surgeon about any other warnings you should be aware of following surgery. Keep in mind that you may note swelling or numbness at the tip of your nose for several months, and it may take a year or longer for your nose to reach its final appearance.

Be sure to keep any follow-up appointments with your surgeon after the procedure so that you can discuss any questions or concerns as they come up.