Nose Job / Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty Quick Facts

Reshape and refine the nose to improve the appearance.

1 week out of work, 4 to 6 weeks before strenuous exercise

Outpatient Surgery?:
Yes, in most cases

A nose job is almost always one of the five most common types of plastic surgery. Surgery to reshape the nose, also called a rhinoplasty, can be done for either purely cosmetic reasons (you want a nose that makes you look better) or for health reasons (you can't breath through your nose properly because of a birth defect, disease, or accident). A nose job can also make your nose look better while improving your breathing.

Some people make a distinction between surgery to reshape the nose (shorten it, remove a bump, raise it, lower it, improve the size or angle of the nostrils, etc.) and surgery to straighten or correct a deviated septum, the vertical interior wall of the nose between the two nostrils. Surgery on the septum is often called septoplasty.

Rhinoplasty or septoplasty can be done in a hospital, a surgery center, or in a plastic surgeon's office. It can be done by a plastic surgeon or an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, sometimes called and ENT). It can be done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. You will probably be asleep, but may be very minimally awake and very relaxed.

Depending on the extent of the work that needs to be done, a nose job can be performed in an open or closed technique. In an open technique, the surgery makes a small incision at the base of the nose between the nostrils and peels the skin of the nose back. In a closed technique, the incisions are made within the nostrils and the surgeon makes the corrections needed from there. For many types of rhinoplasty, the surgeon must fracture the bones of the nose and move them together or apart, depending on how the nose needs to be reshaped. He or she may also reshape the cartilage of the nose.

Cosmetic Nose Surgery Recovery and Risks

After the surgery, your nose will be stuffed with packing, which usually means you will be able to breath only through your mouth. An external splint or cast may also be placed on your nose. The packing and the cast will be removed a few days after surgery. You will probably be bruised; many people have two black eyes after a nose job. Your nose may also be swollen. For most patients, the discomfort during rhinoplasty recovery time can be controlled with pain medication.

The risks of a rhinoplasty include excessive bleeding, infection, and a bad reaction to the anesthesia. With a nose job, however, you may also have internal scar tissue that can impair breathing through the nose or cause a whistling noise. To learn more about risks for other aesthetic plastic surgery procedures, visit the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery.




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