1. What is rhinoplasty? Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, which is more commonly known as a ‘nose job’, is a surgical procedure used to refine and/or reshape the nose. Common changes include modifications in the size and shape of the bridge and/or the tip of the nose. Some of the indications that you may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty are:

  • Your nose appears too large for your face
  • There is a bump on the nasal bridge when viewed in profile
  • Your nose seems too wide when viewed from the front
  • The nasal tip droops or plunges
  • The tip is thickened or enlarged
  • Your nostrils are excessively flared
  • Your nose is off-center or crooked
  • Previous injury has made your nose asymmetrical

2. Why do they say it takes a whole year before you see the results of rhinoplasty?

While you will certainly see positive results from your rhinoplasty procedure well before a year’s time, it typically takes a full year for all of the swelling to subside and the final, most refined results to be achieved. A noticeable difference in your nose should be immediately apparent after surgery. However, this is not fully representative of the final result due to post-surgical swelling and discoloration. The swelling should begin to fade within about a week after surgery, and 80% of the swelling and 100% of the discoloration should have faded within two to three weeks. By month three after your procedure, 90% of the swelling will be gone, with the remainder slowly fading throughout the rest of the year. This residual swelling is typically not apparent to the patient or other observers after the first few months.

3. How long does the actual surgery last?

Surgical times vary according to several factors. Primary rhinoplasty procedures tend to take between two and three hours to complete and revision rhinoplasty procedures typically take between 3 and 4 hours.

4. Are there any complications or risks with rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is generally considered a safe procedure, though every surgical procedure does carry some risk of complication. These risks may include adverse reactions to anesthesia, infection, nosebleeds, numbness of the skin, small bursting of blood vessels on the surface of the skin, asymmetry, and other possible complications.

5. Is rhinoplasty painful?

Though pain is a relative thing, most rhinoplasty patients experience more discomfort than pain. In addition, this discomfort is most often associated with nasal packing, or packing of the nose after surgery to prevent or control bleeding. The nasal packing is typically removed within a day or so after surgery, and patients typically feel a great deal of relief once this occurs.

6. What is nasal packing?

Nasal packing is the procedure in which gauze or cotton packs are applied to the nasal chambers and are used to control or prevent bleeding and sometimes to support the septum after rhinoplasty. The packing is typically removed within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after surgery.

7. What is the recovery like after rhinoplasty?

The amount of time it takes to recover after rhinoplasty will vary from patient to patient. You’ll likely want to remain in bed for the first day after surgery, but most patients find that they’re up and about within a day or two. Though swelling and bruising can remain visible for three weeks or more, patients are typically able to return to work within a week’s time. Sun exposure and any strenuous activity risking injury to the nose will need to be avoided for two to three weeks.

8. Does rhinoplasty leave scars?

Rhinoplasty requires that incisions be made in the skin which will result in scars. With closed rhinoplasty procedures, however, the incisions are confined to the inside of the nose, thus resulting in no visible scarring. With open rhinoplasty, a small incision is made on the columella, or on the underside of the skin between the nostrils. This results in a small, fine-line scar that is well-concealed and barely noticeable in time.

9. Are x-rays taken before undergoing rhinoplasty?

X-rays are often not required before undergoing rhinoplasty. However, a CAT scan or other x-rays may be taken if there are breathing problems or to give the surgeon a better feel for the nose’s anatomy.

10. What specifically can be achieved with rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty can refine and/or reshape the nose by making any of the following changes:
• reduction or increase in the overall size
• change in the angle between the nose and upper lip
• narrowing of the span of the nostrils
• removal of a hump
• change in the shape of the bridge or the tip.
Rhinoplasty can also alleviate some breathing problems