Rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a nose job, is a surgical procedure used to reshape the nose to improve its function or appearance. Many people undergo rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons to reduce or increase the size of their nose, change the size or shape of the tip, the bridge, or nostrils; however, rhinoplasty is more commonly used to correct breathing problems related to the nose or to correct disfigurements that occurred because of trauma or birth defects.

Surgical steps

  1. The Anesthesia- For your comfort, a general or local anesthesia will be administered by your anesthesiologist after you are brought into the operating room. Your face will be washed with antibacterial solution and you will have fluids throughout the entire surgery.
  2. The Incision- Once you are completely under general or local anesthesia, the surgeon will make the appropriate incisions for access to the inner structure of the nose. The two common methods are “open” rhinoplasty and “closed” rhyinoplasty.
  3. The Reconstruction- Once the soft tissues that cover the nose are gently raised, the surgeon will begin re-shaping your nose. The surgeon can reduce or augment nasal structures with the use of cartilage grafted from other areas of your body like the septum or occasionally a piece of cartilage from the ear.
  4. The final steps- After the surgeon has rearranged and reshaped the bone and cartilage to the desired shape, the skin and tissue is re-draped over the nose. A splint or internal tube is placed outside the nose to maintain the new shape as the nose heals. For additional support, your surgeon may place nasal packing inside the nose.
  5. The end result- Although any initial swelling diminishes within a couple weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal shape to fully refine. Be patient during this time, as you will likely observe gradual changes in the appearance of your nose until its final contour is reached. You will have several doctor’s appointments afterwards so the surgeon can evaluate your healing process and handle any questions or concerns.

Just like with any other surgery, recovery and downtime with rhinoplasty is extremely important, so make sure you follow the necessary rules for healing.  Rhinoplasty is a very difficult surgery to perform, and about 1 in 10 patients return to have a secondary surgery or enhancement. That’s why it’s important to find a qualified rhinoplasty surgeon with experience and a reputable record.