Rhinoplasty (nose surgery, nose reshaping or nose job) is a surgical procedure for correcting and reconstructing the form, restoring the functions or aesthetically enhancing the appearance and proportion of nose. Rhinoplasty may also correct impaired breathing caused by structural abnormalities in the nose.

Indications for rhinoplasty can be divided into

  • Reconstructive reasons: deformities arising from birth, hereditary or trauma
  • Cosmetic reasons: to enhance facial harmony and proportion.

Rhinoplasty can change

  • Nose size, in relation to the other facial structures
  • Nose width, at the bridge
  • Nose profile, with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
  • Nasal tip, that is large or bulbous, drooping, or too upturned
  • Nostrils that are large, wide or upturned
  • Nasal asymmetry and deviation (deviated nasal septum)

Types of rhinoplasty

  • Augmentation rhinoplasty using either silicone implant, nasal septal cartilage, ear cartilage or rib cartilage
  • Reduction rhinoplasty
  • Septorhinoplasty
  • Alar or nostril reduction

Ideal candidate for rhinoplasty

  • Completion of facial growth (preferably 13 years of age or older)
  • Healthy individuals who do not have life threatening illnesses or medical conditions
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with realistic goals in mind for the improvement of appearance

Preoperative evaluation before rhinoplasty

Communication is vital in order to achieve the patient’s goals. During the initial consultation, patients will have the opportunity to discuss their goals and desirable results with the plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will work closely with the patients to reach an agreement about the expectations from the surgical procedures involved and their long term benefits.  Every patient is different, therefore a specific treatment regimen is planned to suit an individual’s need.

  • Discussion about expectation and desired outcome.
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical or surgical treatment.
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Discussion of type of anaesthesia
  • Examination and measurement of the face and nose
  • Photography for preoperative and postoperative evaluation

Preparation for rhinoplasty

  • Get laboratory testing or a medical evaluation
  • Adjust your medications if you have certain medical conditions
  • Stop smoking and alcohol well in advance before the scheduled date for surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements before surgery

The risks and safety information on rhinoplasty

The practice of medicine and surgery is not perfect science therefore some risks may occur even in the hand of an expert. Although good results are usually achievable, there are some potential risks that may occur such as

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Poor wound healing
  • Numbness (temporary)
  • Scarring
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Post rhinoplasty swelling
  • Nasal asymmetry
  • Alteration in the nasal airway
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • Anaesthesia risks

These risks mentioned above can be eliminated if proper preoperative evaluation and postoperative instructions are adhered strictly.

Postoperative expectations 

Depending upon the cases, a splint, internal tubes or packing will likely be placed inside your nose after the surgery. A splint or bandages is usually placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during initial healing. After the surgery there may be swelling, bruises or discomfort, irritation for several days that can be controlled with oral medications, cold compression and ointment. Oral antibiotics and analgesics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and postoperative pain respectively. In some cases, it may take several months for swelling to fully dissipate and up to a year for the outcome of the surgery to fully refine. Any external sutures on the nose will be removed about 7-10 days after the surgery. Although the results of nose surgery are usually permanent, cartilage may continue to reshape and move tissue that may change the outcome over time.

Postoperative care

It is imperative to follow the postoperative instructions carefully in order to avoid complications or undesirable results.

  • Keep the splint in place on the nose to maintain the position and prevent unnecessary movements for two weeks
  • Gentle cold compression around the eyes and nose for two weeks
  • Keep your head elevated especially when sleeping for two weeks
  • Regular cleansing of the operated wounds and application of antibiotic ointment
  • Avoid wearing eye glasses for six weeks (during this time patient is advised to use contact lens if necessary)
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities (avoid swimming, gym or strenuous athletic activity for two weeks; no contact sports for two months)
  • Avoid forcible sneezing or sniffing if possible
  • Take medications as instructed

How much will a rhinoplasty surgery cost?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Rhinoplasty prices can vary widely.

The price of rhinoplasty may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anaesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Medical tests

When rhinoplasty is performed for nasal trauma or to improve breathing function, this procedure is considered as reconstructive surgery and may be covered by insurance. This requires a detailed examination to verify the cause prior authorization from your insurer. Patients are advised to contact their insurance company for further verification.