Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Rhinoplasty or nose surgery sometimes referred to as “nose reshaping” or a “nose job” is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance and proportion of your nose, enhancing facial harmony and self-confidence. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural abnormalities in the nose like deviated septum.

Nose Surgery Diagram A

Nasal Hump

Corrected nasal hump with an open rhinoplasty.

What abnormalities can be corrected with a rhinoplasty?

  • 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. 

How is the rhinoplasty performed?

Most cases need general anesthesia, simple cases can be done under intravenous sedation. The procedure usually takes an hour or two, though complicated procedures may take longer. During surgery the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting framework of bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The nature of the sculpting will depend on your problem and your surgeon's preferred technique. Finally, the skin is re-draped over the new framework. 

Surgery can be performed from within the nose (close rhinoplasty), making their incision inside the nostrils. In more complicated cases the surgeon needs to do an open procedure by making a small incision across the columella (the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils).

When the surgery is complete, a splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints also may be placed in your nostrils to stabilize the septum (the dividing wall between the air passages).

How is the recovery after a rhinoplasty?

During the first twenty four hours your face will feel puffy, your nose may ache. You can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Swelling and bruising around the eyes will reach a peak on days two and three. Applying cold compresses will reduce this swelling and make you feel a bit better.

A little bleeding is common during the first two days following surgery. If a nasal packing is placed, it will be removed after a two-three days. By the end of one or, occasionally, two weeks, all dressings, splints, and stitches should be removed.