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What is rhinoplasty?

Commonly known as a "nose-job", rhinoplasty is a surgical technique used to reshape the contour of the nose and correct structural abnormalities that cause impaired breathing.

Rhinoplasty can make the nose more in proportion to the rest of the face, remove bumps, decrease nostril size, adjust bridge width, and create a natural, balanced look to the face.

What to expect

During a thorough consultation, your physician will perform a physical exam, take a full medical history, ask you about medications you may be taking and any conditions you currently have, take photographs, and discuss your expectations for the surgery. In addition, you may ask your physician any questions and discuss concerns you may have about rhinoplasty at this time. Together, you will develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your individual needs and desires.

Your surgery can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

There are two basic types of rhinoplasty. Your doctor will determine which type of surgery is best for you. They are:

  • Closed procedure – In a closed rhinoplasty procedure, the incisions are made inside of the nostrils.
  • Open procedure – In an open rhinoplasty procedure, the incisions are made across the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils, called the columella.

The reshaping of the nose happens through these small incisions. In some cases, some bone or cartilage will be removed and in others, cartilage grafts may be necessary, depending on the size of your presurgical nose and the desired look you want to achieve.

Any structural abnormalities may also be corrected, such as a deviated septum, to improve breathing.


Risks from rhinoplasty are minimal and include those associated with any surgery, such as infection, excessive bleeding and anesthesia risks. In addition, risks for rhinoplasty include:

  • Swelling
  • Nasal septal perforation (very rare)
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose


After your surgery, a splint will be placed on your nose to support and protect the new structures and promote healing. In some cases, gauze packing may be inserted into the nostrils.

You will need to keep your head elevated for a few days after surgery. Most of the swelling and bruising subsides within a few weeks, but the final look of the new nose will not settle until about a year after surgery.

While everyone’s recovery is different, you can expect to wear the splint for one week and gauze packing for two to seven days. You will need to take it easy until your surgeon tells you it’s OK to resume normal activity, usually after a few weeks.

Frequently asked questions

Are the changes to my nose permanent?

You should see long lasting changes after your surgery. Natural aging and nature could have an impact. For any questions, it’s always best to connect with your doctor.

Will my nose be broken during the surgery?

Every case is different and depends on your desired results.

Will I have stitches and how long before they are removed?

Stitches inside the nose dissolve so they do not need to be removed. If you have stitches on the outside of the nose, they are removed within seven days. The exact amount of time depends on the extent of the procedure.

Before and after gallery

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