Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, is a cosmetic procedure that can reconstruct or reshape your nose.
Why Are Rhinoplasties So Popular?
The nose is a central, prominent facial feature, so if you are dissatisfied with the shape, size, or functionality of your nose, you may be in search of a solution. There are many reasons people choose to undergo rhinoplasty. Some of these include a deviated septum, a crooked nose, enlarged nostrils, a nasal hump, or nasal asymmetry.
What Is Your Goal for Your Rhinoplasty?
One of the main goals of rhinoplasty is to remove attention from your nose so that your other facial features, such as your eyes, can shine. The surgery produces excellent results that can be as subtle or noticeable as you desire.
Often, rhinoplasties have wonderful effects on a patient’s appearance and mental wellbeing. If you think you are a good candidate for a rhinoplasty procedure, it is important to understand what to expect from the surgery, the risks, and the financial cost. Read on to learn all there is to know about rhinoplasty.
How Dangerous Is a Nose Job?
Usually, when patients consider a surgical cosmetic procedure, their overwhelming concern is the safety of the surgery and its associated risks. No surgery comes without the risk of complications. However, rhinoplasties are extremely common and considered safe, providing you choose a skilled surgeon and follow the aftercare instructions provided by your doctor.
It is essential to find a highly trained, qualified, and experienced plastic surgeon with a long history of successful rhinoplasties and excellent reviews. Nonetheless, you should always consider the potential complications of plastic surgery.
Will I Get an Infection?
Unfortunately, every surgery runs the risk of infection. However, infections are very rare following a rhinoplasty procedure as the nose has such a strong blood supply. Providing you choose a qualified surgeon and look after your healing nose, infection is unlikely.
Will I Lose Blood?
Blood loss is potentially the most common side effect of a rhinoplasty procedure. It is completely normal for patients to lose between 50ml and 150ml of blood during the procedure; however, some may continue to lose blood during their recovery.
If you fail to follow post-operative instructions, blow your nose too hard, or take certain blood-thinning medications, your risk of blood loss may increase. In extreme situations, blood transfusions are required, but this is very rare.
What Are the Other Risks Associated With Rhinoplasty?
While significant complications are not anticipated, there is always a chance of a complication. These complications can include:
- Adverse reactions to the anesthesia
- Prolonged bruising and swelling
- Blood clots
- Nasal septal perforation
- Facial asymmetry
- Difficulty breathing
What Happens During a Rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty procedure takes approximately two to four hours, depending on the changes you are making. During this time, you will be sedated using a general anesthetic or intravenous sedation.
There are two types of rhinoplasty, open and closed. An open rhinoplasty involves making incisions across the skin between the nostrils (the columella). Closed rhinoplasty incisions are made on the inside of the nostrils, meaning the operation leaves no visible scars. While many patients would prefer the closed method because of the lack of scarring, a closed rhinoplasty is not always possible.
To reshape your nose, a part of the bone or cartilage may be removed, or a graft may be added, depending on your desired results.
What Preparations Should I Make Before My Rhinoplasty?
Before you dive into a rhinoplasty, there are a few things you need to do. First, you will have to book a consultation. A consultation allows you to outline all the changes you would like to make, and it gives your doctor the chance to examine your nose.
It is also recommended that you avoid smoking, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory medications or herbal supplements before your surgery, as these substances can increase bleeding.
What Should I Do Once I Get Home From My Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty recovery is approximately three weeks, and usually, people can resume the majority of their daily activities after this time. Unfortunately, during those three weeks, there are some aftercare practices you will need to carry out.
- 24 to 48 Hours After – You should keep your head elevated above your chest to encourage healing and reduce swelling
- 2 to 3 Days After – You will need to have your nose cleaned by your doctor
- 6 Days After – You will be glad to know that your gauze and nose splint can be removed
- 10 Days After – You should look presentable
Does Rhinoplasty Hurt?
You will feel no pain during the procedure itself, as rhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. However, during the following days, you should expect some discomfort. Swelling, bruising, and even some bleeding are all completely normal after-effects of a rhinoplasty.
Often patients describe their noses as feeling stuffy, which is due to mucus and dried blood. Most people experience only small amounts of discomfort, although prescribed pain killers can be used if you find the pain too uncomfortable.
How Much Does Rhinoplasty Cost?
There is no set cost for a rhinoplasty as the price of surgery is dependent on the complexity of your case, the doctor you choose, and the method used. The average cost of this type of surgery is around $6,000, although the procedure can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000.
Once you have had your consultation and your doctor has examined your nose, they will be able to give you a more accurate price estimate.
Is Rhinoplasty Covered By Insurance?
Unfortunately, if the reason for your rhinoplasty is purely cosmetic and you have no functional issues, most health insurance providers will not cover the procedure. However, if you are experiencing breathing problems caused by a deviated septum or any other functional problems, your procedure may be (at least partially) covered. If you have functional issues, additional cosmetic changes may also be covered.
How Is Rhinoplasty Tailored to Me?
Every nose is different, so each procedure is tailored to the patient’s specific case. This way, you will be able to achieve a result that is designed for you.
Dr. Michael Persky considers his work to be as much an art form as a medical procedure and has practiced facial plastic and reconstructive surgery in Encino, California since 1985. As a Clinical Instructor for the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Southern California Medical Center, Dr. Persky continues to educate and support upcoming physicians in their residency. He is a Board Certified Fellow by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as, Board Certified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.