Frequently Asked Questions?

Who are best candidates for rhinoplasty?

The goal of rhinoplasty is to create a natural looking nose by reshaping, decreasing, or enhancing the patient's original nose. The surgery can be tailored to each patient's individual needs and desired outcome.

The best candidates for rhinoplasty are people who are looking to improve their features, not achieve perfection. As with all cosmetic surgery procedures, it's important to discuss your expectations with your surgeon.

What are the risks?

As with any surgery, there are some risks involved with proper healing. When performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, complications with rhinoplasty are infrequent and minimal. After surgery, small burst blood vessels may appear as tiny red spots on the skin's surface; these are usually minor but may be permanent. Your surgeon will discuss other risks and possible complications with you during consultation.

Does rhinoplasty leave any visible scars?

When rhinoplasty is performed from inside the nose, there is no visible scaring. When an "open" technique is used, or when the procedure calls for the narrowing of flared nostrils, there will be small scars on the base of the nose. These scars are usually not visible.

Where will my surgery take place and what kind of anesthesia is used?

Most often rhinoplasty procedures are performed in the operating room using general anesthesia.

What happens during surgery?

Most rhinoplasties are performed on an outpatient basis and usually take an hour or two depending on the extent of the correction. First, the skin of the nose is separated from the bone and cartilage. Then, the surgeon sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. The skin is then redraped over the rehaped nose.

Depending on the desired outcome and patient, rhinoplasty can either be performed from inside the nose (all incisions are made inside the rim of the nostrils), or from the exterior base of the nostrils, also called an "open" procedure (this is usaually reserved for more complicated procedures).

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

How long is the recovery period?

For the first 24 hours you should plan on staying in bed with your head elevated. Most patients are moving around within two days after surgery. You should be able to return to sedentary work within a week to 10 days after the procedure. It will take several weeks for you to return to your daily routine.

What happens after surgery?

After surgery, particularly during the first 24 hours, your face will feel puffy, your nose may ache, there may be some bruising around your eyes, and you may have a dull headache. You can control any discomfort with pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. You should stay in bed with your head elevated for the first day.

The swelling and bruising around your eyes will reach its peak two or three days after surgery. Cold compresses will reduce the swelling and may help you feel better. Most of the swelling and bruising should disappear within two weeks.

A little bleeding from your nose is common during the first few days after surgery, and your nose might also feel stuffy for several weeks. You should refrain from blowing your nose for a week or so while the tissues heal.

If you have nasal packing, it will be removed after a few days and you'll feel much more comfortable. Usually, by the end of the first week after surgery, all dressings, splints, and stitches will be removed.