how a rhinoplasty works

We've all heard about the infamous nose job. It's one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the United States, among both celebrities and your average Joe. It's very likely that you've considered getting one at some point in your life. After all, while some imperfections are easier to hide, if you're self conscious about your nose you'll have a tricky time trying to hide it from people. It's sort of right there in the middle of your face. 

Most people toy around with the idea of a nose job at some point in their lives, and for many of them it's just out of simple curiosity. For those that are serious about getting the procedure, though, it's important to make sure that you've done your research and fully understand the ins and outs of a rhinoplasty. Cosmetic surgery is still surgery, and getting a nose job isn't a decision that should be made lightly. The more you know about the costs, recovery, and other details about the procedure, the easier it will be for you to make an informed decision about where, when, and how to schedule your rhinoplasty. 

What is a Rhinoplasty

Let's start with the basics. A Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure performed on the nose to increase facial symmetry, and also relieve breathing issues caused by structural defects. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery and their peer-reviewed journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a Rhinoplasty enhances facial harmony and can alter:

  • Nose size in relation to facial balance
  • Nose width at the bridge or in the side and position of the nostrils
  • Nose profile with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
  • Nasal tip that is enlarged, bulbous, drooping, upturned, or hooked
  • Nostrils that are large, wide, or upturned
  • Nasal Symmetry

Procedure

When planning a Rhinoplasty, or nose job, a doctor will first consider the shape of the nose, airways, and nostrils. There are many different ways to perform a nose job and the surgeon will decide which process is best for you based off of the shape of your nose and the desired outcome for the procedure. WebMD describes the process of a nose job as “the surgeon reshaping the inner bone and cartilage of the nose to produce a more pleasing appearance”.

Performing a Rhinoplasty for structural defects and breathing issues requires more consideration of the nasal structure and how it impacts breathing. The American Society of Plastic Surgery claims one the most common cause for breathing impairment is a deviated septum, which can be improved by adjusting the inner workings of the nose.

In simple procedures the surgeon will simply make cuts within the nostrils to reshape the bones,  but more difficult cases call for cuts along the base of the nose as well.

This procedure can be done both on general anesthesia--in which the patient sleeps through the procedure--or local anesthesia, in which the patient is awake but numbed and will be unable to feel any pain.

Recovery

A nose job surgery is not extremely invasive and can usually be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient is able to leave the same day once released by the doctor.

The recovery process for a Rhinoplasty can vary according to what type of technique was used to perform the surgery, the level of difficulty of the procedure, and also personal healing factors that are different for everyone.

Doctors recommend avoiding social outings/activities for at least two weeks and avoiding strenuous exercise for three to six weeks. During the recovery process it is common for some swelling to occur, but this will slowly fade over the next six weeks until you are left with your desired nose shape.

Payment

Nose reconstruction surgery is among one of the top five most popular plastic surgeries, and is the most popular among teenagers, but these procedures are not cheap. A 2014 study by The American Society of Plastic Surgery found that the average cost for a Rhinoplasty in the U.S. is $4,694.

While this number depends on a variety of things such as doctor experience, difficulty of procedure, and location of the procedure, specific costs for the surgery will usually vary between $2,000 and $14,000…and this is excluding the cost of anesthesia and surgical equipment.

Like many plastic surgery procedures a rhinoplasty is typically considered an elective cosmetic procedure, so it’s unlike that your health insurance will cover a nose job unless being treated for breathing impairment. Many surgeons will offer payment plans to make the procedure easier to pay off over time. 

Written by: Maren Burns

 

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