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Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty): Frequently Asked Questions

Considering nose surgery? If so, you probably have lots of questions, and you may have some concerns. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about rhinoplasty, along with their answers:

  1. What is rhinoplasty?
  2. At what age can rhinoplasty be performed?
  3. What does a typical rhinoplasty consultation entail?
  4. How is rhinoplasty performed?
  5. What should I expect postoperatively?
  6. When will the cast be taken off?
  7. When will I be able to see the results?
  8. What are the risks of rhinoplasty?
  9. How long should I wait before considering revision rhinoplasty?
  10. What is ethnic rhinoplasty?
  11. What is a filler rhinoplasty?

 

1. What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is surgery of the nose. Also known as a nose job, it can be performed for cosmetic or functional reasons. With rhinoplasty, defects or asymmetries of the nose can be corrected. A nose can be straightened, shortened, reduced in size or made narrower. In addition, bumps can be removed and the nostrils can be adjusted in size or flare.

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2. At what age can rhinoplasty be performed?

It is usually wise to avoid extensive nasal surgery on children unless it is to correct a serious problem or disfigurement due to a birth defect or trauma. Generally, cosmetic surgery on the nose is delayed until after the child has completed 90 percent of his or her growth, which is as early as 13 in girls and 15 in boys. Nose reshaping is the most requested aesthetic surgical procedure by teens, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, but it can be performed at virtually any age as long as the person meets the medical and emotional criteria for being a good candidate for the surgery.

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3. What does a typical rhinoplasty consultation entail?

At your consultation, the surgeon will ask you to describe your issues with your nose and how you hope the surgery will address them, and then he or she will explain whether those goals can be achieved realistically with rhinoplasty. A good surgeon will take into account what type of a rhinoplasty would most enhance your facial features and bone structure. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to rhinoplasty — it's a very individualized approach.

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4. How is rhinoplasty performed?

Rhinoplasty can be done with either the open or the closed technique. With the open technique, a small incision is made across and between the two nostrils and the skin of the nose is pulled back to expose the cartilage and bone. In the closed technique, the incisions are made inside the nostrils. The technique chosen will determine how extensive your surgery will be.

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5. What should I expect postoperatively?

When you awake from anesthesia, your nose will be packed with gauze, so you will need to breathe through your mouth. There may be a splint or cast to support the new shape of your nose and a dressing covering it all. You will be bruised and swollen, and possibly have the beginnings of two black eyes. This is normal and will subside over the first week or so of recovery. Most of the swelling resolves within two weeks to a month; it can take up to one year for all the residual swelling to abate.

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6. When will the cast be taken off?

The cast or splint is usually removed within the first week following surgery, and it may be a bit uncomfortable.

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7. When will I be able to see the results?

Your nose will be very sensitive and swollen for about a month and a half. As the swelling gradually goes down, your new nose will begin to emerge. About 90 percent of the swelling is gone by three months after surgery and the rest slowly disappears over the next year.

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8. What are the risks of rhinoplasty?

Even with a highly-skilled surgeon performing the surgery, there are risks associated with rhinoplasty. Problems with anesthesia are rare, but can occur. Infection is always a risk with any surgery, as are bleeding issues and scarring.

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9. How long should I wait before considering revision rhinoplasty?

If you're not happy with the results of your primary rhinoplasty, you may want to consider a revision rhinoplasty to correct any cosmetic or functional issues you are having. Most surgeons recommend that you wait at least a year before going the revision route. This allows enough time for all the swelling to dissipate and your tissues to heal and soften. Revision rhinoplasty is more a more complicated and expensive procedure than primary rhinoplasty, and not something to be entered into lightly.

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10. What is ethnic rhinoplasty?

Ethnic rhinoplasty refers to cosmetic nose surgery performed on non-Caucasians. It can provide a subtle enhancement of ethnic features, including a wider base of the nose, large or flared nostrils, a drooping nose tip or even a prominent nose. Most people seeking ethnic rhinoplasty wish to enhance what they have, not Westernize their nose.

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11. What is a filler rhinoplasty?

Nonsurgical filler rhinoplasty uses injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane to fill depressions, restore symmetry and/or correct other imperfections on your nose. The results are not permanent.

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  • Ormsby 50x50

    Marcia V. Ormsby, MD

    Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery, Inc.
    116 Defense Hwy.,
    #500
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    (866) 899-0158


  • Schuster 50x50

    Ronald H. Schuster, MD

    Ronald H Schuster, MD
    10807 Falls Road, #100
    Baltimore, MD 21093
    (800) 572-1096


  • P

    Brian R Buinewicz MD

    Buinewicz Plastic Surgery & Medspa
    3655 Route 202
    Suites 225 and 230
    Doylestown, PA 18902
    (800) 769-0037