Exploring "Rhinopopularity"

Reviewed by Min S. Ahn, MD

Every year 500,000 people will see a plastic surgeon to discuss what they don't like about their nose, and many will go on to have surgery to correct what bothers them.

There's no question about it, nose jobs are popular. So popular, in fact, that the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) coined a new term to describe the surgery's recent surge: rhino-popularity.

Why is rhinopopularity peaking now? Social media and our reliance on it, is surely driving some of the traction. Not only do we see ourselves from all angles on Facebook, Instragram and other social sites, but so too do our exes, friends, frenemies and future paramours. You can't just rip up a bad photo anymore, and as a result, many people are hoping to improve their Facebook profile as well as their actual profile. (A bump on a nose can really ruin a good profile shot – not to mention a profile.)

And that's just one of the many reasons nose jobs are so in-demand.

The rhino-concern for others may be purely functional (i.e., they can't breathe), or corrective (such as fixing a broken nose). Some people may seek a revision rhinoplasty because their first one didn't work out exactly as planned, while others opt to enhance their identity with ethnic rhinoplasty. …You get the drift. There are lots of reasons that people seek to tweak their beak.

Your Nose Job

Just like there is no one reason to opt for nose surgery, there also is no one-sized fits-all rhinoplasty procedure. Most are performed on an outpatient basis – meaning no hospital stay is required – and take anywhere from one to three hours based on the complexity of the surgery. For comfort, surgeons will either use local anesthesia with intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia.

Nose jobs are "open" or "closed." In a closed procedure, the incisions are hidden inside the nose. By contrast, an open nose procedure involves an incision in the vertical strip of skin separating the nostrils (the columella).

Once the surgeon is "in," he or she may alter the position of certain bones to straighten or narrow the nose. If your nose needs to be built up, your doctor may take cartilage from somewhere else, such as your ear or rib. After the sculpting and crafting is complete, the skin and soft tissues are re-draped.

Some doctors are performing "liquid" nose jobs which use soft tissue fillers to obscure a bump or fill in any depressions, dents or grooves. If you are on the fence about going under the knife, a filler rhinoplasty can show you what your new nose will look like if you choose that route. Consider it a trial run of sorts.

Don't expect your new nose to be perfect right away. A lot of people hit the panic button early and ask for a redo. Swelling can take up to one year to abate. There also is some bruising right after surgery. (Don't be surprised to look in the mirror and see a raccoon staring back.) Splints, internal tubes or packing may be needed to support and protect your new nose. You may also feel stuffed up, but you won't be able to blow your nose. This is frustrating, but does not last forever. Try to be patient.

Protect Your Investment

Make sure you have clear instructions about after care before you go home. All surgeries have risks, including nose jobs. Risks such as infection and poor wound healing can be dramatically reduced by following your doctor's instructions closely and carefully.

Nose jobs aren't cheap. They can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000 depending on how involved the surgery is as well as where the practice is located. Nose jobs – and really all cosmetic surgeries for that matter – will cost more in big cities than rural areas because the overhead is much higher in places like New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.

Purely cosmetic procedures are rarely covered by insurance, but some nose jobs are performed at least in part for functional reasons, and may be fully or partially covered. Third party financing may be available.

  • Halaas 58x57

    Yael Halaas, MD, FACS

    60 E. 56th Street
    3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10022
    (332) 239-6439

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    Dr. Ali Totonchi

    Totonchi Plastic Surgery
    2500 MetroHealth Drive
    Cleveland, OH 44109

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    Mune Gowda, MD

    3270 West Big Beaver
    Suite 415
    Troy, MI 48084



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