Rhinoplasy FAQs


Before Rhinoplasty

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of the nose and sometimes the function of the nose as well. The nose can be altered by reducing or increasing the overall size, removing a hump, changing the angle between the nose and the upper lip, changing the shape of the tip or the bridge, or narrowing the span of the nostrils. Some breathing problems may also be treated during the rhinoplasty procedure.

Who is the best candidate for rhinoplasty?

Physically healthy men and women who have realistic expectations and are interested in improving the appearance and/or function of the nose are potential candidates for rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is often postponed on younger patients until the nose has completed its growth, which is around the age of fourteen for girls and a bit later for boys.

Are there any age restrictions for undergoing rhinoplasty?

It's generally advised that rhinoplasty not be performed on younger patients until the nose has completed its growth. This tends to occur around the age of fourteen for girls and a bit later for boys.

What can I expect during a consultation for rhinoplasty?

The consultation will include in-depth discussion about your desires regarding your nose. There will also be a pre-operative evaluation of the nose as well as the overall facial balance. Computer imaging may also be used to aid in communication with patients and offer them the opportunity to have input.

Are there any medications that need to be avoided before  surgery?

It is important to avoid taking certain medications, vitamins and herbs two week prior to your surgery as some medications may cause you to bleed more than normal. A list of these should be provided by your surgeon.

Is there a technique for rhinoplasty that doesn't require breaking the nose and can you do this?

Not all rhinoplasty involves breaking the nose and there are many instances in which I do not need to do this. I only break the nose when it is essential to obtain the proper balance or result that the patient requests.

Are your rhinoplasty techniques different from those of other doctors and how?

I cannot speak to what other doctors are doing with the noses they operate on. I am very innovative and feel entirely comfortable trying most anything that I feel will yield the result I am looking for. Sound surgical techniques are published and available to all surgeons, yet very few study all of them and utilize them.

Before the rhinoplasty procedure, can the analysis be sufficiently performed over the Internet?

While computer imaging can be employed to photos sent via the internet and communication can be productive, it is always relevant to examine the patient to determine the specific characteristics of the skin, cartilage, bone and other related features.

Can you show me over the Internet what my nose would look like after rhinoplasty?

I prefer not to perform computer imaging over the internet if I have not yet examined the patient.  There are just too many factors that would be assumed and it may be a worthless endeavor or even one that is inaccurate.

Do you have any special training in facial plastic surgery? I want to make sure that my nose after surgery still fits my face.

I am a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and my training prepared me to be a good judge of facial aesthetics overall and how the nose balances with respect to the other features.

If we disagree about things at the consultation, what happens?

If I consult with a patient and we have a disagreement about what should be done or how to accomplish our goal or even on what is possible then I prefer to refer that patient to another surgeon that may be more appropriate for that particular patient. I will not operate on this patient because I feel they may not be content with the result, even if I do my job well.

Will my information be private or will others have access to it?

All patient information is private unless I have written permission to discuss it or show it.

I'm from out of town and will be traveling to you for my rhinoplasty. Do offer a travel discount?

My office has several arrangements with nearby hotels whereby we can get a discount for patients. These hotels are all nearby and at various price points.

Rhinoplasty Surgery

Where is rhinoplasty surgery usually performed?

Rhinoplasty is often performed in a free-standing ambulatory surgery center or a surgeon's office based facility, though procedures can also be performed in a hospital.

What type of anesthesia is used for rhinoplasty?

General anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation may be used    
for rhinoplasty. I choose to only do my surgeries with IV sedation and local anesthesia, because the patient is asleep comfortably during the entire procedure, and the procedure is much safer than with general anesthesia. It is also far less likely to have some of the after effects of anesthesia with this type of anesthesia.

How is the actual rhinoplasty procedure performed?

Incisions are made either within the inside of the nose or both inside of the nose and one small one under the tip of the nose. The skin is then separated from the underlying bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The skin is redraped over the new framework and the incisions are closed.

How long does the actual rhinoplasty procedure last?

Rhinoplasty generally takes between one and two hours to complete.

Where are the incisions made for rhinoplasty?

Incisions may be solely confined to the inside of the nose, which is referred to as closed rhinoplasty. Sometimes an additional small incision under the tip of the nose is also required, which is referred to as open rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty may be preferred in some cases if it can provide better exposure and an overall better result. Other cases, however, can be performed with closed rhinoplasty.

Are there scars after rhinoplasty?

Surgical incisions will results in scars. However, for closed rhinoplasty the incisions are confined to the inside of the nose and result in no visible scarring. Open rhinoplasty includes an additional small incision under the tip of the nose which will result in a well concealed, fine line scar that will fade with time.

Is there much pain with rhinoplasty?

Patients may experience some discomfort during the first few days after surgery, but this can be controlled with prescription pain medication.

After Rhinoplasty Surgery

Will I be able to drive myself home after rhinoplasty?

It's best to have a family member or friend accompany you on the day of surgery and drive you home.

Will I need someone to help me out at home after rhinoplasty?

It's best to have a family member or friend accompany you home or to your place of recovery for the evening.

What is the recovery like after rhinoplasty?

During the first couple of days after surgery, some discomfort can occur though this can be controlled with prescription pain medication. Antibiotics and other medicines, such as a saline nose spray, may be prescribed as well. The splints and stitches are typically removed within six or seven days after surgery. Patients may also experience some bruising which will fade enough so that you feel comfortable in social situations by around the tenth day after surgery. Swelling is common and may take months to fully fade. Within one to two weeks most patients can return to work.  However, it will be two to three weeks before more strenuous activities can be resumed.

How much time will I need to take off from work after rhinoplasty?

Patients are typically able to return to work within one to two weeks after rhinoplasty.

How long will I need to plan on staying for my rhinoplasty if I'm traveling from out of town?

If a patient is traveling to me for surgery and will be flying then I advise they stay for 9 days. The reason for this is that the cabin pressure on the planes will cause swelling to occur and the nose will then take longer to get to it's desired shape. Rarely, this may impact the final result. There is no medical risk to flying earlier and often time patients do it and I have seen no ill effects thus far, but ideally I would have them wait.

When can I exercise after rhinoplasty?

Exercise and other strenuous activities can usually be resumed within two to three weeks after surgery.

When are the stitches removed after rhinoplasty?

The stitches are typically removed within six or seven days after surgery.

What are the risks or complications that can occur with rhinoplasty?

Some of the potential complications associated with rhinoplasty may include the following: adverse anesthesia reactions, incomplete improvement, infection, small burst blood vessels, and the need for additional surgery.

Does insurance ever cover rhinoplasty?

Insurance typically does not cover rhinoplasty procedures performed solely for cosmetic purposes. In cases where breathing problems are being treated, some degree of coverage may be provided.

Is it possible to get a rhinoplasty procedure financed?

Financing is available for plastic surgery procedures.

More Rhinoplasty FAQs: Specific Concerns and Can They Be Fixed?

Repair of a Broken Nose FAQs