What is a rhinoplasty, and why is it done?

Rhinoplasty ("nose job") is the surgical alteration of the nose to change its shape or improve its function. Rhinoplasty is performed to correct breathing problems related to the nose, or to correct disfigurement of the nose that has occurred because of trauma or birth defects that have caused the nose to take on an abnormal shape.

Cosmetic rhinoplasty is performed on normal noses to improve their appearance. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of your nose, or change the size or shape of the tip, bridge, or nostrils.

Who is a good candidate for a cosmetic rhinoplasty?

Candidates should be in good physical health, psychologically stable, and have realistic expectations. Anyone who meets those criteria and would like to improve the appearance of his or her nose is a good candidate for rhinoplasty.

Is there a "perfect" or "ideal" nasal shape?

There is no one nasal shape that will compliment the natural beauty of every face. Today, surgical changes are made to enhance the remaining facial features and emphasize the individual's unique and natural facial beauty. A plastic surgeon can describe the facial features that make you unique and describe the changes that would enhance your appearance.

How do I know if my expectations are realistic?

If you are considering rhinoplasty, be sure to discuss your expectations with your surgeon. During your initial consultation, you will be asked what bothers you about your nose and how you would like to change it. Also, the surgeon will evaluate the structures of your nose such as the underlying nasal bones and cartilage, your overlying skin, and your other facial features. After this evaluation, the surgeon can tell you if your expectations are realistic, and whether the rhinoplasty will enhance your natural facial beauty.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/29/2016.


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