Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery. Rhinoplasty reshapes your nose to improve your appearance or to fix medical problems that interfere with how you breathe. It can correct a deviated septum or a broken nose.
Rhinoplasty is a type of plastic surgery that changes your nose’s shape and size. Some people have cosmetic rhinoplasty to improve how their nose and face look. Others undergo functional rhinoplasty, which improves breathing and nasal function. Surgeons who perform this procedure are trained in plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery. Rhinoplasty is commonly called a nose job.
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You might choose to have a rhinoplasty procedure to:
A candidate for rhinoplasty should:
Rhinoplasty reshapes your nose. The procedure can:
There are two main types of rhinoplasty procedures:
Additional types of rhinoplasty include:
Rhinoplasty is a procedure that improves the appearance and/or structure of your nose. Septoplasty is a procedure similar to rhinoplasty that repairs the deep, internal structural complications within your nose — the nasal septum. Complications in the nasal septum can affect how you breathe. Both procedures can be done at the same time to improve both the look and the function of your nose.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. There are over 350,000 rhinoplasty procedures performed each year in the United States. While women and people assigned female at birth are more likely to get the procedure, men and people assigned male at birth get nearly 20% of all rhinoplasty surgeries in the U.S. each year.
Before your rhinoplasty procedure, you’ll meet with your surgeon for an initial consultation. This meeting provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and explain the results you hope to get. Your healthcare provider will examine and measure your face and take photographs. The two of you can discuss surgery options, outcomes and risks.
You should bring:
Rhinoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure, which means you go home the same day after your procedure. Someone needs to drive you home and stay with you overnight. You may receive general anesthesia (you’ll be asleep). Or you might have local anesthesia (your nose is numbed) and intravenous sedation (you’re relaxed, but not quite asleep). The procedure may take place at a hospital or outpatient medical facility.
During your rhinoplasty procedure, your surgeon:
Your rhinoplasty surgery can take between one and three hours.
After rhinoplasty surgery, you may have:
Immediately after rhinoplasty surgery, you’ll experience swelling. Swelling occurs when your nose is bigger than it normally is because fluid accumulates within and underneath your skin. Stages of swelling after rhinoplasty surgery include:
Each person heals differently after rhinoplasty surgery. The amount of swelling and the timeline of when you see your results could vary. Follow your provider’s treatment plan after surgery and stay up to date on follow-up appointments to make sure your nose is healing properly.
It’s common for your body to react to the surgery in different ways, like asymmetrical healing. Asymmetrical healing is swelling that affects one side of your nose and not the other. This makes your nose look crooked and it can be alarming. This isn’t a mistake. Asymmetrical healing is a way that your body recovers after surgery. You might experience this within the first few weeks after your surgery.
After your rhinoplasty surgery, your surgeon may administer a long-acting numbing agent at the end of the procedure. You should only have mild to moderate pain or discomfort. The pain should reduce or go away a few days to a week after surgery. During this time, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease your discomfort as directed by your healthcare provider.
The advantages of having a rhinoplasty procedure include:
All surgical procedures, including rhinoplasty, carry some degree of risk. Potential complications after rhinoplasty include:
It can take up to a year after your rhinoplasty surgery to fully recover. You’ll have swelling for about four to six weeks after your surgery that slowly decreases after three months. Between three months to a year, your nose is still healing and swelling could still be present. You’ll see full results after your nose completely heals, which is usually after one year. The timeline for recovery varies for each person.
To help your nose heal properly in the first few weeks after rhinoplasty surgery, you should:
After rhinoplasty surgery, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations about when you can go back to work or continue your regular activities. You should be able to return to work or school in one to two weeks. You can do light exercises within four to six weeks. You shouldn’t lift anything heavy for four to six weeks.
You should notice a difference in the appearance of your nose about a week after rhinoplasty surgery when your splint comes off. It can take up to a year for your nose to fully settle into its new shape. During this time, some facial swelling is normal. Most people who have functional rhinoplasty to fix a deviated septum see improvements within six weeks. About 15% of people need a follow-up (revision) surgery to make small changes after the initial surgery.
Rhinoplasty is a permanent body modification procedure. The results will last a lifetime. You may want a second rhinoplasty surgery to adjust any cosmetic changes to meet your expectations after you heal completely.
You should call your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following after a rhinoplasty surgery:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you’re self-conscious about the way your nose looks, you can visit a specialist to discuss whether you’re a good candidate for rhinoplasty. Nose surgery can improve your appearance, but you need to have realistic expectations about your results. It can take up to a year to see noticeable results after surgery. Getting a nose job is a big decision. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns, and learn more about the outcomes and risks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/03/2022.
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