Sculpting Your Nose with Rhinoplasty

By: David Chandler

Rhinoplasty is surgery on the nose. The procedure can be done for medical reasons, breathing problems, birth defects, or injury, or it may simply be done for aesthetic cosmetic purposes.

Rhinoplasty Procedures

There are two types of rhinoplasty procedures. The first type is known as an open procedure. With an open procedure, a minor incision is made between the nostrils, enabling them to lift that portion of nasal skin off the nose for better visibility of the cartilage and bone. This procedure gives the surgeon more control over the patient's nose because they are able to see the bone and cartilage. An open rhniplasty will leave a scar; however, for a skilled surgeon the scar will not be visible from a standard viewing distance.

The other type is closed rhinoplasty, where incisions are made on the inside of the nose, thus concealing any evidence of surgery. However, in some cases your surgeon may not be able to get to the target areas in order to perform the surgery sufficiently.

There are advantages and disadvantages of either type of rhinoplasty surgery. Therefore, it is necessary to consult with your surgeon to determine which type would be best suited for your situation.

Finding the Right Surgeon

Although nose shaping has been around for many decades, it does require incredible ability by the surgeon. Your doctor should have the proper certification and experience necessary to perform the given procedure.

Interview at least two or three plastic surgeons, he, or she should be board certified, and have a minimum of 5 years experience. During the consultation, ask how many rhinoplasties they have done in the last year, consider how well the doctor listen to your ideas, ask to see examples of their work and what can they do for you.

Likewise, if you are going to have general anesthesia, be sure the American Board of Anesthesiology has certified your anesthesiologist. In addition, make sure that you can be rapidly admitted to a nearby quality hospital in the event of unforeseen complications.

Rhinoplasty Fees

Surgeons fee: $3,500
Anesthesiologist: $700
Facility fee: $800
Average Total Cost: $5,000

Rhinoplasty is usually not covered by insurance unless the procedure is performed for medical reasons, e.g. birth defect, or accident. Therefore, you should consult the surgeon's office about payment plans or seek out a finance company that specializes in medical loans. If your insurer says that it is covered, be sure to get pre-authorization from them before the operation.


If you are careful and selective about whom you choose for your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and of course operating facility, there is only a less than 5% chance of any complications.

However, a possible risk you will need to consider and accept before having cosmetic nose surgery is revision rhinoplasty. First, because nose surgery is a difficult procedure and secondly, following the surgery your nose can change in ways which cannot be predicted beforehand. It is recommended to wait at least one year if a revision rhinoplasty is needed.


A splint is applied to the top of the nose to keep it in place while healing and gauze packing is inserted for a couple of days to protect the septum from moving and minimizing bleeding. The splint is usually removed within a week.

Anti-inflammatory medication and a painkiller are prescribed for swelling and discomfort, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection. You should also apply ice, elevate the head, and avoid blowing your nose and wearing eyeglasses.

Finally, few people ever regret getting a nose job. It has the potential to create a new appearance and lend new confidence. Just be careful

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