Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Rhinoplasty is cosmetic surgery that alters the structure and appearance of the nose. Bone or cartilage may be removed, tissue grafted from another part of the body, or synthetic material implants used to alter the shape and function of the nose.

Nose surgery can change the physical appearance of the nose for cosmetic reasons, repair a nose that has been injured in an accident or correct an internal issue that can cause difficulty breathing.

The benefits of nose surgery are increased self-confidence, improved self-esteem, improved facial balance, and even improved breathing. Many patients opt to combine nose surgery with other facial cosmetic procedures performed at the same time.

Candidates must be in good general health, and the health of the skin is also taken into consideration. If you smoke, your doctor will ask you to stop for several months before and after having surgery. The chemicals in cigarettes rob your body of oxygen it needs for healing. Your doctor will assess your candidacy for this procedure.

The Procedure

Nose surgery requires only minimal anesthesia. A short, hidden incision may be made across the vertical strip that separates the nostrils. In some cases, (to reduce nostrils) incisions may be placed on the outside of the nose in the natural folds of the skin. Rhinoplasty can enhance the look of the tip of your nose, correct a hump on the bridge of your nose, fix drooping, or build up a deficient area. After the procedure, small sutures will be applied to the outside to hold the skin against the newly sculpted understructure. A cast or splint may be placed over your nose to set the bones into position while healing. This cast may be in place for up to a week.


Patients should arrange for a loved one to drive them home to rest following surgery. In the first few days after surgery, you may experience stuffiness in the nose, black eyes, and a dull headache that can be controlled with oral medication. Overall, there is very little pain that

comes with this procedure. Bed rest with your head elevated is required for at least a day following surgery, and you will need to keep your nose protected for at least a week. After two weeks, the splint and stitches will be removed. Swelling will subside within two to six weeks. Most patients return to sedentary work or school within a week of the surgery.

You will experience some bleeding, and you shouldn’t blow your nose during the first week. After one or two weeks (wearing make-up) only the patient and physician will be able to tell where the incisions were made. Be sure to take care when washing your face and putting on make-up. Contact lenses can be worn as soon as you feel comfortable, but glasses will need to be supported with tape from your forehead for six to seven weeks, or until your nose is completely healed. You must avoid sports and other situations which could cause contact with your nose.