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Rhinoplasty, also called nose reshaping or a "nose job," is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. It is performed for one or both of the following reasons:

  • Cosmetically, to improve the appearance of the nose
  • To fix certain structural problems that make it hard to breathe through the nose

Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure, and people often leave the hospital the same day. For a more complex rhinoplasty, a brief hospital stay may be required. Which type of anesthesia you have — general or local — also depends on the complexity of the procedure.

Issues with the nasal septum — the thin wall of bone and cartilage that separates the nostrils — are treated with a different procedure called septoplasty. Unlike rhinoplasty, septoplasty does not change the appearance of the nose. If both procedures are needed, they may be done either at the same time or separately.

Do I need rhinoplasty?

Cosmetic rhinoplasty may be a good option if you are unhappy with the appearance of your nose:

  • By making the nose larger or smaller, changing its proportion within the face
  • By straightening a nose that is crooked
  • By reducing the size of the nostrils, or fixing upturned nostrils
  • By changing the size or shape of the tip of the nose
  • By fixing bumps or depressions in the bridge of the nose
  • By making the nose more symmetrical

Most surgeries to change the appearance of your nose are considered cosmetic, unless there is a reason more extensive reconstruction is needed. Most of the time, cosmetic rhinoplasty is not recommended until after the nose has finished growing (age 14 to 15 for girls; slightly older for boys).

Functional rhinoplasty is used to correct certain structural problems, such as fractures, that cause difficulty breathing through the nose. This is often covered by insurance.

Revision rhinoplasty may be needed or desired if you have breathing problems or are unhappy with how your nose looks after previous nose surgery.

Ethnic sensitive rhinoplasty involves refining the shape of the nose while preserving your ethnic features, creating an enhanced but natural appearance. Various ethnic groups have unique considerations when it comes to plastic surgery. Surgeons at Rush have experience using ethnic sensitive rhinoplasty techniques.

What are the risks of rhinoplasty?

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications, include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the nasal septum). This is a rare complication, but if it happens, you may need surgery to repair the septum. Facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons at Rush are highly experienced at treating nasal septal perforation.

Your surgeon will discuss these risks — as well as the risks of anesthesia — with you before the procedure.

Why choose Rush for rhinoplasty

  • When it comes to rhinoplasty, surgeons at Rush emphasize both form and function. They strive not only to enhance the appearance of your nose, but to make certain you don't have any trouble breathing through your new nose. 
  • In addition to reshaping your nose, your surgeon can offer a wide range of other facial rejuvenation procedures — including facelift, necklift, blepharoplasty, botox injections and dermal fillers — to help you feel more refreshed and youthful.