Nose Job (Rhinoplasty) Questions

Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

Surgery to reshape the nose is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures. People who elect to have this procedure, technically called a rhinoplasty - "rhino" being derived form the Greek word for "nose" - want to change the size or shape of their nose, relieve a breathing problem or correct a defect or injury.

1. Will a rhinoplasty help me breathe better?

Rhinoplasty or aesthetic nasal surgery is the reshaping of the nose to improve its appearance. This procedure is not necessarily intended to correct or improve breathing through the nose.

2. Will my insurance cover rhinoplasty?

Most rhinoplasties are performed for aesthetic reasons and are not approved by insurance. If surgery is necessary to correct an internal functional deformity causing airway obstruction, insurance usually covers the cost.

3. What are the risks involved in rhinoplasty surgery?

Postoperative complications in rhinoplasty are uncommon, but may include bleeding, infection, or poor healing that may necessitate a second operation. Following your surgeon's postoperative instructions can minimize complications.

4. Will I have packing, dressing, or a splint?

After a rhinoplasty you will wear a splint for approximately one week, perhaps longer. Packing is usually placed after the surgery and may remain in place for several days. Bruising may occur around the eyes and nose. Cosmetics can be worn once the nasal splint has been removed.

5. How will my nose look after the splint is removed?

The splint is usually removed at one week, but may stay on as long as ten days. Some pain, swelling, and bruising of the nose are to be expected. If there is bruising around the eyes it may begin to fade in several days; however, it could take 2 to 3 weeks to totally disappear. Swelling may be present in the tip of the nose for up to one year, although this is usually not apparent to the casual observer.

6. How long does the surgery take and is it painful?

Aesthetic reshaping of the nose usually takes approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours; however, it can take longer depending upon the extent of the deformities that are corrected. Pain that may occur following surgery is mild in degree and is easily controlled with medication.

7. What are the limitations after surgery and when can I return to my normal routine?

For the first few days following surgery, your activities should be significantly restricted to avoid any situation that increases blood pressure, which could result in bleeding. Your head should be elevated, particularly when sleeping, to minimize swelling to the nose. Activities such as exercising should be restricted for the first few weeks. The decision on when you can return to work depends on the type of work you do and the degree of swelling and discomfort. Most patients return to work after the splint is removed.

8. How long before I can be seen in public?

In general, rhinoplasty patients are comfortable going out in public after the splint is removed. Any bruising that may still be present can be covered with cosmetics. Swelling in the nose may persist for months, although it will decrease each week and may not be obvious.

9. How long after surgery before I know my final result?

The swelling that follows a rhinoplasty will continue to resolve for several months or longer. The swelling that occurs in the tip of the nose may take as long as one year to totally resolve. Reserve judgment on your rhinoplasty until all of the swelling has resolved and the tip of the nose feels soft again.

10. Are there any other procedures that are usually performed along with rhinoplasties, such as a chin implant?

A procedure that is commonly performed with rhinoplasty is augmentation of the chin with an implant. A small chin can make the face look disproportional and exaggerate the size of the nose. You can enlarge the chin by placing an implant, which can potentially enhance the appearance of both the nose and chin.

The Plastic Surgery Group, P.C., in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers the latest plastic surgery procedures, including nose jobs. For more information on the plastic surgery procedures we offer, including rhinoplasty, visit our plastic surgery procedures page or call our plastic surgery staff at (423) 756-7134 or (800) 634-3334. You can also e-mail us your questions and we will be in touch with you shortly.