Rhinoplasty continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide. With its popularity comes many questions from new patients. In this blog, Dr. Stallworth answers the top 10 questions about rhinoplasty. 

1) What is a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgery that alters the shape and structure of the nose. The goals of a rhinoplasty surgery include improving the appearance of the nose (aesthetic), improving breathing (functional), and sometimes both.

2) Who performs a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty surgeries should be performed by a adequately trained and board certified surgeon.  They are traditionally performed by both facial plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons. However, there are also many experienced and well-trained otolaryngologists (ENT) surgeons that also perform rhinoplasty procedures.

3) Can anyone have a rhinoplasty? 

There are many considerations taken into account when someone is thinking about undergoing rhinoplasty: 

    • Age: Surgeons recommend waiting for growth and skeletal maturity to be complete prior to surgery in order to prevent any possible complications and reduce the need for further surgery in the future. Most young women reach skeletal maturity between 15-17 years old, while young men may continue to have skeletal growth from 18 years old and into their early twenties.  However, a general rule is that patients should be 16-18 years old for aesthetic nasal surgery.  Out of medical necessities, there are patients that undergo rhinoplasties in childhood, though.
    • Goals and Expectations: Before a rhinoplasty consultation, take time to go over your goals and expectations and think of how realistic they are.  Some research is a good thing, but remember to ask questions and trust in the guidance of an experienced surgeon.
    • Medical History: If you suffer from a health condition or have a medical history that might preclude surgery or increase the rate of complications, rhinoplasty may not be an option.  If there is doubt, patients should consult with their surgeon and their primary care doctor to determine how feasible rhinoplasty surgery is for them.
    • Finances: Rhinoplasty is an investment and with skilled, trained, and experienced surgeons come increasing costs. Like all cosmetic procedures, in addition to the surgeon fees and consultation costs, there are also fees incurred for an anesthesiologist, the surgical facility, and for postoperative supplies and medications.

4) How long does recovery take?

Recovery for rhinoplasty varies depending on each patient and case. Typically, patients see a reduction of 70-80% in swelling within the first 3 months after surgery.  However, there will be some degree of swelling that persists for a full year.  This may even last closer to 18 months.  This is not unique to patients or surgeons, but simply the way the nose heals. It is important to note that the best way to recover quickly is to follow the specific instructions from your surgeon. Learn more rhinoplasty recovery tips by revisiting this past blog.

5) Can you undergo rhinoplasty if you’re pregnant?

No. Elective surgery of any kind is not advised for patients who are pregnant.  Dr. Stallworth recommends waiting for at least three months into the postpartum period before your initial consultation.  Surgery may also need further delay depending on if a mother is breast-feeding.

Remember, it’s important to consult with your surgeon, obstetrician or primary care doctor to determine if surgery is safe for you, especially if you are pregnant.

6) Are results immediate?

No! Right after your rhinoplasty, you will have tape and an external splint on the nose.  Swelling and some mild bruising may then ensue in the hours and days after surgery. These temporary changes in appearance will begin to go away within a couple of weeks, after which you’ll start to notice the results of your rhinoplasty. However, as mentioned above, your final result will take a minimum of one year (12 months) to obtain.

7) Are there different types of rhinoplasty? 

Yes! There are multiple approaches and techniques used in rhinoplasty surgery – each with varying end goals, healing, etc. Open rhinoplasty, for example, is where the incision is made on the external part of the nose. There is also closed rhinoplasty, liquid rhinoplasty, tip rhinoplasty, and more. We deep-dive into each type of rhinoplasty in our blog, The Different Types of Rhinoplasty. 

8) Will undergoing rhinoplasty affect my breathing?

This depends on your rhinoplasty goals. You may choose to have a rhinoplasty performed specifically to improve breathing. On the other hand, a rhinoplasty for aesthetic purposes shouldn’t have any negative effect on your breathing when performed by a qualified surgeon. Either way, a board certified facial aplastic surgeon will base every surgical decision on your end goal and will look for ways to improve your breathing in the most effective way.

9) How often can someone have a rhinoplasty? 

Rhinoplasty should be a one-time procedure, but there are cases that require revisions. It is common for most surgeons to stress the need to wait one year after rhinoplasty before considering a revision rhinoplasty. This is based on evidence of how the nose heals and continues to change over time.

After an adequate amount of time has passed from your initial procedure, and if you’re still not content with your results, you and your surgeon can revisit the idea of a revision rhinoplasty. The goal, however, should be that this is not necessary.  

10) Is a rhinoplasty the same thing as a nose job? 

Yes! The formal and correct terminology for a nose job is rhinoplasty. As mentioned in question one, it is performed to improve appearance, reshape the nose, or address breathing issues.

Interested in rhinoplasty? You came to the right place! 

If you’re interested in getting a rhinoplasty from a certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Stallworth is ready to help! Start by scheduling an initial consultation at this link or calling 210-997-3223.