Rhinoplasty, commonly called a “nose job,” is a complex plastic surgery procedure. The nose is the central and unifying facial feature, and an off-center or disproportionately large nose can throw off the aesthetic balance of the entire face, detracting from other attractive features.
We at the office of Dr. James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS, believe that the best patient is a well-informed patient, so we’ve taken the time to compile a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about the rhinoplasty procedure.
What are the different types of rhinoplasty?
There are three main types of rhinoplasty procedures offered by Dr. Ridgway:
- Closed Rhinoplasty. In this procedure, all incisions are made on the inside of the nostril to prevent visible scarring. This is generally the preferred type of rhinoplasty, but may not be possible in cases where extensive reconstruction is necessary.
- Open Rhinoplasty. When it is impossible to make all the desired changes through incisions on the inside of the nostrils alone, Dr. Ridgway may make an incision along the soft tissue between the nostrils, known as the columella. This technique allows more direct access to all the nasal structures, with the surgical scar will be carefully hidden below the nose.
- Nonsurgical Rhinoplasty. Called the “15-minute nose job,” this non-surgical procedure involves injecting fillers into the nose to improve shape. Depending on the type of filler used, results could last from several months to a more permanent correction. Although this procedure adds volume, smoothing bumps on the nose or bridge of the nose have the effect of making the entire nose structure appear smaller.
Dr. Ridgway also performs revision rhinoplasties, in which the patient has already undergone cosmetic surgery on the nose but are unhappy with the results. Any of the above procedures can be used for revision rhinoplasty, but it may be necessary to use more complex surgical techniques to correct a botched nose job.
Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty surgery?
A good candidate for rhinoplasty should be in good overall health, be dissatisfied with the size, shape or structure of the nose, and have realistic expectations about surgical results. Adults are good candidates, and minors seeking a rhinoplasty should be through their teenage growth (about age 14-16). Nose surgery for those under 18 will require parental consent. During your initial consultation, Dr. Ridgway evaluate your overall health, your goals for the surgery, and your expectations, to determine if you are a good candidate, physically and mentally, for a rhinoplasty.
Other good candidates would be those with ethnic backgrounds and do want a nose job, but do not necessarily want to disrupt the natural, ethnic look of their nose. By changing an ethnic nose too much can result in a nose that obviously looks like there has been work done to it. Dr. Ridgway is particularly skilled at performing an ethnic rhinoplasty due to his level of skill as well as his artistic eye. Furthermore, Dr. Ridgway understands the delicate difference between a female nose and the rugged structure of a male nose job. Candidates seeking a more masculine or feminine nose would be fantastic patients for Dr. Ridgway.
How much will it cost?
The cost of a nose surgery varies, depending on several factors, including the type of procedure to be performed and the complexity of the surgery. Nonsurgical rhinoplasties are the least expensive, but surgical rhinoplasties can require extensive intervention, particularly a revision rhinoplasty to correct cosmetic flaws from an earlier nose surgery. A nose job is typically considered elective, and is not covered by insurance, but health insurance may cover a portion of the cost if the surgery is necessary to correct a functional problem, such as difficulty breathing due to a deviated septum or similar issue. We also offer rhinoplasty financing for those with a healthy credit history.
What can I expect the day of the surgery?
Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure that typically takes 1-2 hours to perform. The day the surgery is scheduled, arrive at our offices in loose, comfortable clothing. Depending on what you have discussed with your facial plastic surgeon, you will be given either general anesthesia or local anesthesia along with a strong sedative to ensure your safety and comfort during the procedure. Afterwards, the Dr. Ridgway will pack and splint your nose to support it during healing, and give you detailed aftercare instructions to follow during the recovery period.
What do pre-op and post-op care look like?
For two weeks both preceding and following your rhinoplasty, you should avoid blood thinners like alcohol, aspirin, vitamin E, and other herbal supplements, as these can lead to excessive bleeding. You should also avoid smoking for at least 2-4 weeks before surgery, as smoking slows the healing process.
In the days following the procedure, you should keep your head elevated as much as possible to minimize swelling, and only use the medications that were specifically approved by your doctor. Many patients report feeling congested for the first week or two after surgery, but it is important that you avoid blowing your nose, as doing so could reopen surgical wounds and cause heavy bleeding. You should also avoid any strenuous activities, including exercise, as intense motion will raise your blood pressure and could cause bleeding. For the first several days after your surgery, wear button-down shirts rather than clothing that must be pulled over your head to remove, to avoid putting pressure on your nose.
When can I go back to my daily routine?
Most patients are ready to go back to work, school, or other regular activities a week or 10 days after the surgery, and can resume exercise without restrictions in 4-6 weeks. Patients who opt for a nonsurgical rhinoplasty have no restrictions, and can resume all normal activities immediately after treatment.Schedule a consultation