As the central feature of your face, the size, shape, and symmetry of your nose may add or subtract quite a bit from your overall appearance. When well proportioned and nicely shaped, the nose provides both form and function, and can also add to your look as a whole. For those who are unhappy with the appearance of their nose or have difficulty breathing due to poor anatomy within the nose, even minor adjustments may have a dramatic impact.
The most common reasons for seeking rhinoplasty
Although your reasons for seeking rhinoplasty, or a nose job, are highly personal and individual to your particular needs, there are several common reasons why patients seek to improve or change their nose. For most patients, problems with the nose are categorized as either those present from birth or those that occur due to trauma or aging. The goals for surgery are typically either to improve the appearance of the nose and the ability to breathe.
The most common reasons patients seek rhinoplasty include:
Size or shape that is out of proportion with the rest of the face. The nose is either too long, too wide, or just overall too big.
Poorly sized or shaped tip. The tip of the nose may be unevenly shaped, have an unsightly dent or divot, or is disproportionately thick compared to the rest of the nose.
Crooked, twisted or misshapen. The nose may appear crooked, twisted, or poorly shaped due to injury or poor development. Often those with such problems also have a deviated septum within the nose -- making breathing naturally through the nose difficult.
Bumps, humps, and lumps. The overall shape and size of the nose might be in good proportion with the rest of the face, but there may be an unusual bump or other abnormality that breaks up the natural beauty of the nose.
During your rhinoplasty consultation
During your rhinoplasty consultation, you will have the opportunity to address your concerns regarding your nose with your surgeon. Your surgeon will discuss your goals, concerns, surgical options, and more, and you should feel free to ask any questions you may have during your consultation — no question or concern is too small. Your surgeon will evaluate your nose and face, your overall health, and your goals, and make recommendations based on his or her findings during the consultation and examination.
Bring a list your questions and concerns to your consultation, as well as pictures of your nose or the noses of others to illustrate the areas you would like to correct or the final look you hope to achieve. In addition, bring a complete list of your medications, supplements, and vitamins, as some may need to be temporarily changed or stopped prior to surgery.
Rhinoplasty surgery and recovery
Your nose surgery will be tailored to your particular needs and goals, and your surgeon will go over the surgery with you in depth prior to your procedure. The vast majority of rhinoplasty surgeries take place under general anesthesia and last about one and a half hours to three hours in length. Most are performed on an outpatient basis, with patients going home the same day. Ask a friend or loved one to drive you to and from your surgery, and arrange for someone to stay with you for at least 24 to 48 hours after surgery, since you may feel tired, groggy, and sore. Having a helping hand will be important in the first few days after surgery.
After your procedure, you may have a surgical dressing or splint placed over the nose or packing inside the nose. These are all normal, and they may stay in place for anywhere from a few days to a week and a half. Bruising typically goes away within two weeks, and most patients feel well recovered in that time as well; however, minor swelling may persist for several months. Over time, the full results of your surgery will become visible.