Every year, half a million people interested in improving the appearance of their nose seek to have a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon. Some are unhappy with the nose they were born with, for others a trauma has distorted it, others cannot breathe properly through their nose.

Nothing has a greater impact on a person than the shape and size of their nose, because the nose is the most defined feature of the face and a change in it can greatly improve its appearance.

If you have wondered how nasal surgery or rhinoplasty can improve your appearance, your self-confidence and your health, you need to know how rhinoplasty is performed and what you can expect from it. No booklet can answer all of your questions, but this one can answer many of them.

Successful facial plastic surgery is the result of a good doctor-patient relationship. Trust must be based on real expectations and a good medical experience. Your surgeon will answer all specific questions about your particular needs.


As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. It’s important to understand nasal surgery. The aim is to improve nasal appearance, harmonizing the nose with the other facial structures. There is no such thing as the perfect rhinoplasty. Skin type, ethnic features, and age are important factors that should be discussed with the surgeon. Rhinoplasty for aesthetic purposes should be performed when the nose reaches its final size, this usually happens between fifteen or sixteen years of age. Except in cases where breathing is severely damaged.

Before deciding on a rhinoplasty, ask your surgeon if any additional surgery is required to improve the overall appearance of your face. Many patients require augmentation of their chin along with rhinoplasty to obtain a more adequate balance in their facial profile.


If you require rhinoplasty for aesthetic or functional purposes, choosing a facial plastic surgeon is very important. Most facial plastic surgeons are trained in ear, nose, pharynx, neck, and face surgery, so putting yourself in the hands of a facial plastic surgeon will ensure you the highest level of quality possible.

Your surgeon will need to examine the structure of your nose both internally and externally to accurately assess the particular expectations of your case. You will also need to discuss the factors that go into the outcome of the surgery, such as skin type, ethnic features, age, degree of deformity, and the level of functioning of the nasal structures.

You should ask for a thorough explanation of actual expectations and risks. After that, you will be able to make a decision together with your surgeon to proceed with a rhinoplasty.

The surgeon will take photos and discuss the options available for your particular case. Your surgeon will explain how your nasal structures, including bones and cartilage, can be sculpted to reshape your nose. After a thorough examination and medical history, your surgeon will provide you with information about anesthesia and the cost of the procedures.


Rhinoplasty literally means “reshaping of the nose”. Incisions are first made inside the nose to allow the skin to be detached from the bony and cartilage structures. Most incisions are made inside the nose, where they will be invisible. In some cases, external incisions around the nostrils may be required. Parts of the cartilage and bone are then resected or rearranged to reshape the structures.

For example, when the tip of the nose is very long, the surgeon may sculpt the cartilage in that area to reduce its size. The angle formed by the nose and upper lip can be modified to obtain a more youthful appearance or to correct a deformity. Subsequently, the skin is repositioned on the new structure already remodeled and the incisions are closed. A splint is placed on the outside of the nose, which will protect the new nasal shape while it heals.

An absorbable material is usually used inside the nose to maintain the stability of the wall that divides the nostrils called the septum. The risk factors in a rhinoplasty are generally minor, your facial plastic surgeon will discuss them before the operation.


A small splint will be placed over your nose to protect it and keep the structures stable for eight days – ten days. If absorbable material is placed inside your nose during surgery, it will be removed in the first few days postoperatively. Your face will be slightly swollen, especially the first few days after surgery. Pain medication may be needed. You should avoid blowing your nose for at least seven days after surgery. During this same period you may experience slight swelling around your eyes. Cold compresses often decrease it. The sutures that are usually used are absorbable so they will not have to be removed. Intranasal bandages and packings are usually removed around the first week after surgery. It is very important that you follow the instructions of your surgeon, especially to keep your head elevated during the days of the immediate postoperative period, avoid physical activity, avoid exposure to the sun, exertion and of course any risk of trauma. If you wear glasses, you should modify them to make sure they do not rest on the bridge of your nose. In some cases, a special bandage can be used that allows the use of the lenses without distorting the area that was operated on. Insurance generally does not cover surgery performed for purely cosmetic purposes. Surgery to improve obstructive breathing problems or surgery for deformities or trauma may be reimbursable in part or in full. It is the responsibility of each patient to review the individual conditions of their particular insurance.