Nose Job Basics
A nose job (technically called a rhinoplasty) is surgery on the nose to change its shape or improve its function.
It can be done for medical reasons -- such as to correct breathing problems related to the nose or correct disfigurement resulting from trauma or birth defects.
It can also be done for cosmetic reasons, which will change the nose's shape and appearance.
Deciding on a Nose Job
If you are thinking about getting a nose job, set up an appointment with your surgeon to discuss it. During that meeting, talk about your goals and tell the doctor what bothers you about your nose and how you would like to change it.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect nose. Surgery, though, can enhance facial features and emphasize your unique and natural beauty. A plastic surgeon can describe the facial features that make you unique and tell you how changes would enhance your appearance.
The surgeon will evaluate the structures of your nose and other facial features. After this evaluation, he or she can tell you if your expectations are realistic.
The surgeon will also consider your overall health and should discuss with you the risks, recovery time, and costs involved.
There are various techniques for reshaping the nose. Once you decide to go ahead, your surgeon should describe exactly what he or she proposes to do.
If you have health insurance, make sure you talk to your insurer in advance so you know what's covered and what you will need to pay for. Health insurance typically does not pay for procedures that are done only for cosmetic reasons.
A nose job is usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. You'll get general or local anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you'll sleep through the operation. With local anesthesia, you will be sedated and your nose will be numbed so you are relaxed and unable to feel the pain.
During an operation, the surgeon makes cuts within the nostrils. In more difficult cases, the surgeon may also make cuts across the base of the nose. The surgeon then reshapes the inner bone and cartilage to produce a more pleasing appearance.
Nose Job Recovery
After a nose job, people usually wear a nasal splint for the first week. You can expect swelling and some bruising around the eyes after surgery that will begin to improve after the third day. It can, though, last up to two weeks.
Expect your nose to have a little swelling, which probably only you and your surgeon will notice. This will go away over the next six months. The final shape of your nose will be apparent after it has completely healed.
You should avoid strenuous activity for three to six weeks after surgery. You may return to your social activities as soon as within two to three weeks without any recognizable signs that you had a procedure done.