Rhinoplasty FAQ

What is rhinoplasty?
Is your nose too big, too little, too sharp, or curved? Maybe you have problems breathing from either of your nostrils or just one side?

If you do, then you’re at the right place. Countless others think their nose distracts from other features on their face.

By just changing the contour of the nose, cosmetic surgery can re-do the entire nose or a little part, enhancing the overall look of the face. Dr. Paul Nassif is an expert in re-constructing the nose while preserving or repairing the ability to comfortably breathe.

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common procedures performed by facial plastic surgeons . You would think that because it is such a frequently performed procedure, the method would be perfected and outstanding results would be created each time, but this is not true. Actually this surgery is among the most difficult operations done in the area of the head and neck.

Before your surgery, much discussion and planning will take place. When you tell us what type of results you want, we’ll think about how to get complete synchronization of all your facial features by considering the distinction of your cheeks, jawline, the depth and quality of the skin, and the overall proportions of your nose. By improving your nose’s current features, Dr. Paul Nassif can aesthetically change your entire face.

Dr. Paul Nassif will give you a thorough exam and tell you how he can, if necessary, improve your problematic breathing with surgery. At times, a unique test will be given that measures your amount of obstruction or your sinuses may require an evaluation. Sinus problems may be improved at the same time as the rhinoplasty.

The Surgery
Whether you choose to be asleep under general anesthesia or awake under sedation, the surgery for cosmetic or functional rhinoplasty can take two to three hours. The majority of cuts are located inside the nostrils, however in some situations a tiny incision may be made on the underside of the nose between the nostrils. The incisions heal fast and the scars are almost invisible. A cast will be put on your nose after the surgery and soft dressing may be placed inside the nostrils if there is any bleeding and could be removed on the same day or the next. In several days, if you had the stitches placed in your natural crease, they will be taken out. And typically after a week the cast is removed.

Rhinoplasty Age-Related Issues: 
Individual considerations are taken for the elderly, teenagers and children.

The Elderly
There are no age restrictions for rhinoplasty surgery, that is assuming the individual is in good health and has reasonable expectations. Even so, the majority of patients receiving rhinoplasty are in their 20′s and 30′s. Individuals in their 40′s and 50′s, however, may have wanted to have it when they were younger but choose to have it later on as they got older.

Rhinoplasty can usually be performed on patients 15 years of age and older. If the operation is done before their ideal age, then the nose may grow in an erratic manner. The nasal growth can destroy the proportions that were made during surgery and create an unbalanced nose. Younger children may not be ready to face the emotional trauma of cosmetic surgery, so each individual needs to be reviewed alone.

Are there alternatives to Rhinoplasty?
No, there are no alternatives for cosmetic purposes. You can use strips that open the airways if you have problems breathing, but they are only a short term solution.

Who are the best candidates for Rhinoplasty?
Typically called a nose job, any person who is not happy with the look of their nose and has expectations that are realistic can have rhinoplasty. The surgery should be seriously considered just like any other surgical procedure. The best candidates for the surgery are those who want it to make them feel more confident. The types of people that I refrain from performing rhinoplasty on are those who want it to make their relationships or jobs better, or are obsessed with their nose or other parts of their body. This is because they are only going to be disappointed as they are dependant on the results of their surgery.

How much is Rhinoplasty?
The cost of Rhinoplasty depends on the situation for having the surgery. Insurance will not cover it if the reason is simply cosmetic, however they may cover it if the reason is to help with breathing problems.

Ethnicity-Related Rhinoplasty Issues:
Every individual needs to make the decision on whether they want their ethnic features touched up or if they want them totally gone. The majority of ethnic noses have qualities of their nose’s main components (skin, bone and cartilage) that limit the possibilities of results. I can retain the features that identify your ethnicity by lightly refining the ethnic nose, but those wanting to get rid of the ethnic features to get an entirely different appearance can be dissatisfied with the outcome. Those types of people need to keep in mind the surgery limits. 
Click here for more information on ethnic rhinoplasty procedures

Are there medications I should avoid prior to Rhinoplasty?
There are some medications to stay away from before your surgery. Prior to your scheduled surgery, ask Dr. Paul Nassif’s office for a list of those medications.

What is expected after post Rhinoplasty surgery and what are the results?
There is actually minimal pain after rhinoplasty and some are surprised. You may feel uncomfortable as you will not be able to breathe though your nose for a few days because of the swelling, but this will go away after about a week to two weeks. For a couple of weeks, you will also have some swelling around your eyes. After all the swelling goes away, you’ll begin to notice the results from the procedure.

During the recovery period, there are a couple of required safety measures. Bending or lifting is not suggested for three weeks, as this can extend the swelling. You should not exercise (running, cycling, or aerobics) for at least four weeks. Also, you should avoid any contact sports for six weeks because it takes that long for the bones to completely heal. Driving is ok as long as the swelling goes down enough not to hinder your vision. Flying is fine after two to three weeks after your procedure.

What is the preparation for Rhinoplasty surgery?
During the initial consultation you should ask the surgeon if they are Board Certified, how many rhinoplasties they perform in a year, do they make any cuts outside of the nose, will they pack your nose and for how long, and when will the cast be taken off?

On the day of your surgery clothing that snaps in the front or back should be worn (avoid slipover sweaters, T-shirts and turtlenecks). The morning of the surgery, be sure not to eat or drink anything (water included). Anything valuable should be left at home (no jewelry). Make-up of any kind (including nail polish) should not be worn. Do not wear contact lenses, but you may bring your sunglasses to go home in. You may keep your dentures in.

Where is rhinoplasty performed?
Rhinoplasty may take place in a surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgical center or a hospital.

Is rhinoplasty an inpatient or outpatient procedure? 
Rhinoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and does not require an overnight stay.

What type of anesthesia is rhinoplasty performed with?
Rhinoplasty is often performed with a combination of local anesthesia and sedation or with general anesthesia.

How long is the surgical time for rhinoplasty? 
Rhinoplasty typically takes between two and three hours to perform.

Where are the incisions made rhinoplasty? 
Most incisions are confined to the inside of the nose, which is known as closed rhinoplasty. However, in some situations a tiny incision is made on the underside of the nose between the nostrils, which is known as open rhinoplasty. The incisions heal fast and the scars are almost invisible.

What is open rhinoplasty and what is closed rhinoplasty? 
Closed rhinoplasty refers to procedures in which the incisions are confined to the inside of the nose. Open rhinoplasty refers to procedures in which an additional small incision is made between the nostrils on the underside of the nose. Closed rhinoplasty results in no visible scarring while open rhinoplasty results in a well-concealed, fine-line scar. Open rhinoplasty is often preferred when doing tip work and can also produce excellent symmetry, while closed rhinoplasty is preferred for nasal hump reduction.

Does rhinoplasty leave scars? 
Any incisions made on the outside of the nose generally heal fast and the resultant scars are almost invisible.

Is there much pain associated with rhinoplasty? 
Patients are often surprised by the minimal amount of pain after rhinoplasty. Some discomfort can occur and you will be unable to breathe through the nose during the first few days. Nasal packing can be an uncomfortable experience but it is not often required and is typically removed within one to two days. If necessary, pain medication can be prescribed.

After rhinoplasty, can I drive myself home? 
It’s best to make arrangements for someone to drive you home after surgery.

Is it necessary for someone to help out at home after rhinoplasty? 
After rhinoplasty, it’s often best if someone can stay with you for the first twenty-four hours.

What’s nasal packing? 
Nasal packing is a soft dressing that is placed inside of the nostrils if there is any bleeding. It is typically removed on the same day or the day after surgery.

When can I return to work after rhinoplasty? 
Patients are typically able to resume work and other normal activities in about a week after surgery.

How soon after rhinoplasty can I exercise? 
During the first three weeks, patients should avoid bending or lifting as this can extend swelling. Exercise like running, cycling, and aerobics should be postponed for at least four weeks and contact sports should be postponed for six weeks.

How soon after rhinoplasty are the stitches removed?
The stitches may be removed within several days to a week after surgery.

Is rhinoplasty covered by insurance? 
Insurance will not cover rhinoplasty procedures that are simply cosmetic, though some coverage may be available for procedure performed to help with breathing problems.

Can a rhinoplasty procedure be financed?
Financing is available for many plastic surgery procedures.

Revision Rhinoplasty:
With revision rhinoplasty, you’re likely to achieve the results that you were expecting but were not given with your first surgery, if done the right way. Read more about Revision Rhinoplasty Questions.

Are there risks and complications with Rhinoplasty?
Ask your surgeon about the possible complications, such as bleeding, infection, nasal obstruction, unexpected outcomes, and asymmetry.

What should I look for in a surgeon to perform my rhinoplasty procedure? 
Though rhinoplasty is one of the most common of cosmetic surgery procedures, it is also one of the most difficult operations performed in the area of the head and neck. As such, it’s essential that patients find a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). Be sure to ask any potential surgeon the following questions:

  • Does the surgeon have privileges to perform surgery in an accredited hospital and, if so, which hospitals?
  • How many rhinoplasty procedures has the surgeon performed?
  • Where and how will the surgery be performed?
  • Is the surgical facility accredited by a nation or state-recognized accrediting organization?
  • What are the risks of your particular procedure?

What does it mean if surgeons are board certified by the ABFPRS? 
The ABFPRS credential indicates that a surgeon:

  • Has completed an approved residency in one of the two surgical specialties that include identifiable training in all aspects of facial plastic surgery (otolaryngology/head-and-neck surgery or plastic surgery, generally);
  • Is double boarded, having earned prior certification in one of those specialties through the American Board of Medical Specialties or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada;
  • Has successfully completed a two-day examination;
  • Has submitted for peer-review an acceptable record of at least two years’ of clinical experience, including operative reports of a minimum of 100 facial plastic surgeries; and
  • Holds proper licensure and subscribes to the ABFPRS Code of Ethics.


"I would like to start off by first saying that I have enjoyed my experience here at Spalding Plastic surgery. You might be asking yourself; how could someone enjoy having surgery? Well the staff has made me feel at home and have been some of the kindest people I have ever met PERIOD." —Manuel
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