Cosmetic Surgery Rhinoplasty Nose Procedure Risks

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Among the five most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States is rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery or a nose job.

Nose surgery is generally a safe procedure. The recovery period generally involves:

  • bruising
  • puffiness
  • slight bleeding
  • swelling.

However, in some cases, complications and more severe side effects from plastic surgery can occur.

Nose Jobs: When the Results Aren’t Right

In some cases, the nose surgery does not produce the results the patient desired. In many cases, this happens because the patient and the doctor failed to communicate properly. The patient may not clearly explain what alterations he wants, while the plastic surgeon may not accurately explain what the patient should expect after the procedure and what the procedure will accomplish.

To avoid this problem, it is essential for patients to be very specific when they are explaining what they want from a nose surgery procedure. Additionally, it’s essential for the patient to find a plastic surgeon who outlines everything about the nose surgery procedure and who is especially clearly about the likely results.

Even when the patient and plastic surgeon are clear in their communication, sometimes nose surgery can come out in a way that does not please the patient. Sometimes, the plastic surgeon can make a mistake and can create a bump or other disfigurement. In other cases, facial symmetry can be negatively affected if the nose is not entirely centered.

In approximately one out of every 10 cases, a second nose surgery procedure may be necessary, whether to correct a problem created by surgery or to get the results the patient originally desired.

Secondary nose surgery procedures are similar to primary nose surgery procedures but may require extra precautions and planning. The skin may be thinner and there may be less cartilage and tissue to work with, so it’s important to get a plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience with secondary procedures.

Other Things that Can Go Wrong with Nose Jobs

In some cases, nose surgery can make it difficult for patients to breathe. Most often, this is temporary, but, as some rhinoplasty affects the nasal septum and the shape of the nasal airways, there can be a permanent difference in how the patient breathes.

Infection and abnormal bleeding can also occur in some cases. Your plastic surgeon should discuss these risks with you ahead of time and should tell you what to do if either occurs. Most often, a follow-up appointment will be necessary to make sure that the patient is healing correctly.

Anesthesia-related complications can also occur. If you have ever had a negative reaction to anesthesia, make sure your plastic surgeon is aware of it.

Lastly, tiny red spots can appear on the surface of the nose skin after nose surgery. These are often temporary, but they may be lasting. Thankfully, these spots are usually extremely small and not be very noticeable.


American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2007). Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty). Retrieved November 5, 2007, from the ASPS Web site:

Estridge, Bonnie (2001). How cosmetic surgery can go wrong. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from the Daily Mail Web site: