Cosmetic Surgery Rhinoplasty Reconstructive Procedures

Reconstructive surgery on the nose is referred to as rhinoplasty, or more commonly as a “nose job.” Rhinoplasty alters the outer appearance of the nose. This is unlike septoplasty, which is a type of sinus surgery or nose surgery that alters the inner structure of the nose, usually to help with breathing problems.

What Can Be Altered

A nose job can change just about any aspect of the nose’s appearance. Nose surgery can:

  • alter the angle between the nose and upper lip
  • correct or alter birth defects
  • increase or decrease the overall size of the nose
  • reshape or alter the tip of the nose
  • straighten or reshape the bridge of the nose
  • widen or thin out the shape of the nose.

Best Candidates for Nose Surgery

People considering a nose job should be over the age of 18 and in good physical health. They should also be mentally stable and have realistic expectations for the procedure.

A nose job can enhance other facial features, correct defects and balance facial symmetry. It cannot change every aspect of a person’s face or alter their entire appearance.

Nose Surgery Financing

Because cosmetic plastic surgery procedures can get expensive, many surgeons offer payment plans or refer patients to financial institutions that offer plastic surgery loans. Banks and other financial institutions offer loans specifically for plastic surgery. This way, patients have a longer period of time for which to pay off their procedures.

Nose Surgery Costs

Rhinoplasty is one of the five most popular procedures in the United States. Over $1 billion was spent in this country on nose surgery in 2006.

The cost of each procedure varies depending on the specific surgeon, your location and the extent of the procedure. In 2006, the average cost of rhinoplasty was $3,841.

Most health insurance plans will not cover a nose job unless it is done out of medical necessity, such as if the patient has a breathing problem. Check ahead of time with your health care provider before counting on your procedure being covered by insurance.

Nose Surgery Risks and Effects

While rhinoplasty is a safe and usually routine procedure, the recovery period can be difficult for some people. Patients can experience swelling, bruising and tenderness for a few weeks following the surgery. Rest and relaxation is necessary.

Most rhinoplasty patients are also given prescription pain killers following surgery. These should be picked up before the procedure so that patients don’t have to worry about visiting a pharmacy while in pain and bandaged up.

In some cases, complications can occur after the surgery. These are rare, but can include:

  • a numb sensation in or around the nose
  • an uneven-looking or asymmetrical nose
  • difficulty breathing through the nose
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • reduced sense of smell
  • visible scarring.

After surgery, patients should avoid certain activities to reduce their risk of complications and extra pain. These include:

  • aerobics, jogging and any other strenuous exercise or activity
  • lifting anything that weighs more than 20 pounds
  • sleeping with your head lower than your chest
  • swimming.

These precautions and others may be necessary for several weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific information on precautions to take and how long to take them.


American Academy of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery (2007). Improving Form and Function of the Nose. Retrieved October 25, 2007, from the American Academy of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery Web site:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2007). 2006 Average Surgeon/Physician Fees. Retrieved October 25, 2007, from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Web site: