Rhinoplasty 101: Everything You Need To Know

The nose is literally the central feature of the face, and it plays a crucial role in “facial harmony” and the appearance of the face as a whole. A disproportionate size or shape can impact self-esteem and confidence as well, and plastic surgeon Dr. Sachin Shridharani of New York City’s LUXURGERY explains the nuances of rhinoplasty surgery and the most common reasons patients consider getting a “nose job.”

The ultimate goal of rhinoplasty is to create balance between the nose and the other facial features. The most common aesthetic concerns are a nose that is too large or wide, crooked, upturned or hooked, and a bulbous tip. Many patients also experience functional issues such as breathing problems. The natural appearance of the nose is due to genetics, however injuries, accidents and even skin-cancer treatment can alter its shape. The aging process may also have an impact on the look of the nose as gravity’s effects on the ligaments can lead to drooping over time.

Rhinoplasty surgery addresses the underlying bones and cartilaginous support structures/tissues of the nose through either an “open” approach that uses an incision below the nostrils, or a “closed” approach that is limited to incisions inside the nose. (Any external incisions are virtually undetectable once healed.) The ideal incision placement usually depends on the patient’s unique anatomy, whether it is a first-time or revisional rhinoplasty procedure, and the extent of correction that is necessary.

Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed to increase or decrease the size of the nose,reshape the nostrils, reduce the size of the nasal tip, reduce the height of the bridgeand improve breathing. Since the goal of this procedure is to enhance harmony and balance with other facial features, chin augmentation or reduction may be recommended as well. In some cases, injectable fillers may be suggested to “fine tune” other facial contours to achieve the optimal outcomes.

Depending on the extent of the procedure, rhinoplasty can be performed under local or general anesthesia on an outpatient basis, so patients return home the same day. Rhinoplasty takes from one to two hours, and although patients rarely report severe pain while recovering, healing takes time. Most patients are sent home wearing a metal or plastic splint, and some patients may have packing inside the nostrils for three to five days to help maintain the nose’s new shape as it heals. Bruising and swelling can last for a week or more, and the nose’s shape can continue to improve for up to a year.

It’s important to know that rhinoplasty is an extremely intricate surgical procedure that requires a surgeon with both extensive experience and an artistic eye. In the hands of a properly-trained surgeon who takes a comprehensive approach to creating facial harmony, rhinoplasty offers dramatic and often life-changing results for patients of all ages.

For more information, visit Sachin Shridharani, MD, FACS's social media: