What is Rhinoplasty?

A rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a “nose job”, is an outpatient surgery performed to shape the exterior of the nose (a cosmetic rhinoplasty) and/or interior passageways of the nose (called a functional rhinoplasty).

Surgical rhinoplasty of the cosmetic variety often addresses:

  • Nose size in relation to facial balance
  • Nose width at the bridge or in the size and position of the nostrils
  • Enlarged, bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked nasal tip
  • Large, wide or upturned nostrils
  • Nasal asymmetry
  • Deviated septum

Functional rhinoplasties may also correct structural problems within the inner workings of the nose with the end goal of helping patients breathe easier with less laboring.

Rhinoplasty Overview

Click to watch Dr. Lehman explain what occurs during a rhinoplasty.

Approaches to Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasties are performed by either a general plastic surgeon or an otolaryngologist with training in facial plastic surgery. Jeffrey J. Lehman, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified otolaryngologist at The Ear, Nose, Throat and Plastic Surgery Associates, is one such otolaryngologist with years of education, training and subsequent experience in facial plastic surgery with a concentration on rhinoplasty.

In Dr. Lehman’s practice, a majority of the cases he sees are for functional rhinoplasties.

More than 223,000 rhinoplasty surgeries were performed in 2016, making it one of the more common cosmetic procedures.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Expectations

Patients can expect a mild to moderate amount of pain or discomfort for the first 72 hours following the surgery. Typically, oral pain medications like Tylenol with codeine are sufficient to control the discomfort.

In general, the patient’s recovery should roughly follow this timetable:

Day 1: Return home and use cool compresses for 24 hours. The nasal drip pad should be changed as often as needed. Some swelling, bruising and discomfort should be expected.

Days 2-3: The majority of the bruising and swelling will occur during this time.

Days 5-14: External stitches should be removed or dissolved. The internal and external dressing will be removed by the otolaryngologist, and bruising should subside.

Weeks 2-4: The majority of the swelling should disappear and breathing should be improved.

To facilitate a successful recovery, Dr. Lehman suggests taking a few days off from work following surgery.

Most patients will notice results when the swelling begins to go down, but Dr. Lehman says it may be up to a full year before the final results become apparent.

Dr. Lehman explains when patients can expect to see results following rhinoplasty.

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