Rhinoplasty or a "nose job" is the surgical procedure that improves the appearance and proportions of the nose, thus enhancing facial balance and harmony. Specifically, rhinoplasty can correct the size, width, and profile of the nose, as well as the nasal tip and nostrils.
Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed procedure, whereby incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils. The soft tissues that cover the nose are gently raised through these incisions. This allows exposure of the nasal structures for reshaping. Nasal cartilage can be removed or trimmed, and bone can be filled or broken to alter or reduce the size of the nose. Cartilage or implants can be placed to augment various aspects of the nasal structure. Once the sculpting of the underlying nasal structure is complete, nasal skin and tissue are repositioned and the incisions are closed. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and usually takes about 3 hours.
The recovery takes one to two weeks. Most people resume their normal activities within two to three weeks. Following surgery, a lightweight external splint is applied to maintain the new shape of the nose and to protect the nasal bones, if they have been fractured and narrowed. This splint is removed within a week. Internal nasal splints may be inserted at the time of surgery to protect the septum. These are removed within a week.
Pain is minimal and is controlled with medications. Most of your bruising and swelling should disappear after 1 to 2 weeks. Any external sutures will be removed approximately 4 to 5 days following surgery, and the splint removed after 1 to 2 weeks.