American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Frequently asked rhinoplasty questions


frequently asked rhinoplasty questions

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 214,000 people opted to undergo a nose reshaping procedure in 2018, and that number has only increased over time.

Rhinoplasty, which is more often referred to as a nose job, is a common procedure that both men and women choose for a variety of reasons, functional and cosmetic. If you're considering rhinoplasty, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the procedure.

Rhinoplasty FAQs

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that is intended to reshape the nose. It can be employed to make the nose smaller, change the overall shape or even augment the nose structure to add size if needed.

What are the benefits of rhinoplasty?

The benefits that you can enjoy from rhinoplasty depend on your reasons for having the procedure done: Nose surgery can achieve cosmetic or functional goals.

When patients undergo rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, they do so to improve the appearance of their nose, and in relation to the rest of their face. Plastic surgeons are typically able to do any of the following things improve the nose’s appearance and symmetry:

  • Reshape the tip of your nose
  • Smooth and modify the bridge of your nose
  • Increase or decrease overall nose size
  • Modify the shape and size of your nostrils

When patients opt for functional rhinoplasty it is a medically necessary addition to sinus surgery or septoplasty in order to help a patient breathe correctly. These patients report better, more comfortable breathing as a result of their surgery.

What is the difference between open and closed rhinoplasty?

For a closed rhinoplasty, all of the surgical incisions are made on the inside of the nose so that they are not visible post-surgery. However, certain cases require open rhinoplasty, which involves the surgeon making an incision along the bottom of the nose.

In all cases, a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon should be able to perform a rhinoplasty with incisions that are discreet and heal well. How long does rhinoplasty take?

Your surgeon will be able to tell you exactly how long your particular surgery should take. In general, most rhinoplasty procedures can be completed within just a couple of hours.

How do I know if I'm a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

When you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon, he or she will carefully review your medical history and expectations to help you determine if rhinoplasty is right for you.

In general, however, if you meet the following criteria, you are considered a good candidate for the procedure:

  • Over 13 years old to ensure that facial growth is complete
  • In good health
  • Not a heavy smoker or drinker
  • Realistic expectations regarding outcomes

Ultimately the best way to find out if you're a good candidate for rhinoplasty is to meet with a trustworthy, board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals.

Will my insurance cover the procedure?

If your surgery is purely cosmetic, your insurance company will likely consider it an elective procedure, and may not cover any of the cost.

However, if your rhinoplasty is considered medically necessary, as is the case with certain birth defects, sinus problems or health issues, then there is a chance that your insurance company will cover all or part of the procedure.

Discussing this with both your insurance company and your chosen plastic surgeon will help you understand all of your financing options.

Feel more confident with a rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a fantastic way to gain self-confidence and enhance your appearance to help you get closer to your ideal self.

When choosing a plastic surgeon to perform this procedure, it is always important to make sure that he or she is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Look for someone who is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which ensures that you are entrusting your appearance to a plastic surgeon who has been thoroughly vetted and who practices with the highest standards and ethics.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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