What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is nasal surgery performed to either improve the appearance of the nose, correct breathing obstruction, or achieve both at the same time. Rhinoplasty can be done to change the size, length or width of the nose; straighten a crooked nose; eliminate a bump or hump of the nasal bridge; or improve the overall symmetry of the nose. 

Ethnically sensitive rhinoplasty involves refining the appearance of the nose while respecting and preserving individual ethnic characteristics that are important to your identity, culture or family heritage. Surgeons at Rush have vast experience in treating patients of all backgrounds.

How rhinoplasty works

Rhinoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia. Depending on your goals and the anatomy of your nose, your surgeon may perform a closed procedure with incisions hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure using a small incision through the skin between the nostrils.

The shape and structure of the nose is changed by removing cartilage or bone to create a smaller nose, or using cartilage grafts to reshape the nasal contour. The skin is then re-draped over the new structure and the incisions are closed with sutures. A splint or soft cast is often placed over the nose to protect it during the healing period.

How long does it take to recover from rhinoplasty?

Most people return to work or school within one to two weeks after rhinoplasty, and it usually takes about two weeks for most of the swelling to subside — but as with every surgery, recovery is highly individual. During your consultation, your doctor will talk with you about what to expect.

Physicians Offering Rhinoplasty

Keith Hood, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

George Kokosis, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

David Kurlander, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Peter C. Revenaugh, MD

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Loren Schechter, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Deana Shenaq, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Ryan M. Smith, MD

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty

Q. What is the earliest age that rhinoplasty can be performed?

A. Facial growth and development should be complete and the nose fully formed before rhinoplasty can be safely performed. This is typically around age 14 for girls and 16 for boys.

Q. I just heard about something called a “nonsurgical rhinoplasty” — what does that mean?

A. Nonsurgical rhinoplasty, also called liquid rhinoplasty, involves using injectable fillers to make subtle changes to the nose. If major changes to the nasal structure are required, surgical rhinoplasty is the best option.

Q. I have a deviated septum. Can rhinoplasty improve my nasal breathing?

A. A deviated septum is when the cartilage that divides the nose into the left and right nasal passages is crooked. This can cause nasal congestion, breathing obstruction and blockage of airflow. A deviated septum can be corrected with a procedure called a septoplasty, which unlike rhinoplasty does not change the appearance of the nose. Sometimes these procedures are performed simultaneously to improve both breathing and appearance.

Q. I had a rhinoplasty years ago and I’ve never been happy with the result. Can this be corrected?

A. If you are unhappy with the result of your previous rhinoplasty or still have breathing issues, a revision rhinoplasty is possible. Every case is different; your surgeon will discuss limitations related to prior surgery — such as scar tissue or the need for cartilage grafting during revision procedures — at your consultation.