Rhinoplasty: How It Works, Recovery Time, And Costs

Rhinoplasty or “nose job” is a plastic surgical procedure that alters the shape of the nose for cosmetic purposes or improved breathing. Surgeons can change its appearance from the inside or the outside to modify the nasal structure and eliminate defects or create an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) ranks it as the third most requested plastic surgery with about 223,000 procedures in 2016.

What is a rhinoplasty and how does it work?

A surgery that changes the structures in the nose, rhinoplasty offers options for patients whose facial features no longer change as a part of growing up. A positive outlook about the operation that improves appearance can contribute to successful outcomes along with good health and a decision to avoid tobacco. A plastic surgeon removes or reshapes the bone and cartilage in the nose to reduce its size, change the width of the bridge, eliminate dips or bumps, alter the tip, adjust nostril shape or create symmetry.

The surgery starts with anesthesia that relaxes the patient and prevents response to pain so that the surgeon can make an incision and lift the skin that covers nasal bone and cartilage. Access to the internal structures allows a surgeon to remove bone from a nose that needs a reduction or to use a cartilage graft to increase specific areas. When a septum has a deviation, the surgeon can straighten or align the structures to improve breathing. The last step in the surgery requires the doctor to redrape the nasal skin over the area and close the incisions.

How much does rhinoplasty cost?

Here’s an overview of costs for rhinoplasty in different countries:

Country EUR USD GBP
India 1 800 2 120 1 600
Czech Republic 2 100 2 470 1 860
Mexico 2 500 2 940 2 200
Poland 2 500 2 940 2 200
Hungary 2 500 2 940 2 200
Turkey 2 800 3 300 2 480
Malaysia 2 900 3 400 2 570
Thailand 3 400 4 000 3 000
Germany 4 500 5 300 3 990
UK 6 000 7 000 5 300
USA 6 800 8 000 6 030
Australia 8 000 9 400 7 090

What are the factors that affect the cost of a rhinoplasty?

There are several factors that can affect the overall costs of a rhinoplasty, and they include:

  • A surgeon’s reputation, experience, and qualification: the surgeon’s fee usually depends on experience, location, cost of overhead and personal preferences.
  • Anesthesia: it can increase the price, and it may vary by the qualifications of the provider.
  • Cost of a surgical facility: this may vary by patient preferences for a hospital or a less expensive option.

After surgery care: patient care after surgery includes appointments with the surgeon as well as regular medical supplies.

Insurance coverage may determine the final expense, but rhinoplasty as an elective procedure may not qualify.

What are the potential risks or complications of a rhinoplasty?

As with any surgery, the risk of anesthesia and infection pose concerns for a patient who considers rhinoplasty as an option. Scarring and the likelihood of insufficient healing of incisions can make the risk of surgery factors that need careful consideration and evaluation. The reputation of the clinic or hospital that a patient chooses may help influence a decision and have a potential impact on the level of risk that exists. Incisions may cause changes in skin sensation that subject a patient to pain or numbness as a wound heals.

On rare occasions, the nasal septum may develop a hole that requires another surgery to repair it. However, ASPS indicates that it may not respond to treatment and may have no avenue to correct the complication. Some patients may have difficulty breathing after the surgery and while the tissues experience swelling. Revisional surgery presents alternatives for nose jobs that patients consider unsatisfactory or those that may have an unattractive nasal appearance. Skin discoloration may accompany swelling until the wound has time to recover. Surgeons typically provide an opportunity for patients to inquire about risks and the potential for complications before deciding to pursue rhinoplasty. A consent form with the patient’s signature indicates a level of understanding that authorizes the doctor to proceed with the surgery.

What celebrities had a nose job done?

Few if any celebrities admit to changing their appearance with a nose job, but photographs on the Clevver website provide a basis for comparison that tends to indicate some famous noses that underwent a surgical procedure. Janet Jackson’s first nose job may have occurred when she was a teen, and she may have had more surgeries since. Josh Hutcherson of the Hunger Games and Bridge to Terabithia had an operation that changed the shape of his nose, but a repair for his deviated septum may have made it necessary.

Fashion model Tyra Banks’ slim nose seems narrower than the one that accented her famous face until a surgery in her teen years changed it. Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey’s nose features a slim look and a slight crook that may make it look as though it needs a nose job. A fistfight broke the nose of teen star Chad Michael Murray, and the corrective surgery that he had changed its appearance for subsequent roles in the movies.

What should I expect after a rhinoplasty?

The surgical incisions may cause swelling for a few weeks, but the result of the nose reshaping may take as much as a year to appear. Age and exposure to the sun can affect the aesthetic appearance of the surgery, but the refined results remain permanent otherwise.

What is the recovery time after rhinoplasty?

The days that immediately follow rhinoplasty surgery require surgical packing, a splint or both inside the nose to provide support. The removal or replacement of cartilage makes it less stable until the healing process can return it to its former strength and stability. Another splint and surgical dressing on the outside enhance the support that the nose needs during the healing to support the new shape of structures inside. During the first year of recovery, patients may experience some periodic swelling that often seems more prevalent in the morning than at other times.

Where should I go to get a nose job?

The opportunity to go to another country appeals to many patients, and the lower prices for surgery may help compensate for travel expenses. In order to make an informed decision, make sure you read up on rhinoplasty and that you research doctors who have proven experience in plastic surgery, and rhinoplasty.

Many hospitals and clinics abroad offer high-quality treatments at competitive prices, making travel an excellent alternative to often prohibitive costs in your own homeland. Top medical travel countries include Thailand, Hungary, Mexico, and Turkey.

A chance to see the world and enjoy other cultures encourages some patients to choose an exotic location for obtaining a new profile.

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About the author

Dr. Alexandre Figueiredo, Medical Content Manager

Alex is a medical doctor by training. He feels strongly about the current shortcomings of our healthcare system and thinks it’s about time that patients started benefiting from first-class, yet affordable treatment.

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