Rhinoplasty, a surgical procedure commonly known as a “nose job,” has become much more common in recent years. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, increasing media use focuses wide attention on the successful surgeries of celebrities (and even ordinary individuals). For another, the culture as a whole has increasingly accepted various means of improving and enhancing one’s appearance. The third, and perhaps most important, reason for the popularity of rhinoplasty is the astonishing improvements that have been made in the operation itself.
A rhinoplasty, commonly called a nose job, is a surgical procedure that changes the shape and, often, the size of your nose. If your nose has a prominent bump, crooked bridge, or wide tip, or it seems too big (or even too small) in relation to the rest of your facial features, surgical rhinoplasty could be your best option to correct it. It’s sometimes combined (and often confused) with a septoplasty—the surgical correction of a deviated septum, a condition where the wall between your nasal passages is crooked. A septoplasty is performed to improve breathing, while a rhinoplasty is usually performed for cosmetic enhancement. Both procedures can be performed simultaneously under one anesthetic, with one recovery period.
Your plastic surgeon's experience and reputation make the greatest difference in the cost of rhinoplasty. Here in Manhattan, it is possible to undergo the procedure for as little as $3,000 when it is performed by surgeons-in-training, supervised by senior surgeons. Meanwhile, there are experienced surgeons who are not performing as many rhinoplasties as they would like, and may be willing to perform the procedure for $5,000 to $7,000. However, if rhinoplasty is your surgeon's specialty, this can provide the best chances of achieving the results you desire. His or her fees will reflect that, and depending on where the practice is located, the total cost of surgery can be upwards of $15,000.
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However, it’s not without real risks. A liquid nose job should be done only by a skilled plastic surgeon with extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, using only hyaluronic-acid-based fillers. Misplaced filler can cut off blood flow and cause skin necrosis (tissue death). If it’s caught quickly, the hyaluronic-acid filler can be dissolved by a doctor, using an injection of hyaluronidase. But because this risk is serious, fillers have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the nose.
How much you’ll swell really depends on you and on your surgeon’s technique—not so much the type of rhinoplasty you had. Dr. William Portuese, a facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, says that “The amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure depends upon the type of rhinoplasty performed [open versus closed], the thickness of the skin, the amount of alteration required to the nasal tip, and the patient’s variability with the healing process itself.” He notes that “Some patients require taping and steroid shots in the tip of the nose to reduce swelling in that area for the first several months after the procedure.” According to Dr. Miller, “A very clean open rhinoplasty can result in minimal swelling, while with a closed procedure that isn’t performed in the ideal tissue and cartilage, you can have a lot more swelling. If the dissection travels through soft tissue or muscle on top of the cartilage, more bleeding and swelling will develop.” He notes that most people can also expect some bleeding from days two to five, but it should lessen with each passing day.