The Rhinoplasty Process

The process of undergoing nose reshaping or nasal reconstruction will vary from patient to patient, depending upon individual needs and treatment goals. Before getting started, however, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of the rhinoplasty process.

Locate a Surgeon

Finding a skilled, experienced rhinoplasty surgeon is imperative to experience the best possible results for nasal reconstruction. It can be helpful to meet with a few different surgeons to ensure their qualifications, approach, and expertise match the type of rhinoplasty surgery you are interested in or need. Surgeons who are members of The Rhinoplasty Society specialize in nasal surgery. Please use our “Find A Surgeon” feature to locate a qualified rhinoplasty surgeon in your area.

Find a Surgeon

Treatment Consultation

A rhinoplasty consultation offers the opportunity to share your needs, concerns, and goals with your surgeon and explore your treatment options. During this consultation, your surgeon will likely explain the surgical process, provide information on any preparatory instructions, and discuss what to expect during recovery. Options for anesthesia during surgery can also be reviewed at this time.

Your consultation should also include an examination of your nose, facial bones, and structure. Photos or digital images may be taken to help your surgeon plan your surgery and help you visualize what your end result might look like. In some cases, a second consultation may be scheduled to further discuss and finalize your treatment plan.

Preparation for Surgery

Specific preparatory instructions will be provided ahead of time by your surgical team. These instructions will be tailored to your unique case and health requirements but could include factors like:

  • Skincare instructions prior to the day of your surgery
  • Products to avoid leading up to your surgery
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco use
  • Temporary changes to prescribed or over-the-counter medications
  • Restrictions on eating or drinking in the hours leading up to your surgery

Any prescriptions provided by your surgeon should be filled prior to your surgery.

The Surgical Procedure

Before your nose surgery begins, anesthesia will be administered to help ensure your comfort. This may include intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you receive may depend on the surgery being performed, your medical history, and other factors, and should be discussed during the consultation phase of the rhinoplasty process.

To perform nose reshaping or nasal reconstruction surgery, your surgeon may take a closed rhinoplasty approach, which is where small incisions are made inside of the nostrils. This is often used for minor surgical procedures. When more complex surgery is needed, your surgeon may take an open rhinoplasty approach, creating an incision on the outside of the nose between the nostrils. The skin covering the nose will be gently lifted to reveal the nasal structures. Your surgeon will then augment your nose by manipulating or reducing the cartilage or bone tissues, treat a deviated septum, or address other cosmetic or functional issues.

Once the surgery is complete, the skin will be repositioned and sutured to begin the healing phase. The nasal cavities may also be packed with gauze, which should remain in place over the next few days.

Post-operative Recovery

The recovery phase following rhinoplasty surgery may last for several weeks or months, depending on the type and extent of the procedure you received. It is very important to follow any post-operative instructions provided by your surgical team to help facilitate your healing and recovery. Information on what to expect during the various phases of healing can also be provided by your rhinoplasty surgeon.

Learn More About the Rhinoplasty Process

A variety of factors can affect the rhinoplasty process for each individual patient, but the results experienced from these highly specialized procedures can often be life-changing. To learn more about the process for nose reshaping or nasal reconstruction, it is best to meet with a qualified surgeon in your community. The Rhinoplasty Society’s surgeon finder tool can help you locate the right rhinoplasty specialist for your needs.

Find a Surgeon