Rhinoplasty is among the five most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States, with more than 200,000 procedures performed in 2013 alone.  During the procedure, a plastic surgeon sculpts the cartilage and bone of the nose to achieve a patient's desired look. For men and women who are unhappy with the size and shape of their nose, rhinoplasty, otherwise known as nose reshaping surgery or a "nose job," offers a safe, effective, and time-tested cosmetic solution. When performed by an experienced, skilled cosmetic surgeon, rhinoplasty can greatly improve the balance of facial features, helping patients discover newfound confidence. Rhinoplasty can also be used to correct structural defects, including those that cause breathing problems.
In the initial surgical consultation, patients should discuss their specific needs and aesthetic goals to ensure that these goals are realistic. While rhinoplasty can achieve dramatic results, the procedure will not completely alter a patient's appearance. Rather, it is intended to enhance an individual's beauty and correct minor to moderate imperfections. Fortunately, even small changes can have major, positive effects on a patient's overall appearance.
When doctors operate at these outpatient centers, they should have hospital privileges with at least one local medical center. A doctor must pass rigorous screenings to earn these privileges, so patients can rest assured that their surgeon maintains proper ethical and safety standards. Surgical complications during rhinoplasty are extremely rare. However, hospital privileges ensure that a patient will have access to emergency care in the unlikely event that something does go wrong.
Although cost is certainly an important factor when it comes to deciding where to have a nose job, making sure you find the right surgeon should be at the top of your list of needs. After you do your online research or talk to friends who have had the same or a similar procedure, schedule a consultation with your top choices. At the consultation, come prepared with questions to address all of your concerns and ensure that your needs will be met. Some questions to ask include:
“Patients who undergo open rhinoplasty typically have more edema (swelling) that persists longer compared to patients in whom closed rhinoplasty techniques were used,” says Dr. C. Spencer Cochran, a Dallas, Texas facial plastic surgeon, in a rhinoplasty recovery Q&A. “If the nose was surgically broken by performing osteotomies, then there is usually more swelling and bruising."
Unfortunately, despite a surgeon's best efforts, in some cases a patient may be unhappy with the results of his or her surgery. This can result from numerous causes, including surgical error or unrealistic expectations on the patient's part. Because the final results of rhinoplasty can take up to a year to develop, patients should not panic if their noses have not taken their ideal shape in the first few months. If a patient is unhappy with the nose even after the final shape has stabilized, there are options for treatment and correction. Depending on the extent of changes that need to be made, a surgeon may recommend non-surgical nose reshaping or secondary (revision) rhinoplasty.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken notes in a RealSelf Q&A that “By nature, surgery causes soreness, and patients are usually restricted from full workouts for a period of time after surgery. This explains the weight gains often noticed immediately afterward.” But it’s important to get back into the habit as soon as you’re able. “Some patients gain a false sense of confidence after their liposuction procedure,” he says. “If anything, patients should plan on being more active and healthier about their eating habits after surgery than they were before.”
It’s important to understand exactly what your doctor’s quote includes. Does the number only include your surgeon’s fee? Or will it cover anesthesia, hospital fees, pre- or post-op appointments, and medications you’ll need throughout your recovery? If your doctor’s estimate doesn’t consider all those costs, be sure to factor them into your budget. Also be sure to ask how your surgeon handles revisions, in case you aren’t happy with your initial results.