portrait of a women with a bandaged noseRhinoplasty is also known as a “nose job”. It is a surgery that improves the proportion and appearance of a person’s nose. It is a common cosmetic surgery that changes the look of the nose in order to give a person greater self-confidence. A person may also have rhinoplasty performed if they need to correct impaired breathing caused by structural abnormalities of the nose.


The cost of rhinoplasty varies greatly depending on the location of the clinic, the doctor’s expertise and credentials. The cost is also influenced by how extensive the procedure is. An average surgeon will charge $5,500 for primary rhinoplasty. Revision rhinoplasty can cost upwards of $10,000. If you are having multiple procedures done at one time it is important to note that this may be a less expensive alternative because you only have to pay for one anesthesia and facility fee. Rhinoplasty that is performed for cosmetic purposes is not covered by health insurance. If the procedure is preformed to correct an abnormality or injury it may be partially or fully covered. Other costs to consider with rhinoplasty is time taken off work, the consultation fee, recovery supplies, medications and necessary blood work.


The patient is usually put under general or local anesthesia to sleep and to numb the area. The plastic surgeon will then separate the nasal skin and soft tissues from the osseo-cartilagenous nasal frame work and then correct them as desired. The nose may be reshaped in many different ways including narrowing or broadening the bridge. People may also want to change the point and top of their nose. A patient can have open or closed nasal surgery. Open surgery refers to the surgeon making a small irregular incision to the columella. Closed surgery refers to not cutting the columella which results in reduced post-operative edema, decreased scarring and quicker recovery time. After the surgeon has successfully reshaped the nose sutures will be applied. The doctor will also apply an external or internal stent to immobilize the nose. Occasionally the doctor will have to use a bone or cartilage graft to strengthen and alter the nose.

Health Risks

Approximately 5-20% of rhinoplasty procedures will need to have a secondary procedure done to get the look that the patient was expecting. This is often referred to as revision rhinoplasty. It involves fixing an earlier procedure or changing a feature of the nose that was initially not addressed. Complications can arise including post-operative bleeding. Infection can also occur, which may progress to an abscess. The abscess may require surgical drainage of pus while the patient is under general anesthetic. Scarring can also occur which can obstruct the airways making it difficult to breathe.


Every person’s recovery experience from rhinoplasty is different. The surgery is customized based on what the patient’s individual needs are. If the procedure was open or closed also makes a difference in the patient’s expected recovery time. Some patients receive rhinoplasty as out-patient whereas others may be kept overnight for observations. Pain medication is most often prescribed by the doctor in order to keep the patient comfortable. A cold compress for your nose can also help, but only if the doctor gave instructions to use one. The external splint often comes off after 12 days and bruising can last up to three weeks. Bruising can appear under the eyes and cheeks. Many people will feel stuffed up and have difficulty breathing for the first few days. Most people can get an accurate look of what their nose looks like without swelling six weeks after the initial surgery.


Most people who have rhinoplasty done will see their doctor within one week for review. If everything looks good they will not see the doctor again until after six weeks. After six weeks the patient will be able to determine if the desired look has been achieved. If there are any significant problems or concerns the doctor should be contacted right away.