You probably already know, in general terms at least, what’s involved with a rhinoplasty or what’s commonly known as a “nose job.” But if you’re really considering this surgery, you will want to educate yourself about the specifics. We asked one of our surgeons to walk us through a typical rhinoplasty procedure,.
In the video and accompanying blog article, he answers frequently asked questions such as:
- Who’s a good candidate for a “nose job?”
- At what age should you consider having this surgery?
- What assistance might you receive from your health insurance policy?
Regardless of whether you ultimately choose one of our board-certified surgeons at Austin-Weston, this is valuable information to help you make an informed choice. So let’s get down to business.
What is involved in a rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is the term doctors use to describe any number of surgical procedures a patient might undergo to achieve the nose shape he or she desires. This term encompasses a large category of possible procedures and is highly individualized.
In reality, every nose is different, but patients seeking a cosmetic rhinoplasty tend to want similar things. For example, they may feel bothered by a hump on the bridge of the nose. Or they may feel that their nose is too long. Or they complain about having a bulbous tip or are otherwise unhappy with the size or shape of their noses. We discuss what nose surgery can do for them.
Who is a good candidate for a rhinoplasty?
The most important consideration for our surgeons—and frankly any responsible plastic surgeon—is to ensure that a patient has realistic expectations of what a rhinoplasty can achieve.
First, it’s important to understand the limitations of the surgery. Rhinoplasty is most likely to yield great results for those with a nose that is large or otherwise appears out of proportion to their face. But, just as you can’t shrink a St. Bernard into a Chihuahua, you can only ask the skin of the nose to contract so much. If you expect your doctor to sculpt a tiny, super model nose, you may not fully understand what’s surgically possible. This is one reason it’s so crucial to have a conversation with your surgeon where you can really understand your potential results.
Aside from our pre-operative counseling sessions, Austin-Weston surgeons use imaging to align patient expectations with patient results. Using computer-generated images, we can give you a very good idea of what your post-surgical results will be. If you’re not happy with these images, the odds are good you won’t be happy with your results. So make sure to really take your time going over these images.
What are “realistic expectations” in this case?
Occasionally someone will come in for a consultation wanting a nose that’s “over done.”
They may want a look, for instance, that is only achievable using a procedure that will cause breathing issues. Or structurally speaking, they may simply not have enough natural tissue to build up to their desired look. Whenever we encounter this, we always sit the patient down and explain in plain terms what’s possible and what he or she can expect. Honestly really is the best policy here.
Is there a right age to get a nose job?
You may have heard (correctly!) that the nose continues growing throughout our entire adult lives, so a question arises here about age. We perform rhinoplasty procedures on people starting in their teens. Is this an option for the high school graduate in your life? Perhaps, but they need to have the maturity to understand the consequences of the procedure.
By the time we reach high school, most people are finished with big growth changes, but physical maturity doesn’t necessarily mean emotional maturity. While we are more intellectually developed, any conversation about teenage rhinoplasty should include the adults in the patient’s life, Our surgeons always do everything they can to guard against patients looking to make a whimsical or impulsive change that they might later regret.
What can I expect in terms of cost?
As with any surgery, cost is an important factor. Rhinoplasty costs start around $8,000 and vary depending on what is involved. Some nose jobs are relatively simple. For example, shaving down the hump on the ridge of the nose is cosmetic and doesn’t involve any broken bones or large incisions on the interior of the nose.
By contrast, when patients come in with structural issues, such as a deviated septum, the rhinoplasty is more complex and consequently, more expensive. The good news here, though, is that your health insurance may offer assistance with the fees if the procedure is deemed medically required. All of this is between the patient and her insurance company, of course.
What about the risks?
Most risks occur because doctors promise more than they can deliver—so buyer beware. This is why we spend a lot of time before surgery going over your expectations. Again, we have strict policies against performing any rhinoplasty procedure we judge to be “over done.”
You may have heard of a procedure called a “non-surgical” or “liquid” rhinoplasty. During this procedure a surgeon may use cosmetic fillers to add definition to the tip of the nose or reduce the look of a hump. This could be an effective procedure, but patients should bear in mind the risks. The nose is an especially delicate area of the body to work on. It’s prominent and close to particularly sensitive areas.
Injections have resulted in:
- Blanching of the skin (skin turning white due to insufficient circulation),
- Restricted blood vessels,
- Skin loss, and
- Even blindness in rare cases.
While a liquid rhinoplasty has it’s placer, in most cases we see, surgery is a better option than the “non-surgical route.”
In addition to the risks, it’s important for patients to be aware that results vary. Nation-wide, about 15% of rhinoplasty patients end up needing a surgical revision. Still, the majority of revisions we do are small revisions due to, for instance, a bone having regrown leaving a new hump. We have also performed revisions on patients who had nose jobs done in other offices and later experienced breathing problems.
Selecting a surgeon
One of the biggest questions patients have is how to select a surgeon. The best advice is to make sure to get a personal reference if possible and make sure you take your time and get to know your surgeon. Remember, it’s not hard for plastic surgeons—or any professional for that matter—to make themselves look good online. The process of choosing the right surgeon takes real effort. So, start by making an appointment and asking some of the questions above, plus some of your own. And if you don’t like the answers, don’t be afraid to seek out other options.
If you’re considering plastic surgery, we are happy to discuss your options. Our experts will give you an objective perspective. Many times, and often with nose surgery,, we actually recommend patients not choose rhinoplasty. It’s all about making sure we can deliver results as close as possible to your personalized vision. Patient satisfaction is our #1 concern!
Are you ready to get your dream nose? Fill out this online form or call our office at (703) 893-6168 to schedule your free consultation today.