Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty FAQs

Rhinoplasty, more commonly referred to as a “nose job,” is a surgical procedure that can greatly enhance the appearance of the nose, improve breathing function, and boost overall self-confidence. As with any medical procedure, it’s normal to have questions and concerns before deciding whether rhinoplasty is right for you.


That’s why our Raleigh board-certified plastic surgeon has compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about rhinoplasty. Whether you’re considering rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons or to address breathing issues, the professionals at North Raleigh Plastic Surgery hope that this guide will help you make an informed decision about your nose surgery.


What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, also known as a “nose job,” is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance and function of the nose. During the procedure, the surgeon will reshape the bone and/or cartilage of the nose to achieve the desired look. The procedure can be performed using either a closed or open technique, depending on the individual patient’s needs.

Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

Good candidates for rhinoplasty include individuals who are physically healthy, have fully developed facial features, and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery. Rhinoplasty can be used to address a wide variety of cosmetic concerns, including a bump on the bridge of the nose, a crooked or asymmetrical nose, and a bulbous or wide tip. It can also be used to address breathing issues such as a deviated septum. Your plastic surgeon will be able to evaluate your medical history and perform a physical examination to determine if you are a good candidate for rhinoplasty.

Is there a best age to get rhinoplasty surgery?

There is no one “best” or “ideal” age for rhinoplasty that applies to all people– the ideal age for rhinoplasty varies depending on several factors, including the patient’s physical and emotional maturity, nasal development, and overall health.


For younger patients, it is generally recommended to wait until their nose has fully developed before undergoing rhinoplasty. This usually occurs around the mid-late teen years of 16 and 17 but can vary depending on the individual. Waiting until the nose has fully developed helps to ensure the best possible results. For adult patients, there is no upper age limit for rhinoplasty as long as the individual is in good health. However, older patients may need to be evaluated more carefully for medical conditions that could affect the safety of surgery.

What happens during a rhinoplasty procedure?

Rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure that involves reshaping the structures of the nose to improve its appearance or function.


Here is a more detailed explanation of the steps involved in rhinoplasty:

  • Anesthesia is administered: The patient is first given anesthesia, which may be either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the surgeon’s preference and the patient’s medical history.
  • Incisions are made: The surgeon makes incisions inside the nostrils (known as “closed” rhinoplasty) or on the columella, the strip of tissue that separates the nostrils (known as “open” rhinoplasty). The incisions allow the surgeon access to the underlying structures of the nose.
  • Reshaping of the nose: Once the incisions have been made, the surgeon will begin reshaping the nose. The specific techniques used will depend on the patient’s individual plan pre-determined by your surgeon, as well as the surgeon’s training, experience, and technological tools available. Generally, a surgeon will use a combination of cutting, rearranging, and grafting techniques to reshape the bone and cartilage of the nose.
  • Bone and cartilage removal: The surgeon may remove some bone or cartilage from the nose. This is typically done to reduce the size or improve the shape of the nose.
  • Cartilage grafting: If the patient needs additional cartilage, the surgeon may take some from the nasal septum (the wall that separates the nostrils) or from other parts of the body, such as the ear or rib. The cartilage is then grafted onto the nose to help reshape it.
  • Septoplasty is sometimes performed: In some cases, the surgeon may also perform a septoplasty at the same time as the rhinoplasty. This involves straightening the nasal septum to improve breathing.
  • Incisions are closed: Once the reshaping is complete, the incisions are closed with sutures. If the incisions were made inside the nostrils, there will be no visible scarring. If the incision was made on the columella, the scar will be well hidden and usually not noticeable.


It is important to note that rhinoplasty is a highly individualized procedure, and the exact steps involved can vary depending on the patient’s wishes and goals and the surgeon’s tools and techniques used. A qualified and experienced plastic surgeon will work with each patient to develop a personalized surgical plan that will achieve results for a nose they will love.

What’s the difference between general anesthesia and local anesthesia with sedation?

There are several types of anesthesia that can be used during rhinoplasty, and the choice of anesthesia will depend on the patient’s medical history, the complexity of the procedure, and the surgeon’s preference.


General anesthesia is typically used for more complex rhinoplasty procedures. The patient is completely unconscious and does not feel any pain during the procedure. General anesthesia is usually administered through an IV (intravenous) line, and the patient is monitored closely by an anesthesiologist throughout the surgery.


Local anesthesia with sedation involves injecting numbing medication into the area around the nose, along with medication to help the patient relax and feel drowsy. The patient remains conscious during the procedure but does not feel any pain. Local anesthesia with sedation is typically used for less complex rhinoplasty procedures.

What is the difference between open and closed rhinoplasty techniques, and which one is right for me?

Open and closed rhinoplasty are two surgical techniques used to reshape and reconstruct the nose. The primary difference between these two techniques is the location of the incisions used to access the nasal structure.


A closed rhinoplasty, also known as endonasal rhinoplasty, is a surgical technique where all incisions are made inside the nose, and the surgeon works through narrow openings. This technique is ideal for minor changes to the nasal tip, nasal bridge, or nostrils. It usually involves less swelling and a quicker recovery time.


Also known as external rhinoplasty, open rhinoplasty involves making an incision across the columella (the strip of tissue that separates the nostrils). This technique allows the surgeon to lift the skin of the nose and fully visualize the underlying structures, which is particularly useful for more extensive nose reshaping, including alterations to the nasal tip, bridge, and nostrils. This technique can lead to a longer recovery time, and there may be visible scarring.


The decision of which technique is right for you will depend on various factors, including your specific aesthetic goals and the complexity of your surgery. Your surgeon will evaluate your nose’s structure and discuss the best approach to achieving your desired results. They will consider your medical history, facial anatomy, and skin type to determine the best surgical technique for you.

How long does the rhinoplasty procedure take?

A rhinoplasty, or “nose job,” procedure will take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the severity of corrections made and techniques used by your surgeon.

What kind of discomfort or pain can I expect after rhinoplasty, and how is it managed?

After rhinoplasty, it is common to experience some level of discomfort and pain, although the intensity and duration of the symptoms may vary depending on the extent of the surgery and individual pain tolerance.


The following are some of the typical types of discomfort that patients may experience after rhinoplasty:

  • Pain and tenderness: Patients often experience pain and tenderness around the nose and in the surrounding areas, including the eyes, cheeks, and forehead.
  • Swelling and bruising: Swelling and bruising are also common after rhinoplasty. The swelling can make breathing difficult, especially if the nasal passages are congested. The bruising may appear around the eyes and cheeks.
  • Stiffness and tightness: Patients may experience a feeling of stiffness and tightness in the nose and surrounding areas, which can make facial expressions uncomfortable.
  • Nasal congestion: Patients may experience nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose due to the swelling and dressing inside the nostrils.


To manage these discomforts, your surgeon may prescribe medication to alleviate pain and swelling, such as over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medication. Patients can also use ice packs and keep the head elevated to reduce swelling. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to care for your nose post-surgery, including what you should and should not do. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure a speedy and smooth recovery. If you experience severe pain or any complications, it is essential to contact your surgeon immediately.

What is the process for rhinoplasty recovery like?

The recovery time for rhinoplasty procedures can vary depending on the extent of the surgery, the patient’s overall health, and how well the patient follows the post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon. On average, the recovery process for rhinoplasty can take several weeks to several months, with most patients feeling back to normal after about six months.


Here is a general timeline of the recovery process for rhinoplasty:

  • Week 1: The first week after any surgery is the time when patients will experience the most discomfort, swelling, and bruising. It is recommended to take time off from work or school and to rest and relax as much as possible during the first week. The surgeon will likely remove any external splints and internal dressings after a few days.
  • Week 2: During the second week after rhinoplasty, most of the swelling and bruising will begin to subside. The patient may still experience some discomfort, but it will be much less than in the first week.
  • Weeks 3 and 4: During the next couple of weeks the swelling from rhinoplasty will continue to decrease, and the patient can begin to resume light activities. The surgeon may also recommend light exercise or breathing exercises to help the healing process.
  • Week 6 and beyond: In the following weeks, up to as many as six months, the patient should avoid activities that may cause trauma to the nose, such as contact sports or heavy lifting. The final results of the surgery can take several months to appear, as the tissues continue to heal and settle into their new position.

Can rhinoplasty be combined with other procedures?

Yes, rhinoplasty can be combined with other cosmetic surgical procedures depending on the patient’s individual needs and goals. Combining procedures can provide more comprehensive results and minimize the need for additional surgeries in the future.


Here are some popular procedures that are often combined with rhinoplasty:


How long do the results of rhinoplasty last?

Rhinoplasty is considered a long-lasting procedure, and many patients enjoy the results of their surgery for many years. Patients should maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow up with their surgeon regularly to monitor any changes or address any concerns that may arise.

What are the potential risks and complications associated with rhinoplasty?

Though rare, like any surgery, rhinoplasty does carry some risks and potential complications.


The following are some of the most common risks and complications associated with rhinoplasty:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Poor wound healing
  • Numbness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Asymmetry
  • Unsatisfactory results
  • Anesthesia complications

Will there be any visible scarring after rhinoplasty?

Whether there will be visible scarring after rhinoplasty depends on whether your surgeon uses a closed or open technique. For closed rhinoplasty, all the incisions are made inside the nostrils, which means that there will be no visible external scars. However, in some cases, small external incisions may be required, which may result in small, barely visible scars.


Open rhinoplasty, however, creates a small incision on the columella, the strip of tissue that separates the nostrils. This incision is usually well-hidden and often fades over time, but there is still a risk of visible scarring, particularly if the patient has poor skin quality or experiences poor wound healing.


While some scarring is expected after any surgical procedure, a strategic, talented, and experienced surgeon can minimize scarring by making incisions in hidden areas and ensuring that they heal properly. Patients can also help reduce the appearance of scars by following their surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully, avoiding sun exposure and tobacco use, and maintaining good skin care practices.

How much does rhinoplasty cost?

The cost of rhinoplasty ranges greatly, depending on the severity of adjustments being made to your nose. The starting price for a surgical nose job with North Raleigh Plastic Surgery ranges from $6825 – $9975.  Your exact surgical cost will be determined at the time of your consultation, and you will be provided with a written quote for your consideration.

Are there financing options for a rhinoplasty procedure?

Yes! North Raleigh Plastic Surgery does offer financing options. You can learn more about our financing by calling us at 919-532-2270 or by visiting our online plastic surgery financing page.

How do I choose the right surgeon for my rhinoplasty procedure?

Whenever you plan to undergo a cosmetic procedure, it’s important to thoroughly research the professionals who will perform work on you. There is nothing more devastating than getting a facial surgery like rhinoplasty and being upset over the results because you did not research a reputable, trustworthy surgeon or because you cut costs, opting for the “cheaper” surgeon who was not as qualified as a surgeon whose fees were higher.


Here are some questions to ask surgeons you consult with for a rhinoplasty:

  • Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
  • Can I see a before and after gallery of your past rhinoplasty patients?
  • How many rhinoplasty surgeries have you performed in the past?
  • What are reasonable goals and expectations for me to have about getting rhinoplasty?
  • What techniques and technological tools will you use during my rhinoplasty procedure?
  • Can you provide references from former patients or can you direct me to a place online where I can read reviews of patient satisfaction?
  • What parts of my facial anatomy would you suggest altering?
  • Do you suggest I undergo general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation?
  • Will you approach my rhinoplasty with a closed or open approach?


Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you trust a surgeon after meeting them or whether or not you found them talented in the work they’ve demonstrated through images of past procedures. If you feel uncomfortable with a doctor, it is a better idea to keep searching for a surgeon you communicate well with rather than settle for a surgeon you do not fully trust.

Schedule a Consultation for a Rhinoplasty Procedure in Raleigh

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your face because of the features of your nose, North Raleigh Plastic Surgery is here to help. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ortiz, has performed rhinoplasty for many patients, with a high rate of patient satisfaction.  Whether you want a bump removed from the top of your nose, want to widen or slim down the bridge of the nose, or are looking for a more symmetrical-looking nose, Dr. Ortiz’s talents in rhinoplasty will achieve the desired results.  Get started on your journey of getting the nose of your dreams, please contact us today at 919-532-2270 or fill out the contact form below.