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A nose job, or rhinoplasty, is one of the most common plastic surgeries for men and women. While some patients seek out the procedure in order to refine their appearance, others look to this surgery in order to correct a medical problem

Rhinoplasty Risk

Some people have medical problems like a deviated septum or a broken nose which is making it difficult to breathe.  This surgery can help alter the shape of the nose, the size, and the overall aesthetic appearance.  In any case, rhinoplasty surgery is an operation like any other surgical procedure, with risks and considerations to weigh before a patient decides to proceed.  Learning the basic risks, recovery issues, and costs will allow a person to make the best decision not only for their nose, but also for their health and well-being.

A person who wants to have their nose fixed or altered needs to realize the extent to which their nose will be changed.  The operation is best done with intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, because general anesthesia can be quite dangerous. Then, the surgeon makes incisions inside the nose in order to shave away any excess bone or cartilage  Although there are virtually no risks from the procedure when done by a competent plastic surgeon, here are some things to consider:

  • Pain - There is usually no or minimal pain after the operation.
  • Infection – After perfoming more than 5000 rhinoplasties, I have never seen a nose get infected.
  • Blood loss - This is usually minimal. I have never had to give a patient a blood transfusion. The highest risk of bleeding is actually one week after the surgery when the internal blood clots begin to dissolve.
  • Poor results or unintended results
  • Reaction to the anesthetic – With intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, this is close to zero. Again, I have never seen a reaction with this regimen.
  • The greatest risk is the surgeon that you chose to do the operation, not the surgery itself.

The reason is that a surgeon who is not experienced or qualified to perform the rhinoplasty procedure can cause a lot of problems, but from an aesthetic and breathing point of view.  In the hands of someone who is not a trained, board certified plastic surgeon, not only can the nose have an unnatural or deformed appearance when the surgery is complete, but it will require reconstruction by someone more skilled than the original surgeon.

Rhinoplasty Recovery and Cost

Rhinoplasty Recovery

For a person who wants to have a nose job, they would not need more than a week away from work and could actually return to work two days after the operation if they wish to be seen with the bandage on their nose.  Vigorous exercise can be restarted within three weeks.  Nose job patients generally will not need pain medication after surgery as pain is typically minimal for most patients.  There will be slight swelling and some bruising for about seven to ten days.  A bandage will be placed over the nose and this should stay in place for about a week.  Though a patient will be able to see the results of their nose job immediately, as the swelling and bruising go down, more results will be seen over the course of the next three months after the surgery.

Rhinoplasty Costs

As with any plastic surgery, the costs of a nose job will vary from state to state, city to city, surgeon to surgeon.  Most cosmetic surgery offices can offer low costs financing to those patients who do not have  health care coverage for their procedure.  If the surgery is deemed to be cosmetic in nature, and most rhinoplasties are, then the costs must be covered entirely by the patient.  Across the United States, nose job costs can vary from $7,000 to $12,000. These fees include:

  • Consultation
  • Operating room costs
  • Surgical fees
  • Medical supplies
  • Medications
  • Anesthesia costs
  • Follow up appointments

In some cases, a patient may be able to find a lower cost surgeon their area, but this may not be the best choice for the best results.  Patients should look for surgeons who have the most experience in nose jobs in order to be assured of the best results.  Also, looking for a physician who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (and not a “self-recognized” board) or the Canadian and British equivalent is essential.

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