Nose Reshaping

Rhinoplasty or nose reshaping surgery – sometimes referred to as a “nose job” – is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the face by changing the size, proportions or symmetry of the nose. This can make the face look more balanced and improve the profile.

The Procedure

Rhinoplasty or nose reshaping surgery – sometimes referred to as a “nose job” – is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the face by changing the size, proportions or symmetry of the nose. This can make the face look more balanced and improve the profile.

This procedure is performed in Kaiser Permanente’s operating suite with either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. There are different ways to do rhinoplasty and your surgeon will decide what is the best approach for you.

Rhinoplasty can be performed using a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where the incision is made across the strip of tissue separating the nostrils. Then the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilage is gently raised, allowing access to the nose structure. Nose size can be reduced by removing bone or cartilage, and sometimes it may involve the addition of cartilage grafts. Nose size can also be increased using autologous (your own) cartilage from the septum, ear, or rib. Once the nose structure is in the desired shape, skin and tissue is redraped and the incisions are closed.

Preparation

Your Kaiser Permanente plastic surgeon will work closely with you. Be prepared to discuss your expectations and desired outcome. Make sure to address all your questions and concerns.

Aspirin, Motrin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some over-the-counter herbal medications must be discontinued at least two weeks prior to surgery. These and other drugs and substances may cause excess bleeding and bruising. You can usually begin taking them again after a week or so.

If you are a smoker, it is important to quit at least four weeks prior to surgery and refrain from smoking until four weeks after surgery to ensure your wounds heal properly. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this in detail with you and you will also be given a sheet with a list of common medicines to avoid for a short period. Your plastic surgeon will detail the risks associated with surgery. Plan to have a family member or friend drive you to and from your surgery appointment and stay with you for at least one night following surgery.

Recovery

Following your surgery, splints and absorbable packing may support your nose as healing begins inside the nose. A splint and or bandages will be placed outside the nose to support and protect your new nose structure. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for your nose. It is important that you follow your surgeon’s recommendations.

The immediate recovery will depend upon what type of anesthesia that your Kaiser Permanente plastic surgeon will employ for the surgery. Various anesthetic agents affect patients differently and will dictate the patient’s recovery. Some discomfort and pain is normal and is usually well controlled with pain medication prescribed by your doctor.

Healing time is variable, but most patients experience bruising for a week or two and moderate swelling for 4-6 weeks. During the first year, swelling may come and go, especially in the mornings. You will notice changes in the appearance of your nose right away but it can take up to a year for the new contour of your nose to be fully refined.