One of the most common plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty is performed to reshape, reduce or augment a person’s nose. Rhinoplasty can address a number of problems or defects, such as a hump in the nose, wide nostrils, an undesirable angle between the nose and the mouth, injury, birth defects, or other problems that affect breathing. Results depend on a patient’s nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age (teenagers should have had their growth spurt).

Rhinoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure performed under either local or general anesthesia, and surgery will take one to two hours unless more extensive work is required.

 

Rhinoplasty is performed through one of two methods. In the first approach, an incision is made within the nostrils, thus hiding scars after surgery. In the second method, an incision is made across the columella (the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils). This is called an “open” procedure, where scars are small and hidden on the underside of the base. In both procedures the skin is lifted, the bone and cartilage sculpted, and the skin replaced and stitched closed.

 

Insurance may cover rhinoplasty if it is done for reconstructive or medical reasons, but likely not for cosmetic purposes.