The Rhinoplasty Procedure


Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States and focuses on making improvements to the function and appearance of the nose. Both men and women regularly seek rhinoplasty to help them achieve their aesthetic goals.

Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

Before you can have rhinoplasty surgery, your surgeon will want to assess whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Good rhinoplasty candidates usually:

  • Are unhappy with the shape, size, or overall appearance of your nose.

  • Are in generally good health.

  • Do not smoke or are able to stop for the preparation, surgery, and recovery period following their procedure.

  • Have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure.

What happens during a rhinoplasty procedure?

There are several different types of rhinoplasty procedures. Since no two patients or noses are the same, the variety that you require will depend on the aspects of your nose that you would like to change and improve. Most rhinoplasty procedures can be performed in less than 3 hours and take place under general anesthetic.

The most common rhinoplasties are:

Reduction rhinoplasty. As its name suggests, reduction rhinoplasty focuses on reducing the overall size of the nose. This involves removing some of the natural bone and cartilage and reshaping the bridge and tip to create a symmetrical, smaller nose that is in proportion with your other facial features.

Augmentation rhinoplasty. This type of rhinoplasty is usually recommended for patients who have a fairly flat nose and uses bone and cartilage from other areas of the body to build up the nose and open up the nostrils. In adding height and width to the nasal cavities, an augmentation rhinoplasty is a great option for people who have suffered breathing difficulties due to the size and shape of their noses.

Septorhinoplasty. The small area of cartilage that separates the nostrils is called the septum. If your septum is too thick, too narrow, or broken down, you may be recommended to have septorhinoplasty, which is designed to correct issues with this part of the nose. This may involve rebuilding the septum from scratch, altering it, or reducing it.

Rhinotip. This is a slightly shorter procedure in which just the nostrils and very tip of the nose are surgically altered. This procedure is a popular choice for people who have hooked or upturned noses.

Recovering from Rhinoplasty

Recovering from rhinoplasty is usually a fairly straightforward process providing that you follow the instructions given to you by your surgical team. Initially, your nose will be covered with a dressing and will feel tight and sore. This sensation will spread across your eyes and cheeks towards your ears and will likely last for several days. You will be able to take over-the-counter pain relief to help and should take this exactly as directed.

It’s normal to notice some bruising across your nose, eyes, and cheeks and this can last for several weeks. Many people like to take this time off of work and only return when the bruising has eased. You should take a minimum of a week away from work, or longer if you have a very physical job. Your surgeon will be able to give you more specific advice.

Aftercare instructions will be provided, and you should follow these exactly as directed as they will help to minimize your risk of complications and ensure the best possible outcome from your surgery. If you have any questions, your surgical team will be more than happy to answer them.

​​​​​​​If you are interested in finding out more about rhinoplasty surgery, call Kenneth Bermudez, MD in San Francisco at (415)-712-1800 to schedule your confidential consultation.