Facial Procedures

Nose and Nasal Tip Surgery

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. It can reduce or increase the size of the nose, change the shape of the tip or bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between the nose and upper lip. It can also correct a birth defect or injury or help relieve some breathing problems. Men and women in good physical health are good candidates for the procedure. Many surgeons prefer not to operate on teenagers until after they’ve completed their growth spurt — around 14 or 15 for girls and a little older for boys.

Rhinoplasties are usually done on an outpatient basis, but complex procedures may require a short inpatient stay. A typical procedure usually takes one or two hours. During the surgery, the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting framework of bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The skin is then redraped over the new framework. Many plastic surgeons perform rhinoplasty from within the nose, making their incision inside the nostrils. Others prefer an “open” procedure for more complicated cases. Here, a small incision is made across the columella, the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils. Following surgery, a splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints also may be placed in the nostrils to stabilize the septum, the dividing wall between the air passages.