Rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a nose job, is one of the most well known forms of plastic surgery. It can be done for reasons of appearance or health.

Rhinoplasty for appearance

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is also idealized by social and cultural factors. Noses that deviate from the cultural ideal are seen as less attractive. However, there is beauty in symmetry that goes beyond fashion and idealized definitions of beauty.

While it is rare to possess perfectly symmetrical features, some individuals are born with noses that obviously contrast with the rest of their facial features. Some features that displease people about their noses include:

  • Size. Some noses are too large, wide, or long in proportion to the rest of the face.
  • Shape. Some are bent, humped along the bridge, or hooked at the end. These kinds of noses may not be asymmetrical to other facial features, but they draw attention because of their distinctive features.
  • Pronounced nostrils. Everyone has them, but no one wants other people to be able to look directly into them .
  • Facial deformities or accidental injuries.

Rhinoplasty can correct and change many of these features to the preferred way that a patient would like them to look.

Rhinoplasty for health

The main reason rhinoplasty is performed for health is to correct a deviated septum. The septum is the bone and cartilage that separate the two halves of the nose. A deviated septum is uneven and blocks one side of the nose. This can occur at birth or from trauma to the nose. In extreme cases, one side of the nose can develop multiple sinus infections and breathing may be impaired.

Surgery to correct a deviated septum is called septoplasty. The surgeon works on the inside of the nose, removing the excess cartilage that is blocking one side of the nose. It is usually done on an outpatient basis, under local or general anesthesia, and requires only a few hours recovery time.

Rhinoplasty side effects and costs

The side effects of rhinoplasty are generally mild, with moderate swelling that usually lasts a few weeks. Splints may be placed inside and outside of the nose to hold the corrections in place until swelling subsides. Residual swelling may occur infrequently for up to one year as the nose takes on its new shape. Complications such as infection, while rare, can occur with any surgical procedure.

Rhinoplasty averages around forty five hundred dollars and is not covered by medical insurance for reasons of appearance, but is generally covered for health related procedures.