NYC Rhinoplasty

The New York City guide to rhinoplasty surgery

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What is a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as a “nose job,” is a popular option for individuals that are unhappy with the shape or size of their nose. This procedure has well-known cosmetic benefits but also can improve quality of life. Rhinoplasty can be performed to reverse the damage from trauma or to help improve the breathing problems that can sometimes affect exercise tolerance or sleep quality.

Am I a candidate for rhinoplasty?

Individuals who are interested in rhinoplasty should be in good health and be fit for elective surgery. Patients should avoid smoking and nicotine-containing products that can affect blood flow and, ultimately, healing. Similarly, patients should avoid intranasal drugs before surgery, during recovery, and after rhinoplasty. In addition to the general health risks of smoking and intranasal drugs, both increase the risk of complications and risk poor healing and tissue loss.

Am I too young for rhinoplasty?

In general, rhinoplasty should be performed once an individual reaches skeletal maturity. This avoids unpredictable changes to the nose from midface growth. Skeletal maturity is generally 17 to 18 years of age for men and 15 to 16 years of age for women.

Am I too old for rhinoplasty?

The short answer is no. While most patients tend to be younger, patients can enjoy the results of rhinoplasty in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s. As long as you are healthy enough for elective surgery, there is no age that is considered too old for rhinoplasty.

What is the difference between an open rhinoplasty and a closed rhinoplasty?

I feel that a patient should not concern themselves with open versus closed rhinoplasty when choosing a surgeon. Some surgeons are more comfortably with one technique than another. Some surgeons advertise a closed rhinoplasty as a “scarless rhinoplasty.” This is somewhat misleading. Even with closed rhinoplasty, there are scars within the nose similar to that of an open rhinoplasty. The only difference is that an open rhinoplasty has a small incision across a few millimeters of the columella (the base of the nose) that typically heals very well.

How long is a rhinoplasty surgery?

A rhinoplasty, depending on the complexity, takes between 1.5 and 3 hours. Additional operative time may be needed for revision cases. The total operative time may be longer when accounting for anesthesia time at the beginning and the end of the procedure.

What should I expect the first week after rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is not a particularly painful procedure. You will have discomfort for several days. You will be swollen and may have bruising depending if your nasal bones need to be fractured during your surgery (osteotomies). Most surgeons place a splint on the nose after rhinoplasty which typically is removed at the first postoperative visit. Sutures are generally removed at this visit as well. Some surgeons place packing or splints in the nose for various reasons related to their training or what was seen during the operation. These materials are generally removed a few days after surgery. The most common complaint during the first week of recovery is that the patient feels congested from the swelling.

What are my limitations after rhinoplasty?

All surgeons have slightly different protocols so each patient should follow their surgeon's protocols. In general, rhinoplasty should be treated similar to other major surgeries with the avoidance of strenuous activity and exercise for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery. Patients should avoid blowing their nose (or reverse blowing their nose) to avoid additional trauma to the healing septum. Patients should elevate their heads as much as possible to help with the swelling. Patients should sit up while watching TV and use several pillows at night when they sleep. Most importantly, patients should avoid trauma to the healing nose.

How long will my nose be swollen after rhinoplasty?

I tell my patients that their nose will be swollen for at least 1 year. That being said, the majority of the swelling will subside by the 3-month mark, 75-80% at the 6-month mark, and 95-100% at the 12-month mark. Every patient is different but patience is necessary after rhinoplasty when judging the final result.

How much does a rhinoplasty in NYC cost?

There are 3 main costs of a rhinoplasty surgery: the facility fee, the anesthesia fee, and the surgeon's fee. For the patient, the average total cost in NYC for a primary rhinoplasty will likely be $8,000 to $20,000+ depending on the surgeon you choose.

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