Nose Surgery Information

There are two main options for the incisions that your plastic surgeon can use: closed rhinoplasty and open rhinoplasty.


Closed rhinoplasty involves incision confined to the inside of your nose. Swelling improves soon and recovery is fast. However, your surgeon may have a limited ability to achieve some changes in your nose because of her or his inability to see parts of the inside of the nose.


Open rhinoplasty involves a small incision across the columella, between the nostrils, in addition to incisions on the inside of your nose. Open surgery is usually preferred in more complicated cases.


Some surgeons prefer the open rhinoplasty because it allows them greater visibility of the nose. Swelling and bruising lasts longer with open rhinoplasty. Sleeping with your head elevated for the week following your nose surgery will minimize the swelling.

Anesthesia: General or Sedation

Location: Hospital, surgical center or office


Nasal surgery can change your nose by recontouring the underlying cartilage and bone. Your surgeon can make your nose larger, shorter, smaller, straighter, or thinner. Most of the incisions for reshaping the nose are made internally and scars will not be visible.


How thick or thin your skin is plays a big role in the results of the operation. Thick skin will not "drape out" as well over the new underlying structure as thin skin. But, thick skin will hide small irregularities of the cartilage and bone better than thin skin.


The operation normally lasts about 1-2 hours. The surgery will either be performed under local anesthesia with heavy sedation, or under general anesthesia.


Common changes made:

  • Tip of the nose: corrected by adding or excising cartilage at the tip and stitches the cartilage together. A low tip of the nose can be raised by adding cartilage to support the tip, removing excess cartilage in the septum, or repositioning the cartilage.
  • Dorsal bone: the hump of the bridge can be corrected by removing (with a chisel or rasp) excess cartilage and bone, then brings the nasal bones together.
  • Wide bony portion of nose: corrected by breaking the bones of the nose and repositioning them inward.
  • Wide base of the nose: corrected by removing tissue at the base of the nose and the nostrils moved closer together.
  • Nostrils too wide: corrected by removing small wedges of skin from their base and bringing them closer together.
  • Angle between nose and lip: corrected by trimming the septum.