Nasal Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Nasal Surgery (rhinoplasty), also known as a "nose job," is surgery that reshapes the nose either for cosmetic or health reasons. Your nose is a focal point of your face and the goal of nasal surgery is to create a beautiful natural-looking nose that suits you and is in proportion to your other features.

Specifically, nasal surgery can be done to correct structural problems, such as a large dorsal hump or a crooked nose, or to make more subtle changes to your nose's shape, size, and general appearance. It can also be done to reconstruct the nasal passageways in order to correct functional problems, such as a deviated septum that is causing breathing difficulties.

What can it do for me: 

If the surgery is done to correct breathing difficulties, it may be covered by the medical services plan. However, surgery done simply for cosmetic purposes is not covered by MSP.

What Can It Do For Me?

  • Change the profile and projection of the nose (e.g. correct dorsal hump)
  • Change the overall size, width, and shape of the nasal bridge (bony part)
  • Straighten the nose
  • Change the size, width, and shape of the tip or nostrils
  • Improve facial balance
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Alleviate breathing problems
Good Candidates: 

If you are bothered by the size or shape of your nose and/or have breathing difficulties caused by nasal obstruction, you may be a candidate for rhinoplasty surgery. You should have no major medical problems and be emotionally mature, understand your motivations for having this procedure, and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve. You cannot be a smoker.

If you have had a previous rhinoplasty surgery and are looking for a revision, you must wait until at least a year after surgery.

Nasal Surgery (Rhinoplasty) at a Glance
Procedure (point form): 

Day surgery, usually general anaesthetic

Hospital Stay: 

Day surgery approximately 3-4 hours

Recovery (point form): 

about 3 hours
1-3 weeks off of work

Procedure: 

There are two kinds of nasal surgery: Closed Rhinoplasty and Open Rhinoplasty

Closed Rhinoplasty
Open Rhinoplasty

Closed Rhinoplasty

Closed rhinoplasty involves making small incisions just inside the nostril to make simple changes to the nose. It is often used for patients who need changes to the width and projection of the nose (e.g. isolated dorsal hump) but who don't require a lot of changes to the shape of the tip of the nose.

Advantages of Closed Rhinoplasty:
  • No external scar
  • Less postoperative swelling
  • Shorter surgery time
  • Potentially faster recovery
Disadvantages of Closed Rhinoplasty:
  • Less ability for the surgeon to visualize the underlying nasal structure and thus to fine-tune the surgery
  • Does not allow for major changes in the cartilaginous (mobile) parts of the nose, such as the tip or alar rims
  • Cannot be used for redo rhinoplasty

Open Rhinoplasty

Open rhinoplasty involves making incisions in the skin of the columella (bridge between the nostrils) and just behind the columella inside each nostril.

Advantages of Open Rhinoplasty:
  • Offers complete exposure and direct evaluation of the underlying anatomy of the nasal structures
  • Enables easier shaping of all the internal structures of the nose, including the bone, septum and cartilage of the tip and alar rims
  • Is the preferred approach for procedures in which a lot of reshaping is required and is always used for redo or revision procedures

With both the open and closed approaches, the details of the technique used can vary considerably depending on the patient and the goals of the surgery. Rhinoplasty is always done under general anesthetic and usually the patient goes home the same day. For people with very subtle contour irregularities, non-surgical techniques can sometime be used to correct these. Injectable fillers or fat grafts can be used to fill in minor depressions. The results are subtle and may not last, depending on the filler used.

Recovery: 

While severe pain is unusual, your face may feel puffy, your nose may ache, and you may have a dull headache post-surgery. Extensive swelling, bruising, and skin discoloration to the nasal area and the eyes is very common and usually will subside within 3 weeks. Less obvious swelling to the nose and tip of the nose will subside slowly and may be seen for months following your operation. Any external scars will take 6-12 months to soften and fade. The final results may not be apparent for a year or more.

Depending on your job duties, you will need to have 1-3 weeks off of work or school after your surgery. Light activity can be resumed the next day but heavy lifting should be avoided for a few weeks, so parents of young children may want extra help during this time.

Possible Complications: 

As with any surgery, there are risks. These include the normal surgical risks of infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, bruising, or bleeding, and anesthetic reaction. Complications specific to this surgery may include asymmetry, numb skin, contour irregularities, and incomplete realignment of nasal bones. However, all risks in this procedure are rare. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation