Nose Job (Rhinoplasty)

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


A surgical nose job is also known as a rhinoplasty. This surgical procedure can change the shape and size of the nose by reshaping the bone and cartilage inside the nose. Apart from the obvious aesthetic advantages, rhinoplasty can also improve nasal airway issues. It can fix a deviated septum to improve breathing when combined with a septoplasty. Patients can also opt for a nose job if they suffer from a facial deformity from an injury or congenital problems.

The nose is made out of bone and cartilage. Rhinoplasty will change the structure of the bone, cartilage, and skin to create a more symmetrical and aligned nose. When planning for rhinoplasty, a surgeon will examine the patient's facial features to devise a new nose that complements the rest of their face. 

Before the procedure, patients must first undergo a physical examination. During this, the surgeon will determine the nose issues and take mandatory blood tests. They also take photographs and edit them to show the possible results of the surgery. In some cases, surgeons may recommend their patients to opt for a chin augmentation together with their rhinoplasty. A small chin may create an illusion of a more prominent nose.

The procedure may require either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.

Surgeons use two main types of incisions on the nose: external or internal. The external incisions are made between the nostrils. Internal incisions are made within the nostrils. The surgeon will adjust the bone and cartilage by removing or adding material. For a cartilage graft, doctors can take new material from the ear cartilage for more minor corrections. More complex and more extensive changes will require bone from the rib or even implants. Once surgeons insert the new material into the nose, they close the incision with sutures. 

Patients may experience nasal congestion and bleeding during the recovery period for the first few days. The nose will also be swollen and bruised, but patients should not add ice to the area. The splints and dressing need to stay in place for up to a week before being removed. Patients also need to avoid strenuous exercise and keep their heads elevated above their chest when lying down. The swelling will subside over time, and the final results 
will be visible after a year. As with most surgeries, rhinoplasty comes with some risks. These can include bleeding, infection, permanent numbness, asymmetry, scarring, and difficulty breathing.
local with IV/general
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
2 weeks

Rhinoplasty: Detailed animation about the operation

This animated video details the steps of a rhinoplasty. The video is for patients that want to learn about the procedure. It discusses concepts like symmetry and shows different approaches to the operation. It covers different methods used to correct defects.


Dr. Gary Motykie discusses the differences between an open nose job and a closed nose job. He talks through the reasons why one procedure is preferable to another. Dr. Motykie covers a broad range of topics from the perspective of the patient.