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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is surgery to repair or reshape your nose.

How do I prepare for a rhinoplasty?

  • Your surgeon will tell you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your procedure. Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged.
  • You may need to stop taking any medicines that thin your blood 1 week or more before your procedure. These medicines include aspirin, ibuprofen, and anticoagulants.
  • Your surgeon will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.

What will happen during a rhinoplasty?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep during surgery. You may instead be given medicine to keep you relaxed and pain free during surgery.
  • Incisions may be made on your nose and around your nostrils (open procedure). You may instead have incisions inside your nose (closed procedure). You may also have incisions through your septum. The septum is the wall of tissue inside your nose that separates your nostrils.
  • Your surgeon may file or shave the bone to straighten or reshape your nose. He or she may need to break your nose bones to reshape your nose. Your septum may be straightened during surgery. Swollen tissues in your nose called turbinates may be trimmed or partially removed.
  • Any incisions will be closed with stitches. Gauze may be placed in your nose to help stop bleeding.

What should I expect after a rhinoplasty?

  • You will have swelling, pain, and bruising for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • You may have a splint on your nose to protect it.
  • You may have numbness for several weeks to months.
  • It may take up to 1 year to see final results.

What are the risks of rhinoplasty?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your nose may not look the way you expected it to. You may have trouble breathing because of swelling in your nose. You may have skin irritation or a visible scar. Blood or fluid may enter your lungs when you inhale. Rarely, the tissues in your nose may start to die from the pressure of gauze packing. Your eyes may be damaged and cause blindness. The fluid around your spinal cord may leak from your nose.

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