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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 4, 2023.

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 talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your current medicines. Your surgeon will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. Your surgeon will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about any allergies you have, including to anesthesia or medicines. You may be given an antibiotic to help prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Your surgeon will tell you if you need any tests before your surgery, and when to have them.

What will happen during a rhinoplasty?

  • You may receive general anesthesia to keep you asleep and pain free during surgery. You may instead receive local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain.
  • 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. Your surgeon may need to break your nose bones to reshape your nose. Your surgeon may use your tissues or a graft to rebuild your nose.
  • Any incisions will be closed with stitches. Gauze may be placed in your nose to help stop bleeding. You may have a temporary splint inside your nose. You may also have a splint put on the outside of your nose.

What will happen after a rhinoplasty?

Gauze may be placed below your nose to catch any blood or fluid that comes out. You may have an ice pack on your nose to help decrease swelling. Your nose may be covered with a bandage, surgical tape, or support device to prevent swelling and infection. You will have swelling, pain, and bruising for 2 to 3 weeks. 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. You may have swelling or bruising around your eyes. You may have numbness in your nose, upper teeth, or gums. Blood may build up on your septum, or it may tear. The fluid around your brain may drain from your nose.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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