Top 10 Myths about Rhinoplasty / Nose Job Surgery

1. It’s really simple to just take off that bump right?

Rhinoplasty (nose job) is the most complex and challenging operation in all of plastic surgery. Not only must the nose match the face, but also each section of the nose must be harmonious with all the others. For example, removing a bump without changing the tip in many cases can make the tip appear like it’s sticking out too far from the face. Conversely, changing the tip alone without addressing the bridge can make a bridge appear too high or too wide. A rhinoplasty surgeon must have great attention to detail and have an appreciation for all the nuances of nasal and facial harmony.

2. I heard rhinoplasty is covered by my insurance.

Cosmetic rhinoplasty is not covered by insurance; however, if there is a functional component such as a problem breathing from a deviated septum or other cause, that portion of the surgery may be covered by your insurance plan.

3. The one’s I’ve seen all look obvious. I can spot them a mile away.

Certainly, poorly performed work can appear un-natural or look “done.” A common example of this is the overly pinched and up- turned tip. In years past, the cartilage of the nose was commonly over-reduced or removed which can result not only in this look, but also in poor breathing. A good rhinoplasty, on the other hand, typically appears natural, is no longer a distracting feature, and directs people’s attention to the person’s eyes, smile, hair, and skin.

4. My nose can look like any Hollywood celebrity’s nose of my choosing.

A prospective rhinoplasty patient should have realistic expectations. Each person’s face and visage is different. Brad Pitt’s nose would not look good on every man nor is it achievable. Blake Lively’s nose would not be appropriate for every woman. For example, a shorter woman can “get away” with a bit more “up-turning” or rotation of the tip than a taller woman. The same degree of rotation on a taller woman might look un-natural and “Ms. Piggy-ish.” In summary, your nose must fit your face, persona, ethnicity, etc.

5. Any plastic surgeon can perform a rhinoplasty.

Would you want a general contractor doing complicated plumbing or electrical work? Do you really want someone who does pre-dominantly breast augmentations and tummy tucks performing your rhinoplasty? Rhinoplasty is an exceedingly complex and demanding operation. A millimeter or two can make a huge difference in the result. It should be performed by someone who specializes and has specific training in it. Typically, the surgeon should be board certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery (and have specific interest in performing rhinoplasty). This surgeon will not only understand the aesthetics of the nose and face, but also will also have a great appreciation and understanding of the many functional components of this complex organ. (e.g. breathing, sense of smell, or sinus issues).

6. Won’t my surgery have to be re-done in the future?

While revision surgery is a reality when undergoing rhinoplasty (as high as 10-15% percent in some studies), rhinoplasty surgery ideally should be a one-time operation. A nose should be “built for life.” That aside, due to the complexities of the operation and the variability in each person’s anatomy, skin, and healing, on occasion revision rhinoplasty surgery needs to be performed. When it occasionally occurs, usually it’s for something relatively minor such as a small residual bump.

7. Rhinoplasty is only for wealthy people.

The reality is that the median income for most patients having aesthetic surgery is $50,000 or less. Most surgeons offer payment plans of one form or another as well.

8. Cosmetic rhinoplasty and plastic surgery are only for vain people.

The truth is that a very small percentage of people seeking out cosmetic surgery are truly vain, meaning their entire existence and interactions with others are defined by their appearance. Most people pursuing rhinoplasty seek to create a harmonious relationship with their nose and the rest of their facial features. Often, they have been teased in school about their nose, their nose is too masculine (Daddy’s nose), or they had a traumatic injury.

9. I can outgrow my dislike for my nose.

If you are dissatisfied with your nose, your perception will not likely change during your lifetime. It may wax and wane to a degree, but you will always be unhappy with it; however, the decision to pursue rhinoplasty is a very personal one.

10. Anesthesia is dangerous.

Most rhinoplasty surgery is done under general anesthesia meaning you are completely asleep. It’s exceedingly safe even in sick and elderly patients. Most patients having rhinoplasty surgery are generally healthy, and risks of long term complications are exceptionally rare.

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