Rhinoplasty — sometimes called a “nose job” or nose surgery — is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States. In fact, more than 200,000 rhinoplasties were performed in 2018 across the country.
And that’s no surprise. With its central position on the face, the nose can add character and give an aura of playfulness or sophistication.
Unfortunately, if a patient finds the appearance of their nose bothersome (whether genetically or due to a facial injury), their self-esteem can be impacted.
Luckily, there’s rhinoplasty. And a well-done rhinoplasty can be an emotional and physical game-changer.
But are the results permanent? What if you need a revision in the future? Read on to find out what you can expect after your rhinoplasty transformation.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Have a Rhinoplasty?
If your nose has been injured or you are dealing with a congenital issue, your plastic surgeon can help you determine whether you’re old enough for rhinoplasty.
The nose should be finished growing before rhinoplasty is performed. If done earlier, the results could look unnatural, and the nose might not “fit” the face at maturity.
This means that the minimum age for rhinoplasty will be between the ages of 14 and 16. Teenage girls can usually undergo the procedure sooner than teenage boys; however, a consultation with a plastic surgeon is needed to determine this.
Is Rhinoplasty Permanent?
The short answer is: yes, a rhinoplasty permanently changes the structure of the nose. However, several factors can affect the look of the nose over time following a rhinoplasty.
Let’s go over some of those now.
Will the Look of My Nose Ever Change?
Unlike other plastic surgery results, rhinoplasty results are less susceptible to age or weight-related changes. That said, the nose will age alongside the rest of your facial features. Most often, any noticeable changes will be found with the nasal cartilage, which droops over time, resulting in a longer appearance.
Other changes can happen naturally as well. For instance, the nasolabial folds — parentheses lines between the nose and mouth — may deepen. Additionally, most of us lose fat in some areas of the face, which can make the nose appear more prominent, although its actual structure has not changed.
When Does a Rhinoplasty Need to Be Redone?
A good rhinoplasty that heals correctly could last you a lifetime. However, there are several occurrences that result in a second visit to your plastic surgeon. Some of these complications arise from the surgical techniques used during the initial rhinoplasty; others result from healing irregularities.
Not every rhinoplasty revision is performed to correct a surgical mistake. Most of the time, the complications that result are out of the surgeon’s hands.
If you decide on a revision, it can come years — or decades — down the road.
Is Rhinoplasty Purely Cosmetic?
Not always. Rhinoplasty can be done to correct health issues, such as a deviated septum. This condition can lead to serious problems, such as difficulty breathing, particularly at night.
Some patients seek rhinoplasty for both issues: a deviated septum or another defect and a desire for a nose that is harmonious with the rest of the face.
How Is a Rhinoplasty Performed?
Rhinoplasty is a personalized procedure. You will meet with your surgery and anesthesiology team to discuss what your surgery will entail before the day of the procedure.
Before the procedure, you may:
- Have laboratory tests to make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery
- Change or temporarily stop some medications
- Be asked not to smoke
During the procedure:
- You will be sedated, usually with general (“asleep”) anesthesia
- Your surgeon will make incisions inside of your nostrils (closed rhinoplasty) or along the columella, which is the space between your nostrils (open rhinoplasty)
- The surgeon will reshape your nose structure, including the bone, cartilage, and skin
- The surgeon may correct a deviated septum or another physical issue
- The nasal skin will be redraped attractively (in open rhinoplasties), and the incision(s) will be closed
How Can I Ensure My Nose Job Is Permanent?
Rhinoplasty — as with all plastic surgeries — cannot guarantee permanent results; however, this option does make permanent changes to the nasal structure.
To help ensure you love your rhinoplasty results long-term, there are a few things you can do.
- Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty.
- Communicate with your team about what you want from your procedure.
- Bring in photos of the results you would like to achieve. Your surgeon should be able to give you a realistic assessment of your expectations.
- Do not use tobacco products before your procedure or during your recovery. Smoking increases your risk of post-surgery complications.
- Follow your surgeon’s instructions.
- Don’t do too much after your surgery. Pushing physical activity or returning to work earlier than your doctor recommends could mean a more difficult recovery.
Your Beautiful Results Can Last a Lifetime
If you’re considering rhinoplasty surgery, choosing a great doctor and team with an excellent reputation means you’re well on your way to the nose you’ve always wanted.