The Nose Knows

Options for Reshaping and Refining Your Nose

By Annette Brooks

Even a tiny adjustment to your nose can significantly change your appearance. So, it’s no surprise that a transformative, highly-customizable, long-lasting procedure like rhinoplasty — also known as nose job or nose surgery — is one of the most popular facial plastic surgeries. Although rhinoplasty isn’t a magic cure-all, you might feel more self-assured and confident with a more flattering, proportionate, reshaped nose.


People seek cosmetic rhinoplasty for various reasons, including:

  • Narrow a wide bridge

  • Reshape a bumpy bridge

  • Refine the shape of the tip

  • Smooth general bumps, indentations, asymmetries

  • Reshape large, wide, or upturned nostrils

  • Decrease the overall size of the nose

Your Cosmetic Consultation

Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex cosmetic surgeries and demands unparalleled expertise. Schedule consultations with at least three experienced, reputable, board-certified plastic or facial cosmetic surgeons with a well-proven track record performing rhinoplasty.


Prepare for your consultation by considering your goals for reshaping your nose, including psychological and cosmetic factors. Find images of nose shapes that appeal to you and bring them to your consultation. Keep in mind that while you may want a replica of a particular celebrity’s nose, it may not be proportional to your facial structure. Bringing your nose into balance and harmony with your facial features helps ensure an outcome that looks natural.


Your surgeon will discuss proportion with you, answer questions, review options and recommendations, and walk you through the details of your surgery and the recovery process. Be open to realistic expectations and have an honest discussion with your surgeon. Ask to browse before-and-after galleries of their actual rhinoplasty patients, particularly those with similar features to your own.


Expect your surgeon to take photographs of your face and nose, then use technology that allows you to preview various nose styles on your face in 3D. While these images can’t guarantee that your outcome will look exactly like the 3D image, they should be reasonably close. Discuss what results may be possible and appropriate for you with the surgeon as you view your pictures.

The Procedure and Recovery

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient surgery that usually lasts one-and-a-half to three hours. General anesthesia is typically used, although your surgeon may provide the option of local anesthesia with sedation depending on the extent of the procedure. The adjustments your surgeon makes to your nose and the techniques used depend on your goals for your appearance and your unique facial anatomy. Your surgeon will go through these with you during your consultation.


When the surgery is complete and the incisions are closed, a splint and possibly nasal packing may be used to support the healing tissues. Carefully follow the recovery and care instructions provided. Expect your nose to be swollen and bruised, and you may experience bruising around your eyes which will fade in about a week. Results are visible in a few weeks after the swelling subsides. However, your final nose shape may not be completely visible for up to a year after surgery once everything is fully healed, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What is a Liquid Nose Job?

Injectable dermal fillers are popular alternatives to traditional plastic surgery. One use growing in popularity is a liquid nose job (nonsurgical rhinoplasty). Dermal fillers are injected into the nose to alter its shape during the procedure, and results are instant with little to no downtime.


Nonsurgical nose jobs can address isolated nose deformities, such as a hump in the bridge or minor asymmetries. They also enable you to try out a reshaped nose and determine whether you want to undergo rhinoplasty.


When considering a liquid nose job, keep in mind the results are temporary, lasting anywhere from four to five months to a year or more, depending on the filler used. Also, injecting filler adds volume to the nose.

Although there are techniques to create the illusion of a smaller nose, a liquid nose job may not be the right option if your goal is to decrease your nose size.

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