Ballpark Estimate: $4,000 to $8,000
Do you hate your nose? Perhaps you don’t like the look, shape or size of it. Or maybe it doesn’t work well, making it difficult, or noisy, for you to breathe.
If any, or all, of these scenarios sound familiar, you may want to consider rhinoplasty (also sometimes called Primary Rhinoplasty), which is the technical term for a nose job.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures women undergo each year and it’s used to correct a variety of flaws, including making your nose more proportional to the size of your face, adjusting the width of the bridge, repositioning the nostrils, smoothing out any humps, bumps or crooked lines and fixing a deviated septum (the wall that separates the right and left passages).
What to Consider
Depending on your goal in having a nose job, there are two basic rhinoplasty methods to consider. Your surgeon will usually decide on which is right for your situation and needs. Here is an overview of what is involved.
This is the most often used when you are looking for major reshaping of your nose. This technique involves having the surgeon work from the outside through the area between your nostrils in order to see the entire nasal structure and make the desired cosmetic improvements from this angle.
This is better for less intense jobs. This procedure allows the surgeon to work right inside the nose.
In both cases, the surgeon will use cartilage (sometimes from other areas of your body) to rework your nose into the desire shape. When your spectrum is crooked (a main cause of many breathing difficulties), the surgeon will straighten it and in some cases, prop it up in place.
What to Expect
Both types of rhinoplasty surgery are usually performed as an outpatient procedure, either in a hospital or a day surgery center. Local or general anesthesia is typically used. The process can take anywhere from an hour to several hours to complete, depending on the extent of the changes. (Note that patients often decide to undergo other cosmetic procedures at the same time, so this will lengthen the surgical time.)
Initially after surgery, your nose will be swollen and you won’t be able to breathe through it for the first 24 hours or more. It’s likely it could bleed for the first day or two. You can also experience pain that may need to be controlled through pain medications. Often a splint is placed over your nose to help protect it and allow it to heal into the desired shape. Sometimes a softer splint is also placed inside as well to further ensure the changes heal properly.
The Waiting Game
You may be surprised to know that the shape of your new nose may not be apparent right away. In the first few weeks following surgery, you’ll get a good idea of the improvements but the final results can take up to a year to see, when all of the swelling has completely gone away.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Whether rhinoplasty is a good fit for you depends on a number of things. First, any surgeon you select will want to evaluate your nose to determine its current state and to see how it might be improved. He (or she) will also want to know your goals. Patients with a nose that’s too wide, too large or needs the tip to be tweaked are often good candidates for improvements and changes.
To help communicate your ideals, it can be helpful to bring in photos of noses you particularly like. The surgeon can probably also show you some photos of other patients with the types of noses that you can realistically expect achieve.
Also keep in mind that when you alter your nose, you may need to alter other details in your face to keep everything proportional. For instance, some patients need a chin augmentation to balance their new nose. Therefore, the surgeon could recommend any other procedures that are needed to help you achieve the final results you seek.
How to Find a Surgeon
When you decide to undergo rhinoplasty, you’ll need to find a cosmetic surgeon you trust. You can ask your primary care doctor for recommendations and you can also solicit referrals from family and friends. In addition, there are a number of online resources that offer information and directories of cosmetic surgery specialists working across the country. You can search most of these guides by zip code. Some websites to try include Your Plastic Surgery Guide, I Enhance, Locate a Doctor, Plastic Surgery.org, and Plastic Surgery Portal.
What to Look For
When shopping for a surgeon, it’s important to find someone highly qualified who has extensive experience in the specific procedure you need. Usually a plastic surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon is an appropriate choice. Many experts also recommend that you look for someone who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, or the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. While these designations aren’t required to perform surgery, it does provide reassurance that the specialist has received extensive training and education in this area and is up-to-date on the latest techniques.
Preparing for Surgery
Before you undergo rhinoplasty, you may need to prepare for this procedure in advance. Your surgeon will give you directions that could include avoiding alcohol for the week or so before, quitting smoking and discontinuing certain medications. The surgeon may also recommend you take certain vitamins or herbs prior to surgery in order to help you to heal well.
What It Costs
Wonder what rhinoplasty will cost? It all depends on your specific situation. Whether you need a minor modification of your nose, or an extensive redo, will affect the time involved and the overall price you will pay. The training and experience that your surgeon brings to the operating table, as well as the geographic region in which you live, also comes into the cost equation. This means that it can be difficult to narrow in on a cost without weighing all of these differences. That being said, though, read on to get an idea of what to expect.
In general, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $8,000 for total costs, with minor surgery that uses closed rhinoplasty falling on the lower end of the scale, and more intensive open rhinoplasty, which can take longer, usually costing more.
It’s also worth noting that the overall cost should include three main factors: the surgeon’s fee, the facility fee and the anesthesia fee. (When shopping around, make sure any quotes you get include all of these elements.)
Further, if you wonder what the breakdown of the price range is, the anesthesia and facility fees can EACH be between $500 and $1,000 of the cost, and the surgeon’s fee usually accounts for the rest.)
So Primary Rhinoplasty can range from $4,000 to $8,000 for total costs.
If you’ve previously undergone rhinoplasty and didn’t get the results you desired, you may want to consider having the process redone. This is referred to as Secondary Rhinoplasty. This process can be much more time intensive than having first time or Primary Rhinoplasty (including both the Open and Closed techniques described above). In fact, Secondary Rhinoplasty can range from $10,000 to $15,000, when all of the costs are said and done.
Secondary Rhinoplasty costs between $10,000 and $15,000.
If you want to undergo rhinoplasty for cosmetic purposes, this is an optical surgery that won’t be covered by your health insurance. However, if you need this procedure to correct any breathing problems or other medical issues, your insurance may be willing to foot the bill. Therefore, it’s worth checking with your provider to see what benefits you have in this area.
A Non-Surgical Option
When you desire an improved nose but don’t want to undergo surgery, there is one more option worth considering. Some doctors offer a non-surgical technique that relies on fillers to enhance what nature gave you. This is a temporary fix but in many cases, can be enough to do the trick, at least for a while. There are many benefits to this method. For instance, it’s quick to perform (this can often be accomplished in under a half hour), there’s no swelling, and there’s no recovery period or scarring to worry about. On the downside, though, the results only last for a few years at best. The price for this technique can typically range from about $200 to $1,200.