Rhinoplasty is surgery to repair or reshape the nose. When patients are bothered by humps or depressions of the nose; wide, bulbous, or downturned nasal tips; or wide or upturned nostrils, rhinoplasty surgery can reshape the nose to create a more balanced facial appearance. 

Rhinoplasty can also alleviate difficulties with breathing, such as the correction of a deviated septum. If the procedure is deemed medically necessary, rhinoplasty operations can sometimes be covered by insurance. We can help facilitate this process.

Wake Forest Baptist's surgeons know that one nose does not fit all. We work individually with each patient to recommend the best treatment options.

Rhinoplasty: What to Expect

Wake Forest surgeons offer both open and closed rhinoplasty techniques. In an open procedure, an incision is made across the columella, or between the nostrils. In a closed procedure, incisions are made within the nose. Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bone and cartilages is raised, allowing access to the structures of the nose.

An overly large nose can be reduced by removing bone or cartilage. Sometimes surgery may require the addition of cartilage grafts. Most commonly, cartilage from the septum, which the partition in the middle of the nose, is used for this. Occasionally cartilage from the ear or rib cartilage can be used.

Rhinoplasty is generally completed under general anesthesia. Patients typically have bruising and swelling around the eyes and over the nose. Most patients report congestion after surgery, and saline spray is used to keep the nose moist and to minimize crusting. 

Internal and external nasal splints are often used after surgery to support the repair and allow for healing for one week after surgery. Patients should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for one to two weeks after surgery. Most patients can return to work in one to two weeks.