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The Rhinoplasty Procedure


Procedure Description & Surgery

Your rhinoplasty - What to expect

Most of the time, rhinoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure. In more complicated cases, or when reconstructive as well as cosmetic work is being done, you may be admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay.

How long does rhinoplasty take?

The actual rhinoplasty surgical procedure typically takes between one and two hours.  If you are having reconstructive work done, or you are having a more complicated procedure, the surgery may take somewhat longer. Your plastic surgeon can tell you what to expect in your particular case.

When your plastic surgeon performs your rhinoplasty, the skin of your nose will be separated from the bone and cartilage that supports it.  This bone and cartilage framework is then sculpted to achieve the shape that you and your plastic surgeon agreed on.  There are a number of different techniques that your plastic surgeon may employ, depending upon what results you want to achieve, and what methods your plastic surgeon prefers.  Once the cartilage and bone have been sculpted into their new shape, your skin will be redraped over them.

Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

There are two ways to approach rhinoplasty. Your plastic surgeon may work from inside the nose, making the incisions inside your nostrils. This is known as the "closed technique" or "closed rhinoplasty method." 

Alternatively, your plastic surgeon may use the "open technique" or "open rhinoplasty method."  In this method, your plastic surgeon makes the incision across your columella, which is the strip of tissue that separates your nostrils.  The open method is often used in more complicated cases because it give the plastic surgeon more working room.

Once your rhinoplasty is complete, a splint will be put on your nose to help support the new shape.  Packing or soft plastic splints may be placed inside your nostrils to help stabilize the interior structure of your nose.

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