incredible-marketing Arrow

As a central feature of the face, the nose can have a big impact on your appearance. A nose that is too large, wide, crooked or generally not in balance with your other features can be distracting. The nose is also an entrance to your respiratory system, helping air move into your lungs, filtering debris and moistening air. And lastly, it is a sense organ that enables you to perceive smells.

Changing the look of your nose can enhance your appearance and boost your self-image. Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, aims to sculpt the nose to create better proportions that add balance and symmetry to the entire face. By elongating or shortening the nose, reducing a dorsal hump, raising or refining the tip, and straightening a bent nasal septum, rhinoplasty can significantly improve breathing and overall facial aesthetics.

The Art and Challenge of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, commonly called a “nose job,” is one of the most challenging and widely performed cosmetic surgeries in the United States. Its goal is to change the shape of the nose by manipulating, sculpting or repositioning the bone and cartilage that make up its framework. This is done through carefully concealed incisions inside the nostrils or along the bottom of the nose.

Choosing the Right Rhinoplasty Surgeon

It’s vital to choose a trusted and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Sharma when deciding to have an operation on such a central feature as the nose. This complex plastic surgery procedure requires both skill and an artistic eye to yield outstanding results.

Why It’s Performed

Rhinoplasty is done for functional reasons, aesthetic reasons or both.

1. Functional Reasons

Nose deformities sometimes prevent a person from breathing normally, resulting in chronic sinus problems, chronic bad breath, recurrent headaches and a nasal voice, among other issues.

Things that can lead to such deformities include traumatic injuries to the nose, a deviated septum or an obstruction from enlarged nasal turbinates. These are all common examples of functional problems with the nose. When performed for functional reasons, rhinoplasty may be covered by insurance.

2. Aesthetic Reasons

The most common reason people seek out rhinoplasty is to improve their appearance. Rhinoplasty is often the only way to achieve a more proportioned nose that fits your other features.

When performed for aesthetic reasons, rhinoplasty aims to:

  • Change the overall size of the nose
  • Smooth humps or indentations in the nasal bridge
  • Modify the tip of the nose
  • Reduce nostril size
  • Reconstruct or straighten the nose after an injury or illness

The overall goal with cosmetic rhinoplasty is to effect change without an enduring “operated look.” This is especially true for ethnic noses that require particular attention to detail to not interfere with patient identity.

3. Functional and Aesthetic Reasons

A good plastic surgeon will aim to optimize both the functional and cosmetic aspects of surgery. This is no different when we talk about rhinoplasty. Oftentimes, rhinoplasty performed to correct a misshapen nose also results in functional improvement. The same holds true for patients who have rhinoplasty purely for functional reasons — correcting functional deformities can improve the appearance of the nose as a bonus.

Rhinoplasty Types

Primary Rhinoplasty

When talking about rhinoplasty, this is what most people have in mind. The goal of primary rhinoplasty is to improve the appearance or function of the nose.

Revision Rhinoplasty

Up to 20% of rhinoplasty patients need a “touch-up” procedure to refine their results, smoothing out irregularities or correcting subtle deformities. This procedure is known as revision rhinoplasty and aims to correct issues caused or not corrected adequately by prior rhinoplasties. This is not done for at least one year from the primary operation.

Preparing for Rhinoplasty

Careful preparation and good post-op care are essential in preventing complications and helping you have the most satisfying results. Rhinoplasty starts with a consultation where we will discuss your goals and expectations. Dr. Sharma will also evaluate your surgery options, your general health and whether rhinoplasty is right for you.

In preparation for your surgery, we may ask you to:

  • Undergo laboratory testing
  • Take certain medications and avoid others
  • Avoid blood thinners like aspirin, NSAIDs and vitamin E
  • Stop smoking
  • Have someone ready to drive you home after your surgery
  • Plan for at least four to six weeks of downtime

The Rhinoplasty Procedure


At Plastic Surgery Austin, nose surgery is done with the patient under general anesthesia. Out of an abundance of caution and patient safety, we always use general anesthesia, which allows for proper airway management and pain control.

The Incisions: Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is performed using either an open approach, where the incision is made beneath the nostrils on the thin strip of tissue known as the columella, or a closed approach, where incisions are made inside the nostrils. In either case, the incisions are hidden and inconspicuous so that a casual observer won’t notice any scarring.

The Surgery

Depending on the goal of your surgery, your surgeon will make one of the two incisions. Once your surgeon has gained access to the nasal framework, they will remove bone or cartilage or add grafts. In some cases, cartilage from the ear or rib cage may be used in reconstructive nose surgery. The incisions are then closed, and you are taken to the recovery room.

View Rhinoplasty Gallery

Rhinoplasty Recovery & Results

After surgery, your nose will be covered in bandages and dressings, and you may need to wear a nose splint for several weeks. The first dressing change is done one week post-op. Bruising and swelling can persist for two to three weeks, with gradual improvement seen in nose shape and outcome after six weeks. The final result is often not complete for 10 to 12 months or more, especially in the tip.

With realistic expectations and goals, patients see the desired nasal shape take form, ultimately enhancing their self-confidence and appearance.

Schedule Your Rhinoplasty Consultation

To learn more about rhinoplasty and find out if this procedure is right for you, contact Dr. Sharma at Plastic Surgery Austin at 512-838-3658.


Is rhinoplasty an outpatient procedure?

Yes, rhinoplasty can be safely performed on an outpatient basis. However, because most patients need to undergo general anesthesia for this procedure, they need to spend several hours in the recovery room and organize help at home.

What risks are associated with rhinoplasty?

Like all surgeries, rhinoplasty carries some risk of uncontrolled bleeding, infection and allergic reactions to anesthesia. Less common complications are problems with the appearance, function and sensation of the nose.

Does rhinoplasty leave visible scars?

With closed rhinoplasty, there are no visible scars left after the procedure. With open rhinoplasty, scarring is minimal and blends in with the natural creases of your nose.

Can you combine rhinoplasty with other procedures?

Yes! At Plastic Surgery Austin, we often pair rhinoplasties with chin implants and/or cheek implants, lip fillers and other facial procedures to help balance the patient’s features.

Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

The ideal candidate for rhinoplasty is someone who has good general and mental health. To screen candidates, we assess psychological readiness, realistic expectations and the ability to undergo surgery and recover well. Patients with certain serious health conditions and unrealistic expectations are not suitable candidates.

Will my insurance cover rhinoplasty?

Patients undergoing rhinoplasty for functional reasons can usually have their procedure covered by their private insurance provider or Medicare. Traumatic injuries to the nose, whether resulting in breathing problems or not, and reconstructive procedures are firm examples of nasal reshaping done for functional purposes, and many cases can be covered by insurance. On the other hand, cosmetic rhinoplasty is rarely covered by insurance since it isn’t deemed medically necessary.


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.