Are You a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?

Reviewed by Anthony Youn, MD


The development of rhinoplasty occurred primarily as a plastic surgery technique to restore a proportional nose shape, or to correct for constricted breathing, whether after injury or due to a birth defect. In addition to these corrective procedures, surgeons now use cosmetic plastic surgery to perform subtle aesthetic changes to nose size and shape. There's even a subspecialty that deals with ethnic rhinoplasty.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, is the second most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Rhinoplasty reshapes the nose for both aesthetic and corrective purposes. Rhinoplasty can enlarge or reduce the nose, as well as reshape the bridge and nose tip. Approximately 15 percent of primary nose jobs require revisions for one reason or another. For most people, revision rhinoplasty is related to a specific cosmetic issue such as a twisted tip or a functional issue like difficulty breathing. Revision rhinoplasty is often more complicated and costlier than a primary nose job.

Best Rhinoplasty Candidates

You may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty if the nose you were born with makes you self conscious or unhappy. Other candidates may be unhappy with how their nose has aged. Even slight changes to the shape of the nose can have a dramatic effect on appearance and can change how people interact with you. Plastic surgery can reshape deformities, reshape changes from aging and other causes, and restore balance.

Expectations are an important element in what makes a good candidate. The best nose surgery candidates simply want to improve their nose appearance, but do not seek perfection. The ideal candidates are well-adjusted and otherwise happy with their lives and do not expect rhinoplasty to transform them into someone else.

Rhinoplasty isn't just a plastic surgery procedure for women. Male nose surgery is a commonly performed procedure (though admittedly not as popular as female). It is important to openly discuss your procedure with your plastic surgeon. He or she will help you to understand the potential enhancement the surgery will provide. Your surgeon will also explain the rhinoplasty cost, describe what you can expect while recovering from rhinoplasty and show you a selection of rhinoplasty before and after photos.

Minimum Age for Rhinoplasty

Many young people consider rhinoplasty; however, the procedure should wait until after the teenage growth period that occurs in the mid-teens. This growth period normally occurs from ages 14 to 15 for girls and somewhat later for boys.

Additional Procedures

Sometimes treating one area can cause an overall imbalanced appearance. If you are having the rhinoplasty procedure, you may also need to consider other facial procedures to achieve balance and proportion. For example, chin augmentation is often performed with rhinoplasty.

If you decide you need the additional procedure later, the two procedures may be more expensive than if you have them at the same time. Multiple procedures are increasingly popular as patients work with their surgeons to create more comprehensive treatment plans. A qualified surgeon can help you save time and potentially lower your rhinoplasty cost by combining treatments when appropriate.

About the Reviewer of This Article

Anthony Youn, MD, earned his medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed his general surgery and plastic surgery training at the Grand Rapids, Mich., MERC Plastic Surgery Residency Program. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, the Michigan State Medical Society and the Oakland County Medical Society. He practices at Youn Plastic Surgery in Troy, Mich.