Should You Get a Nose Job?

Not everyone is willing to commit to changing one of the most central aspects of their appearance. But the real question is: should they even be considering it?   Rhinoplasty is one of the most sensitive plastic surgery topics, as the nose is one of the most important factors in our appearance.   The spectrum of expectations regarding rhinoplasty is spectacular, too. There are people who bring a picture of a celebrity into the surgeon’s office, and then there are people who request well thought-through, constructive changes to their nose.    The rule of thumb is relatively simple: if you want to “look like a certain celebrity”, you probably have the wrong expectations—chances are, the surgeon will not accept you as a patient. Inversely, if you’re trying to battle a silly insecurity in regards to your appearance, rhinoplasty can do wonders for you.   In this article, you’ll find who is a good rhinoplasty candidate, what the procedure can and cannot do for the right candidate, and how long of a recovery should you plan for.  

What Can You Expect from a Nose Job?

  Rhinoplasty—the medical term for a nose job—is a common choice for men and women who are unsatisfied with the size and shape or their nose. In many cases, the decision to go for a rhinoplasty procedure is motivated both by reasons cosmetic and functional: rhinoplasty can alleviate breathing difficulties caused by trauma, disease or inborn breathing defects, while adjusting the way it looks at the same time. A procedure to both help you sleep better and make you look better.   The key to rhinoplasty is understanding the facial structure of the patient. No two faces are identical, thus no two rhinoplasty procedures can be performed the same way. Combine this with the patient’s goals and expectations, and you have yourself a pretty serious equation to solve. Should the surgeon fail to do that, you might be devastated by the end result, considering how central the nose is to overall appearance. That’s why it’s super, super important to find a doctor who is both qualified and committed to achieving your desired appearance.   Compared to, say, a liposuction procedure—which provides small risk of aesthetic “damage” due to its small incision and easily hide-able scars—rhinoplasty is an extremely subtle request. It truly demands an outstanding sense of aesthetics from the surgeon, and the ability to connect the science to the visual. We recommend putting extra time and effort into finding the doctor you can truly rely on.  

Minimum Rhinoplasty Age

  For multiple reasons, rhinoplasty is not recommended for girls below 15 years old and boys below 17-18 years of age. The main reason for this restriction is because our facial bone structure develops significantly before the specified age thresholds. A rhinoplasty in such cases is not just unnecessary—it can also interfere with the natural development of the facial structure. Rhinoplasty on children is only performed for special exceptions, such as children who have inborn facial defects.  

How Does Rhinoplasty Happen?

  Every plastic surgery journey begins with the initial consultation. During this session, the patient communicates his or her goals and expectations, and the doctor outlines the risks, requirements and possible outcomes to the patient.   Given the extra-sensitive nature of the procedure, 3D visualizations play a major role in the preparation phase. Based on your goals, expectations and facial parameters, the surgeon will prepare 3D simulation images of the possible outcomes for your nose. You’ll be able to evaluate whether you and the surgeon are on the same page, and feel confident in your doctor of choice for the rest of your journey.   It is important to note that 3D images are never a guarantee of the results, but rather a reference point to confirm that both you and the doctor have similar ideas of what needs to be done. We’ve found that providing 3D simulations allows patients to feel more safe and relaxed going into the surgery. Physical 3D models are also an option in addition to the images.   Rhinoplasty procedures are usually aimed at the following goals:  
  • Improve breathing and appearance
  • Removing the nasal “hump”
  • Adjusting the nose tip
  • Narrowing or widening the nostrils
  • Changing the overall projection size/angle
  Usually it takes up to 3 hours for the surgeon to complete a rhinoplasty surgery, after which the patient is free to go home. All rhinoplasty incisions are made within the inner walls of the nose—which means that the scars will be barely visible.   In cases where the patient is after a bigger nose appearance, a part of the nasal bridge is removed and placed at the nasal tip to create the desired look. In revision rhinoplasties—aimed at adjusting of fixing the results of the previous procedures—the necessary bone can be taken from the patient’s ear or rib. Bone manipulations are not always necessary, but in case they are, it is very important to choose a surgeon who is both qualified and committed to your best interests.   There are also non-invasive rhinoplasty options. With such procedures, hyaluronic acids are used as a “filler” to achieve a bigger appearance or a different projection. Non-invasive options provide significantly fewer options in terms of scope, but they are quicker in terms of recovery.   Recovery from rhinoplasty is always somewhat uncomfortable, and it takes a couple of weeks before patients can fully return to work and social events.   Here is an approximate timeline of your recovery after a rhinoplasty procedure:

Week 1

  The first week is always the hardest:  
  • You won’t be able to blow your nose
  • Breathing only through your mouth
  • Your nose will be covered with an external splint
  • Significant swelling and bruising is expected
  During the first week, it is recommended to avoid any physical activity as it could accidentally misplace the splint. Strenuous activity could also cause unexpected bleeding or injury to occur. Best to take it very slow and not take any chances. Dig into your blankets and wait it out.    Covered with facial patches and splints, you won’t feel too motivated to go to work either. All of our patients take at least 1 week off work after the procedure.

Week 2

  After 5-7 days:  
  • Your doctor will likely remove the splint and the patches
  • The swelling and bruising begins to fade, to a point where it’s barely noticeable
  • Expect increased skin sensitivity in the nose area (sunlight exposure should be limited)
  The second week is when you can start gently resuming your exercise regimen. Take baby steps: no heavy lifting or intense cardio. Both could result in a strain or other type of injury.   Most patients prefer to spend week 2 home as well. However, if you really do need to get back to the office, it will be possible.

Months 1-3

  30 days after the procedure is usually the threshold when most patients start feeling and looking fully recovered after the procedure:  
  • The swelling and bruising is almost fully gone
  • You’ll be able to start wearing sunglasses again
  • Your final rhinoplasty results will start surfacing
  2-3 month mark is usually when patients are cleared to return to a more active sports regimen. However, contact sports should be avoided at all costs—unless you have an explicit permission from your surgeon to do so.

How to Deal With Emotional Turbulence

  Some people experience what is called “reveal disappointment.” It is the feeling of unfulfilled expectations once the bandages are taken off and you see yourself in the mirror for the first time.   The major reason why this happens is the fact that your nose will be swollen and—quite frankly—not in the most appealing state during your recovery. This is normal. Any surgery takes time to heal, and rhinoplasty results in particular should be evaluated within months, not days.   When women first see their nose after the bandages are taken off, they faceplant into a swollen face figure and a crooked nasal tip. These things are usual—your nose will need time to heal before it reaches its new final form. This is as true for a breast augmentation procedure or a tummy tuck as it is for rhinoplasty. With a nose job, however, the big reveal can be extremely scary and emotional, as it’s the face we’re talking about—not something you can easily hide.   You might be having instinctive questions, such as “what have I done to my face” and “did I just make a huge mistake.”   The good thing is that you can control such thoughts to avoid emotional stress. For one, prepare yourself emotionally. Do not expect to see a perfectly shaped nose right away. Expect to see the final results within the first couple of months, and plan to withhold evaluations before that period.   Weeks will pass, the swelling will go away, and your nose will start looking like it belongs, gradually. Women with thicker skin also take longer to accommodate surgical changes. If you do have any doubts, make sure to consult with a surgeon you can trust, and they will reassure you that the current appearance is indeed temporary.   In general, it will take time for you to adjust to the new face staring at you in the mirror. For the first couple of weeks, it might seem like you’ve changed your appearance completely and that everyone will notice. Do not let such thoughts take over: no one else—except, perhaps, your family—is as familiar with your facial features as you are. You would notice—and exaggerate—even the smallest changes made to your face. Others will not notice, except that you look better.   Do not look for clues of your appearance in the eyes of the random passers-by. People mostly care about themselves, and you trying to meet their look will only catch their attention because they’ll think it’s you who’s examining them.   It’s also easy to freak out when you’ll see your face changing by the week. We’re instinctive animals, and one of our instincts is to project constant change into the future. If my nose has changed so much during the past couple of weeks, when is it going to stop?   In reality, your face is simply healing from the surgery. Once it’s fully recovered, your nose will achieve its final shape.   Do not pay attention to horror stories. Such stories involve the popular myth that nose jobs make your nose feel completely different. For example, some women supposedly complain that their noses now feel foreign, as if they were removed and a completely new nose was reattached.   The reality for all of our patients is that this discomfort can only last for the first couple of weeks while your nose is still rapidly healing from the surgery. After that, things in the feel department go back to the usual.   Taking good care of your self-perception and emotional stress is a much bigger issue.     It’s important to keep in mind that the way others perceive your face is different from the way you perceive it. We’re highly subjective—thus, irrational—when it comes to our own appearance. Remember the class beauty queen who was convinced she was ugly? Inside all of us, the confused beauty queen resides.   Most of the rhinoplasty procedures requested here in the US are not designed to change the way you look in a dramatic manner. Compared to China, where young men and women seek major changes to look more Western, US citizens are after small, subtle change.   Such change does not produce the “what the hell happened to you” response. No. Most people who are not yourself will not even notice that something about you in particular has changed. They will—subconsciously—appreciate your upgraded appearance, which will boost your self-confidence, which, in turn, will make them appreciate you even more.   Many of our female patients openly say that none of the people who matter in their lives had even noticed the change. Rhinoplasty is a manifestation of personal change, not an interpersonal one.   In fact, quite the contrary is true. For many of our patients, rhinoplasty is indeed a life-changing event. They truly feel the transformation in their lives.   The misconception is that the transformation comes from the new appearance. Not at all. As you’ll probably be the sole person on this Earth who knows about the procedure—besides your surgeon and the clinic staff—the appearance, in fact, will play a minor role.   The transformation comes from an improved self-perception and a sense of achievement. Many women are extremely self-conscious about their appearance. Even worse—often times, they attribute certain negative aspects or events in their lives to a certain visual trait—for example, a large nose. Have you ever thought that the guy who never responded to your texts after the first date ran away because of your nose?   Rhinoplasty can truly be a tool of emotional healing in this regard. Even if the patients afterwards realise that the insecurities they’ve had for the past 10 years had absolutely no logical basis, it is a great relief for them to get rid of said insecurities. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, and we at Aristocrat feel extremely privileged to observe and foster such transformations.     You should also never strive—or, rather, expect—the “perfect” nose appearance. Do not let yourself into the “I want the Kim K nose” zone. Nothing rewarding awaits in that territory, and you’ll most likely end up disappointed and unhappy. In such cases, we carefully evaluate whether the potential patient has healthy expectations of what the procedure can and cannot do.   Media-induced expectations are not unhealthy because building the Kim K nose on your face is not possible. It is possible. With modern plastic surgery, pretty much anything is possible.   The problem is that it’s not the nose itself that will determine your final appearance. It’s how the nose fits into and compliments the rest of your facial structure. Simply replicating a nose after a celebrity photo will almost never yield satisfactory results.      After performing the procedure, do not let people get into your head and make you regret. Almost inevitably, some people will figure out you’ve had a nose job. Not because they’ll figure it out themselves—because you’ll tell them.   Usually, such information does not leave the inner circle of family and friends. However, it is this circle who will give it to you straight—or what they consider to be true. You might hear things such as “you didn’t need a nose job” or even “if I were you, I wouldn’t have spent an X amount of money on a nose job.”   Do not allow yourself to participate in such discussions. Do not try to prove anything to anyone. It’s honestly best not to share this information, unless you’re completely sure that they will understand and appreciate your decision. You do not owe an explanation to anyone.   Once your nose will start shaping towards its “final form”, you might feel a bit of nostalgia towards your old appearance. It’s completely normal. You might even realise yourself that you didn’t look bad at all before. Do not try to compare your new look with the old one. Try to see this realization as an achievement in itself; an investment into your emotional well-being and self-confidence.

Planning and Logistics. Do You Have the Time?

  Some of our patients have a slightly incorrect understanding of how much time does rhinoplasty—even more than many plastic surgery procedure—actually take out of your life. It’s true—the procedure itself takes just a few hours. But the recovery is relatively long, so you should plan accordingly to avoid additional stress.   In an optimal scenario, you should try to clear your work and social schedule for the first month after the nose job. It’s definitely possible to go to work after 1-2 weeks from your procedure, but you might not yet feel comfortable turning up with your new look. If working from home during the first month is a possibility, then it should be sought for most patients.   The same goes for social events. You probably won’t feel too hot about mingling in company parties during your first month, so it’s best to restrain to small gatherings of closest friends. Big trips (especially flights—they’re dangerous after any surgery as they increase the chance of a blood clot forming) should also be planned after the first month of recovery.   As far as exercise and daily rut is concerned, taking it slow is the name of the game. Incremental changes in your daily intensity is the recommended course of action. The worst thing you could do is floor the gas pedal and jump right into the action. You could cause your nose to heal incorrectly, pop some stitches, or cause an injury. 

Final Verdict: Rhinoplasty Can Do Wonders to Treat Insecurities

  Many men and women are extremely self-conscious about their noses. It’s not unusual to attribute certain negative aspects or events of your life to the appearance of your nose. Did that guy from Tinder never respond because of your big nose..?   The right rhinoplasty candidates are of good health, and at least 16-17 years old. Patients should cease smoking 30 days before and after the procedure, and not have a condition of surgical complications.   There’s a lot of emotional turbulence involved in a nose transformation journey. Nose is the centerpiece of our faces, and changing it often makes you pose serious questions to yourself—questions that you might not like the answers to. It’s important to prepare emotionally and control your expectations.