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Nose Reshaping

(Rhinoplasty or “Nose Job”)
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St. Luke’s rhinoplasty surgeons are among the Lehigh Valley’s most skilled and experienced. Our providers are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, having completed extensive training that leads to a rigorous certification process. And due to our national large network of over 12 hospital sites, we have access to the latest technology. These resources allow us to perform minimally invasive procedures with results you can be proud of.

What is a rhinoplasty?

A rhinoplasty—sometimes referred to as a nose job—can improve the proportions of your nose and correct breathing impairments. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision inside your nose or across the tissue between your nostrils. Then they can remove bone or cartilage to reshape your nose.

A rhinoplasty can also be performed for medical reasons. In particular, when combined with a septoplasty, your surgeon can correct a deviated septum. This results in a straightened septum and better nasal airflow.

If you want to learn more about nose reshaping—or schedule a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon in the Lehigh Valley—then contact St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.


Nose reshaping can positively alter your appearance or correct functional problems. Candidates for this procedure include adults with the following characteristics:

  • Unflattering nose size, shape, or position
  • Nose abnormality
  • Deviated septum
  • Impaired breathing function

And in terms of cosmetic concerns, nose reshaping can address the following:

  • Width at the bridge
  • Nostril size or position
  • Nose profile with either humps or depressions on the bridge
  • Bulbous, hooked, or upturned nasal tip
  • Wide or large, or upturned nostrils
  • Asymmetrical nostrils

Schedule a consultation with a St. Luke’s rhinoplasty surgeon in the Lehigh Valley to determine if rhinoplasty is right for you.

Having a rhinoplasty can positively impact your wellbeing and self-confidence. The following list includes some of the most commonly reported benefits:

  • Reduces snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Helps correct sinus problems
  • Better sleep quality
  • Improves breathing
  • Repairs broken nose

A rhinoplasty can dramatically improve your body image and give you a more youthful appearance–in addition to solving airway problems. As a result of their benefits, rhinoplasties are some of the most common plastic surgeries performed.

As with all surgeries, nose reshaping has risks. Some of them include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Permanent numbness around the nose
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • A hole in the septum
  • Need for revision

Your surgeon will review a complete list of risks before getting your consent.

Before the procedure

In the time leading up to your nose reshaping at St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, you can take steps to make your procedure as safe as possible. These include discussing the following topics at your surgical consultation:

  • Goals and expectations
  • Surgical options
  • Results
  • Recovery

As part of your consultation, your surgeon will also do a complete evaluation—which may include the following items:

  • Ordering lab work
  • Taking “before” photos for comparison
  • Assessing medical conditions, allergies, and medical limitations
  • Reviewing medications, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, or drug use 

A week before the procedure, you can prepare at home in the following ways:

  • Filling outstanding prescriptions
  • Purchasing any medical supplies as needed
  • Coordinating transportation and meals as needed
  • Staying hydrated

You should arrive early on the day of your procedure to avoid travel delays.

During the procedure

Your surgeon will work with you to determine the best type of rhinoplasty for your desired results. Rhinoplasties last around two hours and require general anesthesia. Depending on the rhinoplasty you want, your surgeon will create a small incision to alter the structure of your nose.

Open rhinoplasty

With the open rhinoplasty technique, your surgeon will make an incision between the nostrils on the outer skin—giving them full access to the nasal canals. This incision placement makes it easier for your surgeon to determine which tissue to alter. Open rhinoplasty is the preferred choice for changing the upper half of your nose.

Closed rhinoplasty

With the closed rhinoplasty technique, your surgeon will make an incision inside the nostrils to hide the scar. Because your surgeon won’t have full access to the nasal canal, this procedure is more restrictive—so it’s used for patients who don’t need work done on the lower half of their nose.

“Liquid” rhinoplasty

With the “liquid” rhinoplasty technique—or nose filler injections—your surgeon will reshape your nose by injecting it with dermal filler. However, nose filler doesn’t last as long as open or closed rhinoplasties. As a result, this non-surgical approach can only add volume–and is used for superficial reshaping.

After the procedure

You may experience swelling or discomfort after the procedure–but this will subside within several weeks. You should see improvements within six weeks if you have a rhinoplasty to fix a deviated septum. But if you’re having surgery for cosmetic reasons, it may take up to a year to see full results. A rhinoplasty is a permanent procedure, but you may notice gradual changes as your body ages.

After the procedure, your surgeon will place a splint or use packing. For added support, they may bandage the outside of your nose. The typical recovery milestones include the following: 

  • Day of surgery: You should rest in bed with your head raised above your chest. Your nose may be congested because of swelling—so this is nothing to worry about. You’ll notice bruising around your eyes, so avoid putting pressure on your face.
  • One to seven days after surgery: You should continue wearing internal dressings and a splint on your nose. You may have slight bleeding or mucus drainage, so you’ll have a drip pad taped under your nose. You can also return to normal activities–but limit fitness activities.
  • One week after surgery: Your dressings should be removed. You may notice that your swelling is uneven, but this is normal. However, your swelling should start to subside.
  • Two weeks after surgery: Your swelling should have significantly decreased—although you may have bruises around your eyes (may be covered with makeup). You may return to work, though you should avoid strenuous activities.
  • Three to four weeks after surgery: You may return to daily social and fitness activities. You should have minimal bruising, but the swelling will be concentrated at the tip of your nose.
  • Two to three months after surgery: You may resume all regular activities, but you should avoid contact sports.
  • Six to twelve months after surgery: By this point, your surgeon will likely clear you for contact sports. You’ll also see the final results of your surgery.