Rhinoplasty, also called a nose job or nose reshaping surgery, is a procedure that corrects the proportions of your nose and brings your facial features into greater harmony.

woman with beautiful nose

If you are dissatisfied with the size, shape and width of your nose and nostrils, or if you have an asymmetrical nose that is making the rest of your facial features appear imbalanced, you may be one of the many people wondering if you might benefit from a surgical correction.

According to a 2016 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nose reshaping remained one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S.,* with 223,000 surgeries performed.

In his more than two decades of practice, San Francisco cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Kulick has perfected the art of the rhinoplasty. Here are the answers to some of your most common questions about getting a nose job.

Nose Surgery

Q: What can a surgical procedure change about the appearance of my nose?

A: Possible changes we can make to your nose through rhinoplasty include:

  • a reduction in size
  • straightening of the bridge
  • modifying the angle between your nose and your upper lip
  • reshaping of the tip
  • narrowing of the nostrils

Q: How do I know if I’m a good candidate for this surgery?

A: Everyone’s nose is different, which is what makes rhinoplasty such a highly individualized procedure. However, you may be a good candidate for nose reshaping surgery if:

  • Your face has finished growing
  • You are in good physical health
  • You are a non-smoker
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
  • You are getting the procedure for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s wishes or to try to conform to an unrealistic standard

Q: I have a specific goal for the results I want to achieve. Will I have any chance to provide my input?

A: Yes! The most important part of a nose reshaping procedure happens before the surgery, when you meet with Dr. Kulick for a pre-operative consultation. This meeting is your opportunity to ask any questions you have about the surgery and talk through all your options with the doctor. We also strongly encourage you to bring photos of noses you like, as well as those you don’t like, to help Dr. Kulick understand your expectations for the surgery.

This consultation is vital to get you and Dr. Kulick on the same page about your goals and determine if they are realistic in terms of your face shape and nasal anatomy. Computer imaging is also a powerful tool to show you how you may look after surgery. We encourage you to make as many return visits as you need to make sure you fully understand the process before you commit to surgery.

Q: What can I expect during a nose job?

A: Rhinoplasty is an outpatient surgery done under local sedation or general anesthesia. During the surgery, we will take every step to ensure your comfort and safety.

Most commonly, Dr. Kulick performs the surgery through a small horizontal incision across the vertical strip of tissue between your nostrils. This incision should be virtually invisible after the healing process is complete. During the procedure, Dr. Kulick uses his surgical skill and artistic talents to reshape and redefine the nose by manipulating the bones and cartilage, reducing some areas while building up others.

Afterward, Dr. Kulick will stitch the incision and pack your nose with gauze. Usually, a nasal splint is also applied to help your nose keep its new shape.

Q: What recovery time can I expect after my surgery?

A: Most of your healing will take place in the first few weeks after your surgery. After the first month, you may be allowed to resume light activity.

The healing period will continue to progress rapidly over the next two to four months, and you will see the shape of your nose become increasingly refined. It may take one to two years to see your final results.

Q: What should I do before and after my nose reshaping to get the best results?

A: We will give you an instruction packet at your pre-operative appointment that will explain in detail how you should prepare for surgery, as well as explain your post-operative care. Our patient care coordinator will walk you through everything you should do to optimize your recovery. After surgery, she will call you regularly to check on your status, answer any questions you may have and schedule your follow-up appointment with Dr. Kulick.

If you are self-conscious about your appearance due to the size, shape or projection of your nose, take the first step toward looking and feeling better about yourself by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Kulick. As a recognized expert in the field of cosmetic surgery, Dr. Kulick is board-certified and takes a patient-centric approach to every procedure.

* Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2016 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report