nose job

That’s the ‘popular’ name for it. A nose job. – Descriptive, but slightly irreverent. People may prefer other names, like;

–   Nasal Surgery – More general, and perhaps a more pleasing term

–   Nasal Re-Shaping – Even more pleasing.


–   Rhinoplasty – The technical, medical name for- a nose job.

ASAPS Smart Beauty Guide

ASAPS Smart Beauty Guide

ASAPS Smart Beauty Guide

ASAPS Smart Beauty

‘Rhinoplasty’ – really?

Who thinks up a name like that? Well, before we get carried away, be assured that no one’s trying to create any comedy with the Rhino reference. As with many medical terms, this one has its roots in the ancient Greek language. “Rhino” is derived from a Greek word pertaining to the nose. “Plasty” comes from the Greek word plastikos, indicating “forming or molding.”  Thus, when we put the two together, we have a Greek/English hybrid meaning- Plastic Surgery of the Nose.

Now, let’s look at the details of the surgery, and the possibilities.

Rhinoplasty can often be the single most “face changing,” of all facial surgeries. It can change the emphasis of your appearance, and balance or bring your features into harmony. Many people believe it’s transformative, in altering how they are perceived by the world.


  •   It can change the length and width of the nose
  •   Remove a bump, or ‘hump’ on the bridge of the nose
  •   Straighten a crooked nose
  •   Refine the nostrils and nasal tip
  •   Correct breathing obstructions in some cases (such as deviated septum)


  •  Someone whose facial growth is completed
  •  Patients with realistic expectations. (understanding, for instance, that demanding a duplicate of a certain movie star’s nose shape, will not make you a duplicate of that celebrity) And, also understanding that there are limits to what surgery can safely do.
  • Patients who can follow instructions, who can prepare for recovery, and the fact that the final results of this surgery may not be seen for a longer period of time


There are several different approaches to Rhinoplasty. You and your doctor will have considerable discussions to determine what the best approach may be for you.

  • One option is often referred to as the “Closed Rhinoplasty” where the incisions are made inside the nostrils, with no incisions on the outside of the skin. So- no visible scarring. This option is often used when there are no complex or “difficult” issues present, in altering the Nasal Tip.
  • What’s known as an “Open Rhinoplasty” technique, is used when there may be more intricate surgery needed to change the shape of the nasal tip; such as extensive tailoring of the cartilage, or cartilage grafting. In this surgery, an incision is made in the skin between the nostrils (the Columella). This incision allows the skin of the nasal tip to be elevated, so the doctor can see the underlying cartilages directly, to remove or reduce portions of the tissue.
  •  Sometimes, only a Tip Rhinoplasty (surgery of the nasal tip) is needed.
  • Sometimes, rhinoplasty is performed only on the nasal bone (the bridge). To reduce a hump, or narrow the bridge, the doctor will perform cuts to the bone, removing some areas-then moving the remaining nasal bone together to form your revised nasal shape.
  • In cases where a larger nasal structure is desired, most often by patients with a flat, or small nasal bridge, the doctor may perform an “Augmentation Rhinoplasty” (sometimes popularly known as Asian Rhinoplasty) – by using a patient’s own cartilage or bone graft to build up the bridge. Or, a silicone nasal implant may be used to create the desired look.


If there is a small defect to the nose, or if a patient wants a small enhancement to the nasal bridge or tip, Injectables such as Juvederm or Restylane may be options as well. They are temporary, but relatively long-lasting.

For patients who have problems with their nasal tip drooping when they smile, an injection of Botox into the area between the nostrils, can also provide a temporary “lift” to the tip of the nose. Botox can also eliminate the appearance of so-called “bunny lines” on the sides of the nose.


  • You may need to wear a splint on your nose for about a week
  • There may be bruising and swelling visible for several weeks.
  • Swelling may be present to some degree for longer periods, depending on the extent of your surgery. Particularly in the nasal tip area, the final result, with all swelling having subsided, may not be apparent for 6 months to a year.

Potential patients should do some research, and ask questions. I always advise my Palo Alto, Los Gatos, and San Jose Rhinoplasty patients to look at Before & After pictures. Some doctors may also use various imaging techniques, but be aware that these will not give you an exact picture of what your result will be.

No matter which term they choose to describe it, both men and women report enjoying a new sense of self-confidence, as a primary result of Rhinoplasty.

[Dr. Vincent Lepore performs Rhinoplasty in San Jose, in his certified surgical facility, along with a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. Dr. Lepore is a Board-Certified, Stanford-trained Plastic Surgeon, serving Silicon Valley and Bay Area patients. Please call to schedule your free Cosmetic Consultation, (408) 356-4241.]

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