Nose Reduction--less Invasive?

although i breathe quite poorly and I'd love to change that too, i wonder if there are varying degrees of surgical intervention one can choose that would reduce both risk and downtime after surgery. If the nose is too long and you opt only to reduce it some and make it more symmetrical, is it possible to do that with a less invasive procedure? This, even if the results would not go as far as they otherwise might, both esthetically and for freer breathing?

Doctor Answers 10

Nose reduction--less invasive

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Septoplasty surgery is performed for medical necessity to improve a patient’s breathing.  This involves removal of both bone and cartilage obstructing the airflow in the posterior portion of the nose.  It is also important to address any hypertrophic turbinates or valve collapse that can also cause nasal obstruction.  Expect 1 week of down time due to congestion and swelling on the inside of the nose causing airflow restriction. There is no external bruising associated with this surgery.  A rhinoplasty surgery will involve the tip, bridge, and nasal bones. Anticipate 10 to 14 days with some degree of swelling and bruising on the outside of the nose following a rhinoplasty procedure.  Both procedures can be done at the same time.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty improves function and aesthetics

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Performing a partial or incomplete nose surgery is unwise. Seek a surgeon with skills to create a better looking and better functioning nose under one procedure for best outcomes. I do not recommend a 'minimal approach' unless it is for simply shaving down a bump on the profile in an otherwise balanced and well- functioning nose.


Dr. G in Orlando

Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Less Invasive Rhinoplasty Surgery

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Wandee, there are certainly different approaches for rhinoplasty surgery that will result in less down time versus others. For instance, in some cases a closed limited rhinoplasty procedure can be done, which generally results in much less down time compared with an open rhinoplasty approach. Make sure you consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to discuss the various options out there. Wishing you the best of luck.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Minimally Invasive Rhinoplasty

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Hi Wandee,

It is difficult to address this issue without photos, but in terms of "less invasive" options you really have either placement of filler to simulate augmentation or to smooth out a depression or bump VS closed rhinoplasty. It sounds like you want more of a reduction rhinoplasty and I often do this via the closed approach, which means that you can spare the incision on the columella. This might seem like a small difference, but it is a highly debated technical topic among plastic surgeons and that small cut often leads to prolonged swelling of the nasal tip. Ultimately, you can achieve equally excellent results with both closed and open approaches to rhinoplasty, depending on the surgeon.  If you are going to undergo reduction rhinoplasty, it would be worth your while to address the functional nasal problems simultaneously. Septoplasty and turbinate reduction do not add significantly to the surgical and social down-time of the procedure.

Jeremy B. White, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Nasala reduction

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It is difficullt to answer this question without an in-office consultation.  We all strive to do the least invasive procedure to give the best result.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

You need an in person consultation

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If you see a qualified plastic surgeon. they will discuss all of this with you and you will know what the down time is, depending on what you need.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Different types of Rhinoplasty: different risks, healing time, & results

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Rhinoplasty surgery, results, complexity and downtime have many variables:

  • Only removing a hump (bump): less invasive, less downtime.
  • Tip refinement: more involved, greater risk, greater downtime and healing.
  • Revision cases: usually are the most involved, longest healing time.
  • Injectable rhinoplasty: injectable fillers can be used to simulate a rhinoplasty result.  Least invasive but has to repeated every 12 to 18 months.
  • Breathing issues: if there is a problem with your breathing, such as a deviated septum, this should be addressed at the same time.  It doesn't add to your recovery.

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty, Septorhinoplasty Septoplasty Surgery

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Dear Wandee, There are many choices in rhinoplasty surgery and these are decided upon during consultation and direct examination. If you already have breathing problems it is best that they are addressed at the time of the procedure. You would not want to narrow or reduce the nose and not fix the breathing issues as your breathing could be worse after surgery. Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty and Septorhinoplasty when done in the proper hands of a skilled surgeon and accredited operating facility have a very low risk factor as it is. I would be more concerned with having proper breathing function and an aesthetically pleasing nose then I would about the invasiveness of the procedure. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Nose Reduction and Downtime

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    As an example, if the nose is long and only the caudal septum is trimmed, you will have very little swelling and downtime will be minimal.  However, your specific goals need to be addressed with a board certified plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of rhinoplasties.

Less Invasive Rhinoplasgty

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There are many choices in rhinoplasty surgery; therefore every operation is individualized. Over the past 35 years I've never done 2 noses exactly the same. You need to sit down with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon to discuss your goals and the alternatives available to you.   

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.