Rhinoplasty - Is This a Risky Procedure?

I have just graduated high school and am receiving rhinoplasty this summer. I just want the bump shaved down, so my nose looks straight. I don't want anything else done. This seems pretty simple, but I have heard some horror stories on here. On average, is this procedure very successful? I would imagine that it is, but I do worry. The front of my nose is fine. Sometimes, when I smile in pictures, it can look a little wide, but could that be because the bump is creating shadows?

Doctor Answers 6

Rhinoplasty Evaluation and Risks

Any surgery has risks, but performed properly, the risks of a rather straightforward rhinoplasty like it appears yours would be are rather low.  With the taking down of the bump, to prevent what is called an “open roof” deformity (a flatness caused by the taking down of a bump leaving widened bones), the nasal bones must be broken and reset to assure that the bridge is narrow and natural appearing.  Be sure to look at your prospective surgeon’s photos, and I feel that computer imaging is a key part to the planning as it assures good dialogue between patient and surgeon.

Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Rhinoplasty risks

In many ways rhinoplasty is a deceptively complicated procedure. What would appear to be a straightforward process of removing some bone on the bridge actually can involve quite a bit more. Mainly this boils down to the complex nature of nasal healing and the dynamics of the nasal structure and how well it functions (ie, how well you can breathe from your nose).

Of course, this doesn't mean that surgery shouldn't be done. Rather you want to make sure that the person doing the surgery has a lot of experience with this specific procedure and has long term results that you like. I find that the vast majority of my patients are very happy after just one surgery.

In cases like your own with removing bumps from the bridge, the main issue is that of collapse of the middle third of the nose over time. This occurs as the cartilage support in the area isn't adequate to support the contracting skin overlying the area. The way to prevent this is to place prophylactic cartilage spreader grafts (using cartilage from your nasal septum) in the area to help support that part of the nose.

You should discuss your goals with a few rhinoplasty surgeons to see what changes can be made. Check out before and after photos of their other patients to see that you like their aesthetic.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Is Rhinoplasty a Risky Procedure?

This is a very common question among patients seeking Rhinoplasty.  There is no absolute answer, and there is no procedure without risk.  As you will probably note from this website, Rhinoplasty has one of the higher revision rates when compared to other cosmetic procedures.  Rhinoplasty is a complicated procedure, requiring technical skill, diligent preoperative planning, and a good aesthetic eye. The main goal in this procedure is to achieve aesthetic balance with the face, while avoiding an operated look.  This is very possible with a well trained, experienced Rhinoplasty Surgeon (many of whom are in San Diego).  In my opinion, a combination of tip refinement and hump removal will help you achieve this goal.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Risks of rhinoplasty are what the surgeon does; find one you trust

The most common risks of rhinoplasty are an imperfect cosmetic result or a new airway obstruction. 

You have a narrow nose; removing the bump will allow the middle third to narrow further, worsening your airway.  In my operating room, this shape would mean placing spreader grafts to hold the side walls in the right place.

You also have a low radix: your bump begins in the middle of your eye, rather than at your upper lash margin. This level has the effect of making your lower nose look larger.  I would raise your radix a sliver as well as reducing your bump, which will improve your postoperative nasal proportion.

Make sure that you like and trust your surgeon and that you have seen results of noses similar to yours that you like.  This is the best preparation that you can make, and reduces your "risk" a great deal.

Good luck!

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Risks after rhinoplasty

As with any surgery there are risks.  Choose someone who is competent in rhinoplasties and Board certified in Plastic Surgery or Otolaryngology.  Donald R. Nunn MD Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Ensuring safe & satisfying rhinoplasty: board certification, experience, trust

The most important decision you have to make when planning any surgery is selecting the right surgeon. Board certification, experience, and trust are my top three "most important" boxes to check off when looking for a rhinoplasty surgeon. From your description, the improvements you want to make are: reduce the hump, straighten and possibly narrow the nose, and make sure you still have easy breathing through the nasal passages. These are common goals for rhinoplasty surgery, and the procedures that are used are well established and very successful. Hidden incisions are placed on the inside of the nostrils, although a visible, but easily camouflaged, incision may be placed on the bottom area of the nose called the "columella."  If your nose needs narrowing, controlled breakage of the upper bones and repositioning them inward is a safe and effective way to do this. "Horror stories" abound for any type of surgery, but remember that those are the stories that get the most press. The bottom line is that good rhinoplasty surgery can be very successful, but it requires great skill and sound judgment by the "right" surgeon. To select the right surgeon, make absolutely sure of these three things: 1) the surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, 2) he/she does a lot of rhinoplasties and can show you at least 20 "typical" before/after photos, 3) he/she earns your trust by taking the time to explain the procedure without giving a feeling of being rushed or sounding like a "salesman." 

Ariel N. Rad, MD, PhD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 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.