What are the chances you can die from a rhinoplasty and septoplasty?

I have always wanted a nose job. I have so much anxiety about it and would like to know the chances of death in this procedure.I'm 26 pretty healthy and my only health problem is that I suffer from anxiety.

Doctor Answers 7

Death Risk in Septorhinoplasty

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Thanks for having the courage to ask a question almost every patient worries about.  Any time you give up control, it can be scary and may trigger anxiety.  The best thing to do is gather information.  

Routine (non-emergency) outpatient nasal surgery on a healthy young adult is extremely safe.  In fact, of the millions of these types of procedures performed every year, there are only a handful of hospitalizations, and death is almost unheard of.  It does happen but it is usually due to a previously undiagnosed condition or severe medication allergy.

To put it in perspective, the greatest danger you will face when you have the operation, by more than 100x, is the car ride to and from the surgery center.  I hope you find this comforting.

Still, remember this is elective surgery, nobody "needs" to have it done.

All the best!

Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Risks of rhinoplasty

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Life threatening risks are rhinoplasty are very small, especially in the hands of competent professionals.  Make sure that not only your surgeon is board certified but your anesthesiologist as well.  The risk of death is extremely remote, but many patients are nervous prior to surgery.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Chances of Death with Rhinoplasty or Septoplasty

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Dear gogetter619, I would start with the consulting phase of seeing surgeons and discuss all the risks and complications of the procedure. If the procedure is performed in an accredited operating facility with an anesthesia professional you should be very safe. I have performed rhinoplasty for over thirty years and I perform many nasal procedures per week and I have never had any serious complications. This is a very safe procedure in the hands of a skilled surgeon and facility. In my practice patients who have anxiety will meet with the anesthesiologist prior to their procedure so that medications can be discussed to control the anxiety prior to 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

Chances of death with rhinoplasty?

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first you need to have your anxiety controlled by your family doctor with medication if necessary. Otherwise, in 40 years and thousands of rhinoplasties we have not had any person ever go to the hospital for any problem after rhinoplasty. No serious complication. I  have done rhinoplasty on my own family members. Is that possible yes but extremely unlikely if you go to a trained surgeon, certified anesthetist, and certified facility. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

What are the chances you can die from a rhinoplasty and septoplasty?

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Thanks for the question which many people think about before undergoing elective plastic surgery.  If you are healthy and not taking any stimulant medication such as diet pills or illicit drugs the chance of death under elective general anesthesia is approximately one in 50,000.  If you are going to a certified facility and have a competent surgeon and anesthetist I think you can essentially reassure yourself that the procedure will be performed safely.  My advice would be to be certain to avoid high-volume clinics or small clinics outside the United States that may not have certification and meet the standards of US facilities.

I hope that this provides some reassurance and guidance for you.  Good luck.

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Anxiety before rhinoplasty

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First off, while I think any reasonable person would have the same concerns you do if it is the primary concern and you have a lot of anxiety you need to get those things under control before you ever venture into surgery of any kind.  Not feeling confident about what you're about to do end not clearly understanding the risks and benefits is a bad thing.

If you are largely worried about the worst possible outcomes such as death or a"botched" surgery you should not be having surgery.

All that being said the odds of you dying during surgery are very very low in a young healthy person. They're also relatively low an older unhealthy people.

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

What are the chances of dying from a rhinoplasty and septoplasty?

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First of all, it is very important to get your anxiety under control with therapy and medical management before electing to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure.  Your question is very difficult answer since they are so much variability in the way rhinoplasty is being performed.  In some practices,  the surgeon performs their own anesthesia in addition  performing the surgery, so therefore the risks will be much higher.  In our practice,  we perform all rhinoplastys under general anesthesia as an outpatient surgical procedure.  A board certified physician anesthesiologist performs all of the anesthesia in our Medicare Certified and Washington State licensed outpatient surgery Center. This allows for maximum patient safety and comfort.  Anesthesia administered by a board certified physician anesthesiologist is extremely safe today.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 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.