Is It Worth It to Get a Subtle Rhinoplasty?

I wanted to have a rhinoplasty in a few months and I wasn't planning on telling anyone because I know no one would support me getting a nose job. So I thought I would get a subtle surgery; but everyone says if I'm going under the knife I should go all out.

I'm not sure what to do. I really want to change the appearance of my nose but I don't want my parents to know. My nose is pretty wide and there's a bump in it that can be seen in the picture.

Doctor Answers 15

Subtle Rhinoplasty

Dear Rachel

I assume you are referring to less is more. In rhinoplasty there is a very fine line between good, excellent, and disaster. Why not discuss with the plastic surgeons you are seeing what you are trying to achieve with your rhinoplasty. Sometimes this means using computer imaging to show you what you are asking for. Many times a subtle change in the tip bump and width will make for a fantastic result and leave people wondering why you look so good.

Communication with your plastic surgeon is key. Good luck!

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Subtle rhinoplasty

My approach after 37 yrs. is that a rhinoplasty should always be subtle, sort of like wearing good perfume-" is she wearing it or is isn't she?" The aim is to enhance the balence ,equilibrium and harmony of your face without changing your ethnicity.

This is something you do for yourself, BUT doing this without your parents on board can make for problems. You know what they say "you can't fool mother". If you want to speak further you can go to my web site.

Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Is Subtle Rhinoplasty Worth It in Girl Who Wants Change Without Parents Noticing?

Hi Rachel,

Most importantly you need to decide what bothers you about your nose, and what you would be happily satisfied with as an end result.

From what you describe, it seems that the features of your nose that bother you are much more than a subtle rhinoplasty could correct. On the other hand, just because you are having a rhinoplasty doesn't mean that you should "go all out".

What you really need to do is discuss your feelings about your nose with your parents. In this case, you can't have the nose changes that you desire ("I really want to change the appearance of my nose") without your parents noticing.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Subtle rhinoplasty may not be right for you

It is probably not a good idea to get a subtle rhinoplasty since the cost is approximately $6,000, and it is not worth going through that if you are not happy or change your mind. If you really want to have a nose job done, do it right, completely the first time, as the rhinoplasty operation is a very difficult operation to perform and it is not a good idea to have it done just for subtle reasons.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Deciding what you want your nose to look like is the most important first step

Figuring out what you want your nose to look like can be done with special computer programs that can morph the pictures of your nose. Once you come up with an agreement on what that goal is for the appearance then the surgeon and you will determine how to achieve that. Depending on what you decide the end result could be subtle or could be a bigger and more noticeable change. But ultimately you should set these aesthetic goals based on your desires of what you want your nose to look like and not what others may want your nose to look like. After all, it is your nose and you have to live with it on a day to day basis.

To make your nose smaller you may need to bring your nasal bones in as well as make the cartilages in your nasal tip smaller and the cartilage components above the tip more narrow as well.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

If you are having Rhinoplasty, trust your surgeon to do proper surgery

It is not wise to consider surgical Rhinoplasty unless you are willing to have the proper procedure done to achieve the result that you want.

A 'subtle' rhinoplasty will dissapoint you and is not worth doing.

If you really really bothered by the appearance of your nose, your parents should understand.

Most people DO NOT notice Rhinoplasty results. I tell my patients to change the way they wear their hair after surgery and most people notice the hair style change and do not notice the Rhinoplasty, unless they are told or specifically study the nose.

You really need to have your parents support during your recovery, and if you are a minor, it is the law.


Rhinoplasty is a personal choice, but I do not think that you should go behind your parents back, even if you are of age, and have surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Rhinoplasty without my parents knowing

I am assuming you are 18 or older.

If you have a rhinoplasty, no matter how subtle there is always a possibility of bruising that might be noticeable even 2 weeks after surgery. This means you might not be able to hide it from your parents. So, you might as well get the exact rhinoplasty that you desire.

The most important question here is of parental approval. If you value their approval and are not willing to share it with them, then you risk more disapproval and criticism after surgery if you have delayed healing or a complication. You need to think about these issues before you decide on surgery. Do you have friends or other social support systems to help you in recovery from surgery. Surgery can be stressful and can at times lead to depression as well. So, please address these issues before you proceed.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Rhinoplasty and your parents

Doing a subtle rhinoplasty is easy for an experienced surgeon. Making the decision to do it is harder and you must weigh what role the approval of your parents may have. Sooner or later, somehow they will find out, and more likely sooner, so be prepared. Discuss thoroughly with your surgeon your goals and expectations and what changes he./she recommend to get yo to those goals and the likelihood of swelling, bruising, bleeding, etc.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Subtle rhinoplasty.


I teach that a very small change in the nose can make a big improvement in the face.  So I would recommend a "subtle" rhinoplasty.  You only need subtle changes, anyway.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.