The nose is made up of bone and cartilage. The size and relationship of the bone and cartilage which make up the nose determine the size and shape of the nose.
Nose surgery (rhinoplasty) offers improvement in the appearance in cases in which the nose is cosmetically unappealing. Age may also be a consideration. Many surgeons prefer not to perform cosmetic (elective) rhinoplasties until the growth of the nasal bone is completed (around 14 or 15 for girls, a bit later for boys).
With local anesthesia, the nose and the surrounding area is numbed. The patient will usually be lightly sedated but awake during the surgery, and relaxed and insensitive to pain. The surgery is usually done through the incision inside the nostrils. Instruments inserted through the nostril, are used to reshape the bones which make up the nose.
The results of surgery are variable, depending on the initial shape of the nose, but rhinoplasty offers significant improvement in appearance in many cases.
Reviewed By: David A. Lickstein, MD, FACS, specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.