June 14, 2024

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Cosmetic Nose Surgeries – MU Health Care

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Our noses are the most prominent feature of our face and play an important role in our appearance, but also in breathing, our senses of smell and taste and more.

Whether your interest in nose surgery is cosmetic, functional or both, our plastic surgeons are here to help and support you. Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty, or a nose job) and septum surgery (septoplasty) are two procedures we offer to assist you in meeting your appearance goals.

That process begins with an initial evaluation, where you will meet with a plastic surgeon to ask questions, talk about your medical history and personal goals, and review alternatives, risks and side effects. Each person is different, which means we approach your case with an eye toward what makes you unique.


During nose surgery, your surgeon will make incisions inside your nose to make changes to the bone and cartilage that define your nose’s appearance and function, either through removing tissue or with implants. This incision is most commonly done in the bottom of the septum, called the columella.

When done cosmetically, rhinoplasties most commonly reduce the cartilage at the tip of the nose, turn the nose upward slightly or remove a bump in the middle of the nose, also called a dorsal hump.

Rhinoplasty can also change:

  • The size of your nostrils
  • The width of your nose at the tip

Because of the detail involved and the personal nature of the surgery, your surgeon will ask you specific questions about your ideal nose shape and appearance. This personalized plan will also include photos before and after surgery to monitor the changes.


Problems with the septum, the vertical cartilage that divides your nostrils, are most commonly medical and are more likely to be covered by insurance. Many people seek relief for conditions like a deviated septum, which can be inherited at birth or develop because of an injury. During a septoplasty, your surgeon will reposition the cartilage in your nose.

Septoplasty can also be done to:

  • Provide cartilage to transplant for a different procedure such as a rhinoplasty
  • Repair holes in the septum from piercings or other injuries

Nose surgery recovery

Nose surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. We monitor your recovery in the hospital and send you home with a nasal splint and nose packing, which we will remove during your follow-up appointments within a week of surgery.

Most patients return home with minimal pain, though discomfort similar to nasal congestion is common. Swelling and bruising is also possible, and usually heals within two weeks.