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Rhinoplasty, the Myths and Facts

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


Rhinoplasty, or plastic surgery on the nose, is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed. This procedure may be done for aesthetic reasons to change the appearance of the nose, or it may be done for reconstructive purposes due to structural irregularities or injury to the nose. Even though the surgery is popular, many myths exist involving rhinoplasty or the process in general.

1. Plastic Surgery Uses Plastic Myth. The word “plastic” in plastic surgery may be misleading to many people. The term comes from the Greek language, and it means to form or to mold. Materials used in the process are biological or synthetic, and these materials are meant to look and feel like the real thing.

2. Fake Noses Will not Melt in the Sun Fact. Most plastic surgeons use forms of silicon that will typically outlast the individual who has the surgery performed. There was a time when some people opted to have paraffin injections instead of spending the money on a proper surgical procedure. Paraffin is a type of wax and will melt when exposed to heat.

3. Rhinoplasty Is Always Performed under General Anesthesia Myth. Although plastic surgery of the nose is frequently performed under a general anesthesia, where the patient is asleep, some procedures involve only the use of local anesthesia. Local anesthesia allows the patient to remain awake and aware during the surgical procedure.

4. Rhinoplasty May Be Performed Outside of a Hospital Fact. Depending on the surgeon selected, plastic surgery on the nose may be performed in a hospital operating room, in a special clinic, or at a physician’s office. This is because rhinoplasty is nearly always an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to return home shortly after completion.

5. Rhinoplasty Is not Covered by Insurance Myth. Most insurance companies will not cover plastic surgery of the nose when it is performed for aesthetic purposes. However, when plastic surgery is required to restore or restructure the nose due to structural abnormalities or injury to the nose, many insurance providers will cover part or all of the surgery.

6. Plastic Surgery of the Nose Will Leave Scars Fact. As with any surgical procedure, there will be scars after rhinoplasty. However, the surgeon will be able to hide them within creases, wrinkles, or inside the nose in most cases. Scars may be more pronounced and visible shortly after surgery, but they should fade and almost disappear over time.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.