Is rhinoplasty dangerous

Is Rhinoplasty Dangerous? 11 Risks to Weigh Before Surgery

If you’re considering improvements for your nose, a rhinoplasty (or nose-reshaping surgery) is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. But, like any surgery, it comes with risks. Understanding these risks before you schedule your treatment may help you feel more confident about your choice.

In the short guide below, you’ll look into the potential risks of rhinoplasty. You’ll learn the differences between different types of procedures, like open and closed rhinoplasty. You’ll then have a clear picture of what to expect from your nose job and how to choose the right clinic.

Types of Rhinoplasty Surgery

Rhinoplasty comes in various forms, each designed to meet specific needs and goals. Here are the main types of rhinoplasty procedures in 2024:

Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Cosmetic rhinoplasty focuses on improving the appearance of the nose. It can address a variety of issues, such as a hump on the bridge, a bulbous tip, or asymmetry. This type of rhinoplasty is popular among those looking to enhance their aesthetics. Choosing a skilled plastic surgeon is essential to ensure the best results.

Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

Non-surgical rhinoplasty, also known as liquid rhinoplasty, uses fillers to reshape the nose without surgery. It’s a quick procedure, usually done in under an hour. There’s no downtime, making it ideal for minor adjustments like smoothing out bumps or lifting the nasal tip. However, the results are temporary, typically lasting about a year.

Open Rhinoplasty

Open rhinoplasty involves an incision on the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. This method provides the surgeon with better access to the nasal structure and is often used for significant reshaping. The open approach allows for more precision in complex cases. However, it results in a small visible scar, which usually fades over time.

Closed Rhinoplasty

Closed rhinoplasty is performed through incisions inside the nostrils. This technique leaves no visible scars. It is less invasive and typically results in a quicker rhinoplasty recovery. Closed rhinoplasty is often used for less complex procedures. However, it offers the surgeon less visibility of the nasal structures compared to the open method.

Secondary Rhinoplasty

Secondary rhinoplasty, or revision rhinoplasty, corrects or improves the results of your last nose surgery. This procedure is necessary when complications or dissatisfaction with the initial surgery occur.

Revision rhinoplasty is often more complex and requires an experienced surgeon. It addresses issues such as nasal asymmetry, breathing problems, or residual deformities.

Functional Rhinoplasty

Functional rhinoplasty focuses on improving breathing problems and correcting structural issues. This procedure can correct a deviated septum, nasal valve collapse, or other problems that cause airway obstruction. It improves breathing and enhances the nose’s appearance. It’s crucial for patients with significant breathing issues.

Top Concerns with Rhinoplasty Surgeries

Rhinoplasty is a standard and effective procedure, but, like any procedure, there are some potential concerns to consider.

1. Anesthesia Risks

Rhinoplasty typically requires general anesthesia, which carries its own set of risks. These include nausea, vomiting, and, in rare cases, severe reactions like anaphylaxis. Discussing your complete medical history with your plastic surgeon before the procedure is crucial. 

Conditions like sleep apnea or heart disease can increase anesthetic risks. Understanding how your body reacts is crucial for safe surgery. Your surgeon may also use sedation, depending on the complexity of the procedure and your health.

2. Infection

Infection is a risk with any surgical procedure, including rhinoplasty. Proper post-operative care is essential to reduce this risk. Surgeons usually prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections. It’s vital to follow your post-operative instructions closely. Keep the surgical site clean and avoid touching it unnecessarily. 

Signs of infection include redness, swelling, pain, and fever. If you notice these symptoms, contact your rhinoplasty surgeon immediately. Early intervention can prevent more severe complications. Antibiotic ointments and attending follow-up appointments are critical steps in preventing infections.

3. Scarring

Scarring is a concern, especially with open rhinoplasty. This procedure leaves a small scar on the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. While this scar typically fades over time, it can be noticeable. Surgeons strive to make the scar as discreet as possible. 

Closed rhinoplasty, which involves incisions inside the nostrils, avoids visible scars. However, it might not be suitable for more complex procedures. The choice between open and closed rhinoplasty depends on the specific changes needed. Your healthcare provider will recommend the best approach based on your nose’s structure and aesthetic goals.

4. Breathing Problems

Some patients experience breathing issues after rhinoplasty. This can happen if the nasal passages are altered too much during surgery. Such changes can narrow the airway, causing obstruction. Functional rhinoplasty can address these problems by correcting structural issues. It’s crucial to choose an experienced surgeon who understands the nasal structure. 

Proper technique can prevent airway obstruction and ensure a successful outcome. Discuss your medical history and any existing breathing problems with your rhinoplasty surgeon. This will help them plan the surgery to improve both form and function.

5. Dissatisfaction with Results

Not all rhinoplasty results meet patient expectations. Revision or secondary rhinoplasty can correct issues from the first surgery. However, it’s a more complex surgery requiring a highly skilled facial plastic surgeon. 

Clear communication about your aesthetic goals is vital. Look at before-and-after photos and discuss your expectations in detail with your surgeon. Ensure to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in revision procedures. This increases the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome.

6. Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising are common after rhinoplasty. These side effects can last several weeks and may temporarily impact your appearance. Swelling typically peaks within the first few days but can persist for months. Following post-operative instructions can help manage these issues. 

Cold compresses and keeping your head elevated can reduce swelling. Avoid strenuous activities and sleep with your head elevated. Patience is vital, as the final results may not be visible for several months. Complete healing can take up to a year.

7. Numbness

Numbness around the nose is a possible side effect of rhinoplasty. This occurs because the nerves in the nasal area are disturbed during surgery. The nose tip is particularly sensitive and may take longer to regain normal sensation. This numbness usually resolves over time but can be uncomfortable during recovery. 

Discuss this possibility with your surgeon and understand the expected recovery time. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare mentally for the recovery process. Your surgeon can provide tips on managing discomfort and monitoring the return of sensation.

8. Septal Perforation

A septal perforation is a septum hole that can occur during surgery. This complication can lead to breathing problems, crusting, and frequent nosebleeds. It often requires additional treatment or surgery to correct. 

Septal perforations can impact the overall function and the appearance of the nose. Choosing an experienced, board-certified surgeon reduces the risk of this issue. Proper surgical technique and careful handling of the nasal structures are crucial. Ensure your surgeon is skilled in both rhinoplasty’s aesthetic and functional aspects. Regular follow-up appointments can help detect and address any issues early.

9. Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a potential side effect of rhinoplasty. They can occur during the initial healing period when the nasal tissues are still fragile. It’s important to follow post-operative instructions to minimize this risk. Avoid blowing your nose and strenuous activities for the first few weeks. Keeping the inside of your nose moist with saline sprays can also help. If nosebleeds persist or become severe, contact your rhinoplasty surgeon. They can provide treatments or adjustments to help manage this issue.

10. Altered Sense of Taste and Smell

An altered sense of smell or taste can occur after rhinoplasty. This happens because the olfactory nerves in the nasal area might be affected during surgery. Most changes are temporary and improve as you heal.

However, some patients may experience longer-lasting effects. Your surgeon can explain how likely this side effect is based on your surgery. Understanding this possibility can help you prepare for recovery and know what to expect.

11. Skin Discoloration

Skin discoloration around the nose and eyes is common after rhinoplasty. Bruising can cause the skin to look dark and discolored for a few weeks. This is a normal part of the healing process.  Using cold compresses and keeping your head elevated can reduce bruising. Avoiding sun exposure and using sunscreen can also help. 

Most discoloration fades within two weeks, but in some cases, it can take longer. If you have concerns about prolonged discoloration, consult your surgeon for advice on managing and reducing the appearance of bruising.

Tips for Finding a Top Rhinoplasty Surgeon

Board Certification

Ensure your surgeon is board-certified in plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery. This certification indicates they have the necessary training and expertise. Board-certified surgeons adhere to high standards of care and ethics. They are regularly evaluated to ensure they meet ongoing education and skill requirements.


Look for a surgeon with extensive experience in rhinoplasty. Ask how many rhinoplasty procedures they have performed. An experienced surgeon is likelier to deliver the desired results and handle complications. Experience in cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty is a plus, as it shows the surgeon’s versatility and knowledge.

Before-and-After Photos

Review before-and-after photos of the surgeon’s previous patients. This will give you an idea of their skill and the results you can expect. Pay attention to cases similar to yours. Look for consistency in their work and see if the outcomes align with your aesthetic goals. This visual proof can help you gauge the surgeon’s ability to achieve the desired look.

Patient Reviews

Read reviews from previous patients. Look for feedback on their experiences, satisfaction with the results, and the surgeon’s bedside manner. Positive reviews are a good indicator of a reliable surgeon. Take note of recurring themes in the reviews, whether positive or negative, as they can provide insight into what you might expect.


Schedule a consultation to discuss your goals and concerns. A good surgeon will listen to you, answer your questions, and explain the procedure in detail. They should make you feel comfortable and confident in their abilities. 

During the consultation, assess their willingness to give detailed answers. Also, look at their approach to personalized care.

Surgical Facility

Ensure that the surgery occurs in an accredited facility meeting strict safety standards. This reduces the risk of complications and ensures a safe environment for your procedure. Ask about the facility’s accreditation and affiliations with reputable medical institutions.

Personal Connection

Trust your instincts. Choose a surgeon you feel comfortable with and trust. A strong patient-surgeon relationship is important for a positive experience and successful outcome. You should feel that the surgeon respects your concerns and values your input. A good rapport can make the entire process smoother and more reassuring.

Types of Nasal Surgery Available

Ensure the surgeon offers the types of nasal surgery you need. This includes cosmetic rhinoplasty, functional rhinoplasty, and revision rhinoplasty. Some surgeons also perform non-surgical rhinoplasty using fillers. Discuss all available options during your consultation to understand which procedure is best for you.


Consider the convenience of the surgeon’s office location. Proximity to your home or work can make visits easier. Check the office hours to see if they align with your schedule. Convenient appointment times can reduce stress and make follow-up visits more manageable. Also, consider the availability of virtual consultations if needed.

Get a Rhinoplasty Review Today

Are you thinking about rhinoplasty? Getting a professional review is a crucial first step. Dr. Calvert’s practice offers detailed consultations to help you make informed decisions.

Why Get A Professional Review?

A professional review provides a clear understanding of what to expect from rhinoplasty. Dr. Calvert and his team will assess your nose’s structure. We will discuss your goals and explain the different rhinoplasty options. We’ll also address any concerns about rhinoplasty risks or complications.

What To Expect During Your Consultation

Dr. Calvert will review your medical history during your meeting. He will discuss any breathing problems or past nasal surgeries. He’ll use advanced imaging technology to show you potential results to help you visualize the changes and set realistic expectations.

Personalized Recommendations

Based on your consultation, Dr. Calvert will provide personalized recommendations. You may need cosmetic, functional, or revision rhinoplasty. His expertise ensures you get the best advice. He’ll explain the benefits and risks of each option.

Next Steps?Ready to take the next step? Schedule your consultation with Dr. Calvert’s team today! We’ll provide high-quality care to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.