Rhinoplasty, pros and cons

Rhinoplasties are certainly not only performed for cosmetic reasons, although this does occur frequently. However, it may also be the case that there is a (chronic or otherwise) blocked nose or, for example, headache complaints that are associated with the nose. If you have such complaints, nose surgery may be necessary. Rhinoplasties for cosmetic reasons are not reimbursed by the health insurer, but rhinoplasties for medical reasons are in principle.

Rhinoplasty, who is it suitable for?

Rhinoplasties are suitable for people whose nose has fully grown. This means that you must be fully grown before you can have surgery on your nose. People who have physical complaints due to the structure of their nose are eligible for a rhinoplasty for medical reasons. People who want a rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, for example because they think the nose is too big or ugly, are also eligible for a rhinoplasty, but not for reimbursement from the insurer. Occasionally it happens that a person wants a rhinoplasty because someone from the environment (for example the partner) does not like the nose. In such a case, a rhinoplasty is not immediately recommended. With an important procedure that involves changing the appearance, it is necessary that the patient himself is convinced that the procedure is necessary. To avoid regret and disappointment afterwards, it is not wise to have such a procedure performed because someone else wants it from you.

Rhinoplasty, how does it work?

The ENT doctor and/or plastic surgeon who will perform the operation will discuss your wishes with you in advance and work with you to determine to what extent your wishes can be realized. Depending on the structure of the nose and the reason for the procedure, the patient is operated under local anesthesia or complete anesthesia. If complete anesthesia is used, you will have to stay in the clinic for a day, possibly supplemented with an overnight stay. How long the operation will take depends on the extent of the treatment. The surgeon will be able to inform you about this in advance. You must be completely fasting before the operation. An incision is made on the inside of the nose so that the surgeon can adjust the skeleton of the nose. It happens that it is necessary to cut the soft part of the skin between the nostrils, in which case the incision will (usually) heal invisibly after the procedure. The surgeon will adjust the shape of the nose and will place tampons in the nostrils. These are removed again after a few days.

After the operation

After the operation, the nose is bandaged with bandages. The nose feels blocked by the tampons and a plaster cast keeps the nose in its new shape. It is better to place the head a little higher than usual, with an extra pillow, to avoid an unpleasant feeling of pressure and the nose will then heal faster. The pain is usually bearable and pain relief can be prescribed if necessary. The plaster cast is only removed after about seven days. In principle, you can then return to work if you feel able to do so. However, bending, straining and heavy physical labor should be avoided for some time. Your face will be swollen and blue for the first few days; these symptoms start to diminish after a week.

What are the risks of a rhinoplasty?

There are risks associated with every surgical procedure. Bleeding, infections, wound healing that does not proceed smoothly or there may be asymmetry may occur. The surgeon may also have changed too much or too little of the nose. The end result may be disappointing and that may be irreparable. Scarring may occur, which may cause the shape of the nose to become disappointing or additional surgery may be necessary after a while to correct scars. However, most people who have rhinoplasty are happy with the results because the reason they decided to have rhinoplasty usually had a negative impact on their quality of life. In most cases the patient is very happy with the result.

Reimbursement by insurers

Insurers may/will be prepared to reimburse rhinoplasty if there is physical discomfort that significantly hinders daily life for the patient, for example due to a crooked position of the septum of the nose. However, this is not always the case. Please check with your insurer in advance to determine whether you are eligible for reimbursement.

Cost of rhinoplasty

  • A total rhinoplasty costs approximately 4,500 euros.
  • A correction of the nose tip costs approximately 3000 euros.
  • A correction of the nasal septum costs approximately 2500 euros.


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