Comprehensive Guide to Types of Rhinoplasty


Rhinoplasty, a common surgical procedure to change the shape of the nose for aesthetic or functional purposes, is also known colloquially as a ‘nose job’. Depending on the specific concerns addressed and the final outcomes sought, Rhinoplasty procedures are broadly categorised into the following:

1. Primary Rhinoplasty

This defines the initial surgery performed on the nose, whether for cosmetic or functional enhancement of the features.


  • A wide range of corrections to the nasal features can be addressed
  • Done by an experienced surgeon, this has a very high success rate without the need for revisions
  • Significantly improves the appearance of the nose and also breathing functions


  • Involves meticulous planning of the procedure and detailed consultation
  • Being a surgical procedure it requires a longer recovery time

2. Secondary (Revision) Rhinoplasty

Secondary or Revision rhinoplasty is required to correct or improve upon the unsatisfactory results of a previous primary procedure. This covers the entire range of functional or aesthetic/ symmetry issues of the nose.


  • Allows for correction of previous surgical results
  • Can help improve nasal function and appearance not addressed by the primary procedure
  • Just as the primary procedure, this can be tailored to the specific requirements of the patient


  • Given the revision nature of the procedure, this is far more challenging than the primary rhinoplasty
  • Has a relatively higher risk of complications depending the level of corrections sought

3. Open Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is further segmented into open or closed procedure depending on the incisions made. For an open rhinoplasty procedure, the surgeon makes an incision on the columella, the small strip of tissue between the nostrils and the top skin is peeled back. This allows full access to the nasal anatomy and is mostly used for extensive reshaping procedures. 


  • Given the open access, this allows for greater flexibility and precision 
  • Allows for better visualisation for the surgeon
  • Notably ideal for major reconstruction procedures


  • Leaves a visible scar on the columella, which gradually fades over time
  • Given the extensive and open nature of the procedure it requires a longer recovery period

4. Closed Rhinoplasty

Contrary to the Open rhinoplasty, in the closed procedure all incisions are made internally within the nostrils thereby leaving no external scars. Given the limited access to the nasal structure, this technique is used for less extensive reconstructions.


  • No external visible scars
  • Shorter recovery timelines
  • Far less bruising and trauma to the surgical area


  • Allows very limited access to the nasal cavity
  • Not suitable for complex cases that may require major reconstruction

5. Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

This technique is commonly known as liquid rhinoplasty since it involves the use of injectable fillers in ‘liquid’ form, to alter the shape of the nose. Given the non-surgical nature of the procedure this is a temporary solution since the fillers dissolve with regular metabolic functions of the body. 


  • No incisions or anaesthesia needed for this procedure
  • With minimal downtime, the results are almost immediately visible
  • Easily reversible or adjustable 


  • Results are temporary (lasts typically for 6-12 months)
  • Only minor corrections are possible
  • There is always the possibility of the filler migrating to other areas due to the normal metabolic functions or even lead to complications

6. Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Designed to address the unique characteristics of the patient’s ethnic background, Ethnic Rhinoplasty requires a surgeon with a deep understanding and sensitivity to different nasal structures and cultural aspirations. 


  • Helps maintain ethnic allegiance of the nasal anatomy
  • This is a customised approach for a wide range of nasal anatomical aesthetics
  • Can help address both aesthetic and functional issues


  • Only a highly skilled and experienced can do this procedure
  • Longer pre-procedural consultation and planning phase required to maintain the ethnic sensibilities

7. Functional Rhinoplasty

Functional rhinoplasty procedures aim to structural malformations that get in the way of regular breathing for the patient. 


  • Helps improve nasal function, especially breathing
  • Can easily be combined with cosmetic procedures
  • Helps improve upon health and quality of life concerns


  • Recovery gets a little tricky given the need to manage both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the transformation
  • A detailed pre-procedural evaluation is required

8. Aesthetic (Cosmetic) Rhinoplasty

Cosmetic rhinoplasty, otherwise known as aesthetic rhinoplasty, is done solely to improve the appearance of the nasal structure with regards to size, shape, profile and symmetry.


  • Improves upon the facial appearance, harmony and balance of the features
  • Helps boost self-confidence and thereby self-esteem
  • Can be easily customised to the aesthetic appeal of the individual


  • Offers no functional improvement
  • Purely for cosmetic benefits
  • Careful evaluation of the individual’s aesthetic expectation is needed
  • Recovery is purely focused on the changes in appearance sought by the patient

FAQs about Rhinoplasty

1. How long does it take to recover from a rhinoplasty procedure?

Depending on the procedure undertaken, the initial recovery can take upto 1-2 weeks where the swelling and bruising of the area gradually subsides. The final results can take up to a year to be more apparent.

2. Is rhinoplasty painful?

This is a fairly less complex procedure and therefore most patients experience slight discomfort due to the swelling and bruising rather than pain. This is easily managed with prescribed pain medication.

3. How do I choose the right surgeon for my rhinoplasty?

There are a few crucial parameters that can help you decide upon the right surgeon for you:

  • Board certified
  • Extensive experience
  • Review of before and after photos and testimonials of previous patients

4. Are there any risks or complications associated with rhinoplasty?

Any surgical procedure comes with their share of risks as does rhinoplasty. Most often the risks are limited to infection, bleeding or adverse reaction to anaesthesia. In rare cases, risks may include difficulty breathing, asymmetry or dissatisfaction with the aesthetic outcome; in which case revision surgery may be required.

5. Are there any age restrictions for rhinoplasty?

Given the structural changes of the procedure, rhinoplasty is ideally done once the nose is fully developed; at about age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. However, there is no upper age limit for the procedure as long as the patient’s health is amenable. There may be exceptions to these rules and are best discussed with the surgeon.

Profile photo of Dr Venkata Ramana

Dr. Venkata Ramana


Dr. Venkata Ramana, MS, DNB, M.Ch, is a board certified Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon of great repute in Hyderabad. Over the past 15 years of innumerable nasal transformations, Dr. Ramana has created his niche in the field of Rhinoplasty Surgery in Hyderabad, where his gold medal winning background in ENT goes a long way in ensuring that the problem is dealt with in the best possible light. His attention to detail in the realm of deformities such as low nasal bridge, hump nose deformity, wide nasal pyramid, bulky nose tip, wide nostrils and crooked or deviated nasal structure amongst others has earned him the trust of patients and ensured phenomenal end results. Dr. Ramana holds the unique distinction of aesthetic as well as functional prowess of rhinoplasty surgery. To book an appointment, call +918790049911 or email:
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