Rhinoplasty can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the exact procedure and the patient's preference. It is performed in a surgeon's office, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. Complex procedures may require a short hospital stay. The procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours. It may take longer.
With local anesthesia, the nose and the area around it is numbed. You will probably be lightly sedated, but awake during the surgery (relaxed and not feeling pain). General anesthesia allows you to sleep through the operation.
The surgery is usually done through a cut (incision) made inside the nostrils. In some cases, the cut is made from outside, around the base of the nose. This type of cut is used to perform work on the tip of the nose or if you need a cartilage graft.
A splint (metal or plastic) may be placed on the outside of the nose. This helps maintain the new shape of the bone when the surgery is finished. Soft plastic splints or nasal packs also may be placed in the nostrils. This helps keep the dividing wall between the air passages (septum) stable.