Whether you’re considering a nose job to help improve your breathing or to give you the facial profile you’ve always dreamed of, you’re probably wondering just how much is a nose job. Along with questions about the risks and benefits of a nose job, it’s one of the most common questions we get asked.

In this guide we give you a quick refresher on rhinoplasty, and cover everything you need to know about how much a nose job costs, from the total average cost, to a breakdown of the specific components.

What is a nose job?

A ‘nose job’ is the colloquial term for ‘rhinoplasty.’ Rhinoplasty is a form of cosmetic surgery used to reshape or repair the nose. While some people choose to have rhinoplasty for purely cosmetic reasons, it’s also used to treat a range of problems including:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Injuries
  • Birth defects

While it might sound like a simple operation, rhinoplasty is complex surgery and shouldn’t be considered lightly. Even small changes to the nose can make a big difference to the way the nose looks or functions so it’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with a qualified specialist surgeon.

Nose job surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and usually involves a small amount of bone and cartilage being removed from inside your nose to alter its shape. If you’re having a nose reconstruction on the other hand, cartilage may be added to your nose. In this case, it will typically be taken from your ear or from inside your nose.

What is recovery from a nose job like?

Recovery from rhinoplasty can take up to six months, however the first three to four weeks are the most critical period for recovery. Here’s a brief overview of what to expect:

  • Week one – during the surgery your doctor will apply a rigid plastic cast to the outside of your nose, as well as silicone stents to the inside, to keep everything in place. You can expect swelling to increase in the days following surgery, so you’ll be given cold compresses to apply to your face. Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics and pain medication to manage the pain, as well as ointment to apply to your nose to reduce itching. It’s important during this week to follow the care instructions to the letter to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection or complications.
  • Week two – you’ll typically have a post-operative appointment with your surgeon to assess progress and remove the cast. You’ll likely be given small silicone stents to wear to assist with breathing.
  • Weeks three & four – your nose will likely feel numb, and may feel quite hard. Numbness will typically reduce gradually over the next four to five months. Your nose will also soften and any upper lip stiffness will wear off over this period.

How much is a nose job – total cost

In Australia, a nose job will typically cost between $8,000 and $20,000. This cost is made up of the following components:

  • Surgeon’s fee. This is the largest portion of the fee and includes the cost of both the procedure itself, and any pre or post-operative consultations you need.
  • Anaesthetist’s fee. They will typically charge by the hour, with rhinoplasty usually taking several hours.
  • Hospital fee. This covers the use of the operating theatre. The fee will vary according to whether you require an overnight stay as well.
  • Other tests or imaging. You may require scans, such as CT scans or X-Rays before or after the procedure. Depending on your insurance and your eligibility for Medicare rebates, these will typically cost a few hundred dollars.
  • Medication and dressings. During the recovery phase you usually need to purchase pain relief medication and antibiotics as well as ointment for your nose. On top of that you may need to purchase dressings to assist with healing.

The exact figure will depend on the complexity of the operation, as well as the reason for the surgery i.e. whether it’s purely for cosmetic reasons, or whether you need the surgery to treat an underlying condition or injury.

Generally speaking, Medicare typically won’t cover the cost of a nose job if it’s purely for cosmetic purposes. On the other hand, if rhinoplasty is required to reconstruct your nose due to trauma, a birth defect, or a functional problem like breathing difficulties, there may be some components covered by Medicare.

Your private health insurance may not cover the cost either. As a general rule, if the procedure is for medical purposes and is listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, your private health insurance will be more likely to cover the cost than if it’s for purely cosmetic purposes. However, it’s best to check with your insurer.

How much is a nose job – what to ask your surgeon

Because nose job surgery can carry a high out-of-pocket price tag, it’s essential to discuss the full cost with your specialist before agreeing to any procedures. When asking for a quote, make sure it includes:

The total cost (inclusive of the surgeon’s and anesthetist’s fees, hospital costs, and the cost of any follow-up appointments.)

The amount of deposit required, payment due dates and their refund policy in case you change your mind ahead of the surgery.

Exactly what you get for the cost i.e. are follow-up appointments included in the fee, or will you need to pay for these separately at a later date?

What age can you get a nose job in Australia?

Most surgeons recommend waiting until the nose is fully grown before having rhinoplasty. While the exact age varies from person to person, this is typically 16 for girls and 17 for boys.

Additionally, it is important to note that the Medical Board of Australia requires people under 18 years of age to be referred for a mental health assessment before they are allowed to proceed with rhinoplasty. If the surgery is approved following the assessment, there is then a mandatory 3 month cooling off period.