Can A Facelift And Rhinoplasty Be Done At The Same Time?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 55 year-old woman who would like a facelift to remove jowls and improve droopy neck. I also would like my nose done as the tip seems to keep getting lower as I age. (is it really growing at my age?) The question I have is the timing of the nose surgery and the facelift. Should they be done separately or together? If separate, should the nose be done before or after the facelift? My thought would be after because it give my surgeon a better idea to do the nose based on the new way my face looks.

A: You are correct in your impression that the nose is getting longer and ‘growing’. It does not actually grow per se but the tip of the nose does fall as the ligaments weaken. As the tip falls downward the nasal length increases and the nasolabial angle decreases. This means that a very simple tip rhinoplasty to elevate the tip and open up the nasolabial angle can be quite rejuvenating to how the face looks.

There are arguments to be made on both sides of that discussion either combining or separating a facelift and rhinoplasty. In reality, it is not necessary to look at the ‘new’ face afterward to figure out how to change the nose via rhinoplasty surgery. Therefore, I have found it best to combine the procedures for the benefits of one single surgery and recovery and lower costs. In addition, a rhinoplasty is a central facial surgery while a facelift is a lateral or side facial surgery. One does not really impact the other when it comes to facial appearance changes or swelling and bruising. Put together, however, the combined facelift and rhinoplasty procedure can have quite a rejuvenating impact on the aging face.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana