Overview of Procedure | Common Complications | Report an Incident


What is rhinoplasty?

You’re more likely to know it as a “nose job.” Rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery that is designed either for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. If cosmetic, it is intended to improve the shape of the nose. If reconstructive, then it is intended to improve breathing.

Which countries are the most popular destinations for this procedure?

Brazil has been called “the world capital of plastic surgery” (even though more such operations are performed in the United States). But in Brazil you can even get a nose job for your pet along with one for yourself. Runners up include Thailand, South Korea, Mexico, and Poland.

What is the range of prices?

In the United States it’s $6,500,

$4,600 in Israel,

$4,500 in Colombia,

$3,900 in South Korea,

$3,800 in Costa Rica and Mexico,

$3,300 in Thailand,

$3,100 in Turkey,

$2,900 in Jordan,

$2,500 in Poland,

$2,400 in India,

$2,200 in Malaysia and Singapore,

$2,100 in Vietnam,

$2,000 in Brazil.


What are the common complications if the procedure is performed abroad?

Rhinoplasty is often thought of as a relatively simple procedure, but it carries with it high risks.

First are the usual risks of post-surgical bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to the type of anesthesia that is administered. Infections are rare as long as an antibiotic is prescribed afterwards, which is routine. But possible infections include toxic shock syndrome, which is potentially fatal.

If the operation is less than successful, it may result in deformities and scars. These, in turn, can create recurring nosebleeds and difficulty in breathing. Ten percent of patients complain of new breathing problems after they recover from the operation. Between five and 15 percent of patients will have to undergo repeat surgery.

Horror stories

An example of a botched nose job

In 2018, a real estate agent from Dallas named Laura Avila decided to save some money and traveled south to a clinic in Mexico to undergo a nose job. Unbeknownst to her and the medical team, she apparently had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia while on the operating table and went into cardiac arrest. She also developed swelling of the brain, which caused irreparable brain damage. She was then transferred to a hospital with an intensive care unit (ICU) and placed in a medically induced coma to prevent further deterioration in her condition, but it was too little too late. Only at the end of the day was her family notified.

The doctors in the ICU slowly attempted to awaken Laura from the coma, but she began to have seizures. Her family then sought to move her to a hospital in Texas, but we told that they wouldn’t be allowed to do so until they paid in full the cost of the four days that Laura was hospitalized in Mexico, which totaled $25,000. Eventually, she was transferred to a facility in El Paso, where doctors concluded that she is in a permanent vegetative state. She will never be able to walk, speak or eat by herself again.