What is a rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty is a procedure done to reshape your nose.
Who is suitable for a rhinoplasty?
If you are concerned by the appearance of your nose and/or have difficulty breathing, you may be suitable for an otoplasty. Rhinoplasties can be done to improve breathing, to reshape your nose after injury and to reshape your nose for aesthetic (cosmetic) reasons.
If you smoke, are on blood-thinning medication or have significant health problems, this will need to be assessed and you may be advised to wait or not to have a rhinoplasty. If you suffer from allergic rhinitis or sinusitis, this may not be improved by a rhinoplasty.
There are variations depending on your individual anatomy and goals. The standard surgery is done under general anaesthesia. Skin incisions are placed inside your nostrils for a closed rhinoplasty and inside your nostrils and across the columella (central column of nose between nostrils) in an open rhinoplasty. The skin of your nose is lifted to allow access to the underlying nose structure (bone and cartilage). This is then reshaped to the desired dimensions and appearance. Often cartilage grafts from within the nose are used to support the new structure of your nose. Sometimes it is necessary to use cartilage grafts from your ears or ribs if significant extra support is needed e.g. in a secondary rhinoplasty. Finally, the skin is stitched back together and usually a supporting splint is placed on top of the nose to protect it during the early recovery. Nasal packs may be placed in your nostrils but are not always needed. Drains are not used. Stitches are absorbable inside your nostrils and removed at 1 week from the columella.
Rhinoplasty can be done on its own or in combination with other procedures. Common combinations include breast augmentation, chin implant and other facial rejuvenation procedures.
Duration of surgery
1.5 to 3 hours depending on the extent of surgery. If other procedures are planned at the same time, the overall surgery time is longer.
You will have gauze under your nose and a nasal splint in place. If nasal packs are used, they stay in place for 24 to 48 hours. You will need to wear the splint for 1 week. Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure or day case procedure.
On average 2 weeks off work are needed. You should not blow your nose. No heavy lifting or strenuous activity is allowed for 6 weeks. Reduce bending and stooping as much as possible and sleep on extra pillows at night to help reduce swelling. Some forms of exercise can be restarted at 4 weeks. Most exercise is restarted at 6 weeks. Driving is not allowed until you are safe to perform an emergency stop.
Unfortunately, complications can occur after all surgery and you need to be aware of this. Ms Nugent will do her utmost to reduce your risk as much as she can. This includes the health and procedure advice she gives you before surgery, the care and precautions she takes during surgery and the advice she gives you after surgery. Some of the complications that can happen include slow healing, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, asymmetry, pain, numbness or sensitivity in the skin, failure to achieve or maintain as much change as expected, CSF leak which can lead to meningitis, damage to skin or cartilage, breathing problems, septal perforation, loss of adequate nasal support, loss of smell.
Most patients who undergo rhinoplasty surgery are very happy with their results and describe it as being transformative for them. Success depends on being prepared for your surgery, choosing the right procedure, the surgery itself and recovering well. All steps in the journey are crucial!
Download the detailed information booklet on this page to read more and book a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances with Ms Nugent!