Surgery to reshape the nose (rhinoplasty) is one of the most common procedures in plastic surgery. You can have rhinoplasty to improve the appearance of your nose or remove obstructions in your airway or both.
Although nose surgery can enhance your appearance and improve your self-confidence, as with all cosmetic procedures, it will not necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. The best candidates for rhinoplasty are those looking for improvement, not perfection in the way they look.
Frequently, alteration to one part of the nose requires adjustments to other parts, and usually the bridge and tip are operated on at the same procedure to match them together. The procedure modifies the shape of the skeleton of the nose which is bony above and cartilage below. Access scars are inside the nose, and usually a scar is placed across the skin bridge between the nostrils (the columella).
The operation is performed under general anaesthesia, usually with an overnight stay in hospital. It is not usually very painful but this varies from person to person. Simple pain relief, such as Paracetamol should control any discomfort.
After the operation
After surgery the nose is covered by a splint to hold it in its new shape. Some packing will usually be inside the nose. There will be bruising and swelling around the eyelids and this can sometimes be quite severe for the first 3 or 4 days. Packing is removed one to 2 days after the operation. The splint and any skin sutures are removed one week later, by which time bruising has usually subsided to an acceptable degree. An intranasal spray may be required at this stage to help with de-congestion and breathing. You should avoid returning to work for 7-10 days, longer if you do physical work. You will not be able to go to the gym for 4 weeks following the surgery. It takes many months for the last of the swelling to settle and reveal the fine details of the nasal shape.
It is important to avoid over-exertion during the healing period, which could result in troublesome bleeding and the need to repack the nose.
It is quite normal for the tip of the nose to feel numb for some months, but you can expect this to be temporary
Minor irregularities along the bridge line may be felt by a discerning finger. These should not be regarded as serious because they are seldom visible. However, persistent irregularities of contour in the bridge line do occasionally follow this reconstructive surgery. If they persist they may be removed by a further operation but this is rarely necessary.
The cartilage forming the skeleton of the lower half of the nose is often modified, especially if the nose is crooked to begin with. Unfortunately, cartilage retains a “memory” and sometimes will drift away from its final postoperative position.
In the first few weeks your upper lip may feel stiff or numb. The lip is normally attached to the nose and so swelling in this area can affect the movement of the lip. As with other changes, due to this swelling process, it is temporary. A front tooth may also become numb for a time.
The worst of the swelling settles quickly but the final result will not be seen for 6 - 12 months.
Minor adjustments or revisions are sometimes desirable and may require additional surgery.
Finally, there can be no guarantee with any surgery. Remember, improvement, not perfection is the realistic aim.
Remember - a rhinoplasty may reshape your nose, but it cannot reshape your life! Your self-confidence, however, is usually improved.
Reserve judgement on your rhinoplasty for several months, even a year, until your nose is fully healed. Normal healing is a gradual process. It will take some time to reveal the fine details of your nose's new shape.
If the nose looks better and natural, it may go unnoticed. That is the intention of surgery, not to create a nose that draws attention to itself, but rather one that blends naturally into the overall features of the face.
This information is intended as a guide only. If you have further questions about this surgery be sure to have them answered before you have the operation. Your surgeon will be very happy to explain anything in detail during your consultation.
The cost is approximately $15,000, including surgeon's fee, hospital fees and anaesthetic fees.
A personal quote will be provided after your consultation with one of our surgeons.