Rhinoplasty - Nose jobCommonly referred to as the ‘nose job’, Rhinoplasty alters how the nose looks in proportion to the rest of the person’s face. It is possible to increase or decrease the size of the nose or change the shape or size of the tip of the nostrils.
People can become self-conscious about the size or shape of their nose and for some people having this procedure can dramatically improve their self-esteem. With age the nose can sometimes become more bulbous and the tip of the nose may begin to droop. Rhinoplasty can help reverse this ageing process.
The procedure can also address more functional issues such as breathing problems or for those whose nose has been damaged as a result of a traumatic injury.
The procedure: Rhinoplasty
Although the procedure can be carried out under a local anaesthetic it is more common for a general anaesthetic to be used. The operation typically takes between 1 – 2 hours depending on the extent of the work being carried out and there are 2 main methods of surgery:
Open Rhinoplasty: This method normally involves an incision being made at the base of the nose therefore leaving a scar at the base of the nose which is barely visible.
Closed Rhinoplasty: This method is performed via an incision inside the nose.
For both methods once the incision is made the skin of the nose is lifted up and the bone and cartilage underneath it is re-sculpted to the desired shape. After this, the skin is then re-draped over the newly shaped nose and a splint is applied to help the nose stay in its new shape.
Recovery period: Rhinoplasty:
- Following surgery you will have swelling around the nose and eyes and any discomfort can be reduced with pain killers from your surgeon.
- Medicated gauze is normally packed into your nasal passages for the first few days to stop any bleeding that may occur.
- A splint is applied for 5 – 7 days to help the nose retain its new shape.
- Most internal stitches tend to be self-absorbing but any remaining will be removed 1 week after surgery.
- Swelling and bruising normally lasts for about 1 – 2 weeks.
- You can normally return to work after about 1 week.
- No physical activity/sport for about 6 weeks.
- It can be up to 6 months before the full effects of your surgery can be seen.
- Contact lenses may be preferable to spectacles as it is important to keep any weight off your nose.
Your surgeon may well ask you to refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking both before and after surgery as it can contribute to poor blood circulation and fluid retention.
Like with all surgeries, recovery times differ from one patient to the next and closely following the surgeons post operation instructions will generally lead to a quicker recovery period.
The risks: Rhinoplasty:
- Asymmetry of the nose: this may require further surgery but it is normal to wait 6 – 12 months following the first operation.