What is a Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is also called a ‘nose job’ and is an operation designed to change the appearance of the nose. One can also alter the shape of the tip, the bridge or dorsum, the nostrils and the angle between the nose and the upper lip. Breathing difficulties may also be improved by a nose job.
What to expect during your consultation?
The success of the consultation depends on your openness and honesty in relation to what troubles you and your expectations of surgery. You will be asked questions about your health, desires and lifestyle. Different operations can be tailored to your needs and the potential outcomes and the risks and complications will be discussed with you. The operation often involves the removal of excess tissue such as bone / cartilage and repositioning of the cartilage and skin. It may also require other tissue such as cartilage being used to augment the nose. The nostrils can also be narrowed. Various types of rhinoplasty are available and can be split into rhinoplasties via an internal approach termed a closed rhinpoplasty and those via an external approach via an external approach and a scar on the outside of the nose. Depending on what is required and what you wish to achieve may dictate which type of rhinoplasty is better for you.
Preparing for rhinoplasty surgery
The majority of rhinoplasty procedures require general anaesthetic. Your health is a prime importance and any cosmetic surgery should be postponed if you are unwell for any reason. It is important that if anything changes with your health that you make contact with us. You should ideally stop smoking 6 weeks prior to surgery and stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements before surgery. You may need preoperative tests prior to surgery, which we will arrange if required. You will generally experience bruising, swelling and discomfort following the surgery and should aim to be off work for at least 1 weeks depending on the type of work you do.
Rhinoplasty usually takes between 1 and 2 hours. An incision is made inside the nose and if an external approach or open rhinoplasty is performed an incision is placed on the skin across the columella. The bones and cartilages may need to be reduced and/or repositioned. Cartilage may also be needed to augment the nose
The incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches and the skin is repositioned. The incisions are closed and some steristrips are placed over the nose. A splint is often applied and secured with tape.
You will usually return to the ward within an hour following surgery. You will be able to drink and eat and mobilize as soon as the anaesthetic wears off. You will feel swollen and have bruising and discomfort that will usually require analgesia. You may have a dressing below your nose and occasionally have nasal packs that are removed the next day. Your nose will often be blocked for 1-2 weeks after surgery and you may have a sensation of fluid in the back of the throat. You will be able to go home the next day and should keep the wounds dry for the next week. You should keep your head upright, avoid hot baths and try not to sneeze. You should arrange for someone to pick you up following surgery and have some support at home on discharge. You will be reviewed in clinic and the nose checked at a week. It is important to avoid any contact sports in the first 6 weeks following surgery while you wait for the nasal bones and cartilages to heal. The final results of rhinoplasty can take 6-12 months to settle.
Risks and Complications
The vast majority of patients are delighted with the procedure although common complaints include bruising, swelling, headache. Uncommon complications include infection, haematoma / persistent nose bleeds, delayed healing/skin necrosis, irregularities, thickened scars. It is also uncommon to have blocked airways, a permanent feeling of fluid in the back of the throat or a change to your sense of smell. There are also uncommon risks of general anaesthesia such as respiratory / cardiac compromise and deep vein thrombosis.