Nose Reshaping

About Rhinoplasty

Nose surgery, or Rhinoplasty, is performed to reshape the nose by increasing or decreasing its size, changing the shape of the tip or bridge, narrowing the nostril span or changing the angle between your nose and lip.

There are many different reasons why you may be considering surgery for your nose. Some people feel self-conscious about the shape or size of their nose; it may be performed to relieve nasal obstructions or to correct bumps or deformities resulting from injury; or it may be necessary to help correct a birth defect.

Whatever your reasons for considering nose surgery, many people feel it improves the overall look of their face and can boost their confidence. However, you should note that this procedure should not be performed until the facial bones are mature, usually age 16 in girls and 18 in boys. It's also important that you are realistic about what you expect from this surgery and understand that results can vary significantly from patient to patient for a number of reasons.

Your Procedure

During surgery, the skin on the nose is separated from the bone and cartilage underneath, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. The skin is then re-draped over this framework. Usually, a surgeon performs Rhinoplasty by making an incision inside the nostrils. However, in some cases (and depending on the surgeon's preference), a small incision on the narrow strip of skin between the nostrils is sometimes required.

When the reshaping is completed, a splint will be applied to help maintain your new nose shape. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints may also be placed in your nostrils to stabilise the dividing wall between the air passages.

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and, depending on the type of technique used, normally takes 1 to 2 hours. Your total stay in hospital should be one day.

After Your Procedure

  • Some nasal pain and/or headache can be expected. This will eventually settle and can generally be managed with regular oral pain medication.
  • You may experience a small amount of nasal bleeding and/or some difficulty breathing through your nose. It is important to rest with your head elevated on pillows following your procedure to decrease excessive bleeding or swelling.
  • You may notice some initial bruising and swelling. You may apply ice or cold packs to your nose and around your eyes to help decrease this.
  • You will have a tape dressing over your nose, as well as a splint. You may also have silicone splints sutured into your nose. These dressings and splints should be left intact until your post-op review.

At Home

  • Any pain, headaches or discomfort should be managed with oral pain medication.
  • You may find that the bruising and swelling around your nose and eyes becomes more obvious a few days after your surgery. This is normal and will generally subside after seven to ten days. However, you should be aware that in some cases, the nose may be marginally swollen for several months.
  • You should avoid rubbing the nose and protect it from accidental knocks or sunburn for at least eight weeks after your surgery. You may apply make-up after the sutures have been removed.
  • Avoid hot showers, sneezing and blowing your nose for at least one week. If you do need to sneeze, it should be done with your mouth open.
  • Continue to rest with your head elevated on pillows until your post-op review.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, over exertion and bending over for two to three weeks after surgery. Returning to normal activity is an individual matter and will depend on your individual circumstances. Generally most patients return to work two weeks after their procedure.
  • The routine time for your post-operative appointment is seven to ten days after your procedure.

Things To Look Out For

Surgery is not without its risks and we encourage all patients to be mindful of the warning signs that a complication may be developing. If you experience any of the following symptoms during your recovery, please contact us immediately.

  • Signs of infection such as; high temperature, heavy discharge from your wound site, an increase in redness or heat around your wound site, or a dramatic increase in pain that is not relieved by oral pain medication.
  • Increased swelling around your wound.
  • Nausea or vomiting which does not settle.

Outside of clinic hours, please contact your GP or closest emergency department.