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Rhinoplasty (Nose Reshaping)

rhinoplasty (nose job) before and after photoA rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a "nose job" is a procedure in which the shape of the nose is refined. The nose can be increased in size, but is more usually decreased in size. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose, this issue can be addressed at the same time as the nose reshaping.

Many aspects of the shape of the nose can be altered in the hands of a skilled surgeon, including the shape of the tip, removing a hump or bump, narrow the width of the nose and reducing the size of the nostrils.

Most of the features of the adult nose develop during the teenage years. It is adviseable therefore not to have rhinoplasty until the nose has finished growing, at around 16-18 years.

You should have a clear idea in your head what it is that you dislike about your nose and be able to explain this to your surgeon before deciding to go ahead with rhinoplasty. He will then be able to tell you what is and isn't possible.

How will I feel after surgery?

I can definately speak from experience here, as I myself have had a "nose job". I awoke from the general anaesthetic feeling perky and alert. I did not need any painkillers at all. However, when you awaken your nose is packed with dressings so you cannot breathe through your nose so it is a bit like having an extremely bad head cold. I experienced a little bruising but it has disappeared within two weeks. The entire operation was performed internally, so I had no external scarring. I wore a splint across my nose for a week, so it was a week before I was able to view the result of the surgery.

How will I feel about my new nose?

When you first see your new nose, it will still be a little swollen so you will not be looking at the final result, but an approximation of it. For me, the swelling had mostly gone in the first few weeks, but I noticed subtle refinements of the shape of my nose for about the first twelve months after surgery. The tip of my nose was numb for a little while, but all the sensation recovered eventually.

Whilst I had disliked my previous nose for years, it is quite interesting how most people don't notice anything different about you after surgery. They may just think that you are looking well.

For me though, my new nose suits my face really well. Not a day goes by when I don't look at it in the mirror and feel pleased that I had the surgery.

What are the risks of rhinoplasty surgery?

There are the standard risks of having a general anaesthetic, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and chest infection, which are higher in smokers. The incidence of DVT is higher in women who take the contraceptive pill.

The other risks include:

  • Excessive bleeding from the nose, which may require additional treatment
  • Difficulty with breathing - this is usually temporary but may occasionally be permanent
  • About 10% of patients overall are unhappy with the final appearance of their noses and require a revision. This cannot be done inside a year in order to allow all the swelling from the initial operation to settle. A revision is more complicated than the original operation due to the scar tissue within your nose, and may incur an additional cost, especially if you choose to have the revision done by a different surgeon.