What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is also called a nose job or cosmetic nose surgery and it is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures worldwide. It involves reshaping or resizing the nose in order to change its functionality, appearance or both. Modification is done to the nasal bones, skin, cartilages or all the three. The procedure takes between one and two hours and it is mainly offered on outpatient basis. However, if a complex one is needed, the patient might be required to stay in hospital for a few days.

It is usually preferable that rhinoplasty is performed when the patient has already attained the age of 15 years as this is the time when all the nasal bones have grown fully. The procedure has no set of steps to follow and it depends on the anatomy of the patient and the desired results.

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Why Rhinoplasty Is Performed

So why is it necessary for one to undergo nose surgery? There are many reasons that range from health related risks to physical appearance. A patient can simply request a nose job or one can be administered following a doctor’s diagnosis. Generally, it is performed to change one or more of the following:

  • Obstructed airways or defective septum that can lead to breathing difficulties
  • Nasal defect acquired at birth or from injuries
  • A nose size that is not proportional to the size of the face. The nose could either be too big or too small
  • An overly wide nose
  • A plunging or drooping nose tip
  • A crooked or off-centred (non symmetrical) nose

The Rhinoplasty Surgery

Before rhinoplasty is performed, the surgeon has to consider a number of factors including the arrangement of your nasal bones, your skin and the reason why the surgery is necessary. Other important factors to inform your doctor include your medical history, the medications you are currently under, your smoking habits and your expectations. During the procedure, the nose and its surrounding area are numbed using a local anaesthesia. The doctor can light sedate you if it is necessary.

The surgery is one through an incision made inside or outside the nose based on the desired results. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints are usually placed in the nostrils in order to maintain the new desired shape of the nasal bone. The cartilage and bone can also be readjusted where necessary. In case there is a need for extra cartilage, it is usually removed either from deep inside the nose or from a different region like the ear.

Associated Surgical Risks

Rhinoplasty is a surgery just like any other. This means that it also has associated risks. The most common ones include the following:

  • Bleeding during or after
  • Infection
  • Difficulty in breathing through the nose
  • Bruising of the nose and its surroundings
  • Numbness of the nose (which can at times be permanent)
  • Septal perforation (existence of a hole in the septum)
  • Persistent pain
  • Reaction to medication and anaesthetic drugs
  • Appearance of tiny spots on the skin due to burst tiny blood vessels

In some cases, a second corrective procedure might be necessary. However, this is usually very rare.

The Healing Process

After the surgery, it is necessary that you get bed rest. Ensure that your head is raised so that it is positioned higher than your chest. This helps to reduce swelling and bleeding. A congested nose is normal. Usually, the doctor dresses the internal parts of the nose and tapes a protective splint for support. The splint and the dressings can stay between one and seven days after which they can be removed.

Slight bleeding and mucus formation should not be a cause for alarm (but watch out for excesses) over the next few days. For quick recovery, make sure you avoid physically strenuous activities, brush your teeth gently, avoid blowing your nose, eat foods that are rich in fiber and don’t wear clothes that require pulling over the head. Furthermore, don’t rest reading or sunglasses on your nose for at least four weeks. Bear in mind that healing is a gradual process and it will take as much as one year for the final results to be evident.

Results of Rhinoplasty

The results of rhinoplasty include slight changes in your nose’s structure. Ultimately, your desired correction should be evident after a substantial amount of time. Whenever there is need for a follow up surgery, you must wait for at least one year.

The Cost

On average, rhinoplasty costs GBP 3,050 but it varies widely based on the specifications of the procedure and the doctor. The stated cost does not include cost of operation materials such as medicines and room facilities.