Many patients are interested in nose surgery either to enhance their look or simply to feel more confident. Rhinoplasty enhances facial harmony and the proportions of your nose. It can also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose.
Rhinoplasty is a procedure that is done by a Cosmetic Surgeon to enhance the appearance of the nose by changing the height, length and width and improving the aesthetic appearance of the face. Rhinoplasty can also be used to correct breathing problems from the slanting angle of the septum. Additionally, rhinoplasty might involve adding or removing some parts of the bone and cartilage or adding grafts.
During the consultation, the Cosmetic Surgeon will discuss the patient’s goals and evaluate what nasal surgery can be realistically achieved.
Rhinoplasty takes 2-4 hours to complete under general anesthesia depending on the technique used.
Nasal surgery is either preformed using a closed procedure in which incisions are made inside the nose or an open procedure in which an incision is made across the narrow part of the nostrils called the columella.
The skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is raised through the incisions allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose. The Cosmetic Surgeon can add or remove bone, cartilage and/or add grafts to adjust the structures and size inside the nose.
Dissolvable stitches will be used to close incisions that will disappear after a week and a splint might be placed over the nose for support.
Recovery times varies and could take at least 2 weeks before the bruising begins to fade and several months before the nose settles into its new shape.
Q: What is the recovery time for rhinoplasty?
A: After the surgery, patients may have some swelling and bruising that could last up to 2 weeks and strenuous activity should be avoided for up to 4 weeks.
Q: What is rhinoplasty or nose reshaping?
A: Rhinoplasty is a procedure that is done by a Cosmetic Surgeon to enhance the appearance of the nose by changing the height, length and width and improving the aesthetic appearance of the face.
Q: How much pain will I have after surgery?
A: Some patients may experience discomfort during the first few days after surgery but this can be controlled with prescription pain medication.
Q: How long is the surgical time for rhinoplasty?
A: Rhinoplasty takes 2-4 hours to complete under general anesthesia depending on the technique used.
Q: Where are the incisions made for rhinoplasty?
A: Most incisions are inside of the nose and in some situations, a tiny incision is made between the nostrils. The incisions heal fast and the scars are almost invisible.
Bruising and swelling – usually lasts 1 – 12 WEEKS. Pain – should subside after 7-21 days
Bleeding (haematoma) – is very rare; the body can re absorb small amounts of blood. For larger bleeds
surgical intervention may be required.
Infection – Antibiotics may be used throughout surgery OR following surgery to help reduce the risk of the area becoming infected these are given as precaution and are not to be assumed that infection is present.
Seroma (build-up of fluid) – is very unusual in this surgery, the body can reabsorb a small amount of fluid. If there is a larger amount there could be a need for surgical intervention.
DVT or PE (Deep Vein thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism) – this is rare but serious complication of surgery and anaesthesia, where a blood clot forms in the veins, usually the legs and may move to the lungs interfering with their normal function resulting in possible life threatening consequences. Taking oral contraceptive pills can increase the risk – it is advisable to stop taking the “pill” 2 weeks prior to surgery but you can discuss this with your surgeon.
Difficulty in Breathing – It is quite common for there to be some difficulty with breathing through the nose during the first week or so. When the swelling disappears this normally resolves. However, occasionally the difficulty persists and can be permanent.
Leakage – The surgeon will infiltrate the area around the nose with a saline solution. You may notice some (blood stained) leakage in the immediate post-operative period. This leakage is entirely normal and passes in a day or so.
Location and variable nature of scar – Surgical scars are permanent. Scar location will depend on the incision site. The rate and extent to which scars heal and fade are variable and differ from individual to individual. If the procedure is closed then the scars will be completely hidden inside the nose. In an open procedure there will be a small scar on the base of the nose between the nostrils. This is usually not noticeable upon normal observation. Very rarely, a scar does not heal in the normal way and results in a red broad elevated scar extending further beyond the boundary of the initial scar; this is known as hypertrophic scarring.
Rejection/Movement of Grafts – Whilst rare, the introduction of any foreign material, such as a graft, into the body carries with it the risk of rejection. Whilst unlikely, it is possible for the graft to move. If this should occur a further procedure may be required. It is also possible for the graft to be visible under the skin. If cartilage grafts are required, it may be necessary to obtain cartilage from the ear producing an extra scar behind the ear.
Toxic Shock Syndrome – This is very rare, occurring in only 0.016% (1 in ten thousand) of Rhinoplasty surgeries. However, if it does occur, the mortality rate is about 11%. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and a sunburn like rash.
Nasal Splint Irritation – Usually patients may experience some irritation to the skin under the nasal splint. Rarely this may lead to a permanent mark.
Necrosis / Keloid Scarring – In rare cases there have been hypertrophic (Keloid) scarring and necrotic (dead) tissue. Attending routine appointments will help prevent any issues with the incision sites. Routine appointments include but are not restricted to; an appointment with the nurse between day 4 to day 10 and then an appointment with your surgeon at week 6 to week 10. Some surgeons will want to see you sooner and the clinic can arrange this.