Rhinoplasty

Procedure time

2 to 5 hours

Overnight stay

0 – 1 night

Anaesthetic

General

Final results

6 to 9 months

Rhinoplasty is the medical term for a nose job.  This procedure aims to change the size or the shape of your nose. 

This rhinoplasty overview will provide you with more information on this surgery and what it can achieve.

Your nose is the central feature of your face.  In addition, its size and shape contributes to your facial balance. While you inherit the features of your nose from your parents, these features usually only begin to develop during your teenage years. 

A wide variety of nose shapes and sizes can be found on the faces of those around you and everyone has different ideas about what they think a ‘good’ nose looks like.

Consequently, some people are unhappy with the size or shape of their nose. 

As a result, they may consider having a rhinoplasty. Some people may have experienced trauma or injury that has damaged their nose, and they may, therefore, wish to fix this. 

Others may experience difficulty breathing because of their nasal structure and would like to have a nose job to fix this.

What can a rhinoplasty achieve?

This procedure can achieve a number of things, including: 

  • Improving breathing difficulties. Another term for this is a functional rhinoplasty.
  • Reducing the size and profile of the nose. Another term for this is a reduction rhinoplasty.
  • Increasing the size and profile of the nose. Your surgeon may refer to this as an augmentation rhinoplasty. This surgery may require the use of a graft or a nasal implant.
  • Re-modelling the shape of the tip, bridge and/or nostrils of your nose. This may involve breaking the nasal bone and rearranging the cartilage.
  • Altering the angle between the nose and upper lip.
Who are the best candidates for a rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a popular cosmetic procedure in the UK for both men and women. Another name for this surgery is a nose job, and it involves altering the size and/or shape of your nose. Rhinoplasty candidates may choose to have this surgery because of an issue with the appearance of their nose. They may also opt to have this procedure done because they are experiencing breathing issues. These can include loud, noisy breathing which is caused by a structural obstruction. In addition, these candidates can also snore very loudly when sleeping due to the same structural issues.
You may be a suitable rhinoplasty candidate if you:

  • Are unhappy and conscious of your current nose shape or size.
  • Would like to correct damage or injury which has occurred to your nose.
  • Have breathing difficulties because of your nose.
  • Snore loudly.
  • Have a healthy BMI.
  • Are relatively fit and well.
  • Have no serious health conditions.
  • Have realistic goals for your surgery.
  • Feel mentally and emotionally ready for the procedure.
Why have a rhinoplasty?

As mentioned above, there are a number of different reasons you may consider having a rhinoplasty. These reasons include the desire to make changes to how you look and to make changes to improve your health. A rhinoplasty can, therefore, achieve the following changes:

  • Change the size of your nose.
  • Change the shape of your nose.
  • Improve the confidence you have in yourself.
  • Fix any damage caused by previous trauma or injury.
  • Change your nasal structure to help with breathing difficulties.

A rhinoplasty can alter your whole facial balance, therefore we recommend you take time after your consultation to make sure this procedure is definitely what you want. Furthermore, you should consider how changing the appearance of your nose will affect the dynamics of your other facial features like your eyes, your mouth and your chin.

How is a rhinoplasty procedure performed?

A rhinoplasty procedure usually takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours to perform. Often the anaesthetist uses a general anesthetic to put you to sleep for the procedure, however, they can use local anesthetic with sedation too. After the procedure is complete, you may have to stay in hospital for 1 or 2 nights.

1. Consent

You will meet your surgeon to sign your consent form before the procedure takes place. This may happen at your pre-operative consultation or on the day of your surgery. Although you may be aware of the risks and complications, we advise that you read the consent form fully before signing your consent. Your surgeon may use a marker to draw some lines on your nose and may also ask for permission to take some before and after pictures.

2. Anesthesia

You will meet your anesthetist on the day of your surgery. They may decide to use a general anaesthetic to put you to sleep for the surgery or they may decide to use local anaesthetic with sedation. The choice of which to use will be made during your initial consultation. If they use a general anaesthetic, you may feel drowsy for a while after.

3. Incisions

Your surgeon can perform a rhinoplasty by using an open or a closed approach. Your surgeon will decide which approach will best suit your nose when examining you at your consultation.

For a closed rhinoplasty, your surgeon will make an incision inside each one of your nostrils, through which they will perform the surgery. An advantage of this technique is that there will be less swelling and no visible scarring after surgery.

In an open rhinoplasty, your surgeon will make incisions inside the nostrils, and an extra incision on the outside along the columella, which is the area of skin between your nostrils. The benefit of this approach is that it allows greater alteration of the nose shape, which may not always be possible with a closed approach. This technique is most useful when you want to increase the frame of your nose.

Grafts and Implants

Surgeons do not always require the use of a graft or implant in all rhinoplasty procedures. However, they may use them to define and build the nose in an augmentation rhinoplasty.
A graft is when your surgeon uses tissue from your own body and moves it to another part of your body. For a rhinoplasty, this may involve taking cartilage from the ears or bone from the hip, elbow or skull to build up the nose. This means that your graft will consist of your own tissue. Therefore, there is less chance your body will reject it. There is, however, the risk that it may absorb or shrink to some extent with time.
In some cases, your own tissue may be too small or weak to support the changes you would like for the procedure. Consequently, your surgeon may choose to use a synthetic nasal implant. These implants are made out of approved materials such as silicone or Gore-Tex, and have the advantage of not shrinking or changing over time.

4. Closing of incisions

Next, your surgeon will use sutures to close the incisions. In addition, they will pack both nostrils using dressings and will apply a splint to your nose to hold it in its new position.

5. Return to the ward

Finally, once your surgery is over, the medical staff will take you back to the ward. If you have had a general anaesthetic you will wake up gradually and may feel drowsy for a few hours. You will be able to return home after 1 or 2 nights, depending on how well your recovery is going.

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