Nose surgery is a common cosmetic surgery
procedure, also known as rhinoplasty or a ‘nose job’, which is performed to
reshape the nose, or to make it larger or smaller. It is also used to correct
damage to the shape of the nose following an accident.
Why consider nose surgery
Your nose is the focal point of your face,
and if you are unhappy with its appearance, this can significantly affect your
self-confidence. Some people consider their noses to be too large, while others
would prefer to have a larger and more pronounced feature.
You might also consider nose surgery if you
were happy with your appearance, but this has been altered by a facial injury
or trauma, such as a broken nose. Nose surgery can correct the damage and
return your features to their former look. In these cases, it can also help to
restore normal function, such as in cases where the damage stops you from
breathing through your nose.
With nose surgery, you can radically alter
your appearance, helping you to move closer to your own idea of an attractive
face. Nose reshaping is sometimes used by overseas patients to help them to
conform to the typical ‘Western’ image of beauty.
What does a rhinoplasty involve?
Cosmetic surgery is normally carried out
under a general anaesthetic, with a day or two in hospital after the operation.
The procedure takes around three hours, during which time the bones and
cartilage are moved, reduced or augmented depending on the shape you are
Reduction rhinoplasty – in this procedure
the cartilage and bone are cut down or moved around to reduce and reshape the
nose. Incisions are made inside the nostrils (closed rhinoplasty), or
occasionally across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils (open
rhinoplasty), to allow your cosmetic surgeon to reach these structures. No
change is made to the actual skin of the nose, however, as this will naturally
shrink to match the new shape. If the reduction is significant, your surgeon
may need to alter the shape and size of your nostrils to retain proportion.
Augmentation rhinoplasty – in this procedure,
the incisions are made in the same way, either within the nostrils or between
the nostrils in the columella. The size of the nose is then increased by either
repositioning the existing bone and cartilage, or by adding bone and cartilage
grafts from elsewhere in the body. Cartilage is taken from the ears or your
ribs, while bone grafts are sourced from your skull, elbow or hips.
Alternatively, the nose structure can be augmented with artificial implants.
What to expect after your nose surgery
Following surgery your nose will be sore
and numb, and you may find that you are unable to breathe through it at all for
the first few days. You may also have your nostrils packed with dressings for a
day or two, and the new structure held in place by a splint for the first week
to ten days. You will also experience swelling and bruising around the area.
You should try and hold your head up for
the first few days to reduce pressure on the wounds. You should also try to
avoid blowing your nose or disturbing any scabs or crusting that forms. If you
do need to sneeze, it is better to do so straight away than to hold back,
increasing the power and potential damage when it finally does occur.
You should expect the bruising and swelling
to last for at least two weeks, often longer, and it may take a few months
before you fully appreciate the results of your surgery. You should avoid
contact sports for a minimum of six weeks.
What risks are involved in rhinoplasty?
Like any operation, particularly those
involving general anaesthetic, nose surgery carries risks from bleeding and
wound infection. You may also be left with numbness in parts of your nose,
especially towards the tip, due to nerve damage. This usually goes away after a
few months, but in some cases it is permanent.
There is also a small risk that any
implants or grafts may move over time and push out into your nasal cavity. This
is rare, but can occur many months, or even years, after your original
procedure. If this happens, you will need corrective surgery to remove the
implant or graft, followed by a further procedure to replace it.
What does nose surgery cost?
Rhinoplasty costs between £3,000 and £6,000
depending on the skill and complexity of the procedure.