What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure which aims to improve the appearance and shape of your nose and your nose-face symmetry and balance.

Who does this procedure suit?

Those who are concerned or self-conscious of their nose shape or appearance and have healthy expectations on what rhinoplasty can achieve, are suited to this procedure. It is best to have this procedure done as an adult, as teenagers can still have growth spurts into their late teens. Social and emotional adjustments need to be considered and making sure you are having this procedure done for yourself rather than others will help in your decision.

What results will I expect?

Rhinoplasty can help create the nose shape you prefer so that you can feel confident and more attractive in your facial appearance. It is important however, to remain realistic in what rhinoplasty can achieve for you. We all have a degree of facial asymmetry and in some people it’s more noticeable. We also have varying types of skin texture as well as different sized airways. These factors may influence the result of your procedure and the surgeon will be happy to discuss whether these factors apply to you specifically. Please also remember, rhinoplasty will not be able to cure allergies or fix snoring.

What’s the first step to take?

During your first consultation your surgeon will discuss what you’d like to achieve, any expectations you have, questions about the procedure, medical history and current medication. Your nose will be carefully examined so that the surgeon can take into account your face, face symmetry and skin, and help determine what nasal features can be altered. We will provide as much information as possible so that you feel comfortable and informed, and if you feel overwhelmed in any way we encourage you to make a second consultation so that you feel confident with your decision.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Photographs will be taken to help plan your surgery. If you have had previous issues with bleeding or you bruise easily please inform your surgeon as soon as possible. To reduce risk of bleeding and bruising please make sure to:

  • Avoid aspirin (or similar) and Vitamin E two weeks before surgery. Panadol, and vitamins B and C are safe to use.
  • Inform your surgeon if you take any herbal medicines that may affect clotting and the anesthetic.
  • Avoid smoking before and after surgery so as not to restrict circulation to the area and delay healing. Giving up altogether is best.
  • Inform us immediately if you’ve had any infection (cold or flu) the week before your surgery.

What happens on the day of my surgery?

We will guide you to prepare for surgery so that your procedure and recovery go smoothly. On the day bring your toiletries, any medication needed and loose clothing or a nightgown that doesn’t need to be lifted over your head.

  • If your procedure is in the morning – do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
  • If your procedure is in the afternoon – do not eat or drink anything after 8.00am.

What should I expect during surgery?

Your anesthetist will discuss the use of either a general anesthetic or light sedation with a local anesthetic (you will be awake but won’t remember the surgery afterwards). This procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours and you will be able to go home 1-2 days after surgery.

The procedure is often done entirely through small incisions inside the nostril or by adding an incision between the nostrils. There are a few parts to the procedure which include:

  • Modifying the boney part of the nose to lower and narrow the bridge.
  • Modifying the flexible tip by altering the supporting cartilages.
  • Possible straightening and trimming of the septum (part between the nostrils).
  • If the nostrils are too wide, small parts of skin can be removed helping to bring them closer together. This will leave a permanent scar in the crease line between the nostrils and the cheek.
  • The nose bones may need to be narrowed. This is done by making a cut in the bone near the cheek and pushing the bones together.

What should I expect after surgery?

  • Your nose will have a paper tape and small splint applied to help maintain the new shape. A small pad is also taped underneath the nostril area for any nasal secretions.
  • If the nasal bones have been moved there will be swelling and bruising under the eyes and cheeks for a week or two. Eye bandages are applied for the first night to help reduce swelling and speed your recovery.
  • Some pain and discomfort is normal for the first few days, which is easily relieved with oral analgesics. Your nose will likely be blocked for the first 10 days. Antibiotics are given during surgery as well as after for 1-2 days to minimize any infection.
  • It is best to stay in bed with your head elevated and sleep with two pillows underneath your head for the first week. There may be a little bleeding for 1-2 days after surgery however it is important not to blow your nose for at least a week while the tissues are healing.
  • A follow up appointment will be made 7-10 days after to assess that the wound has healed well and to remove any dressings and sutures. A new paper tape will be applied for one more week.
  • It is recommended to have at least 2 weeks off work or school, and to avoid activity that increases your blood pressure (jogging, swimming, bending), and alcohol for 3 weeks. Remain out of the sun, avoid sleeping on your face and do all you can to avoid bumping your nose for at least 8 weeks.

What are the risks and complications with this procedure?

As with any surgery there are some risks involved such as:

  • Infection, excessive bleeding or bruising – minimized through antibiotic use.
  • Blood clots – extremely rare however is life threatening and a risk with all surgeries.

Please call our office if you experience any of the following: excessive pain or bleeding, abnormal swelling or fever during the first 24 hours.