Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)
What is Rhinoplasty?
With its central location on the face, the nose can have a significant impact on the balance and proportion of the entire face. Imperfections and asymmetries can be magnified by the prominence of the nose, but the good news is nearly all concerns regarding the appearance of the nose can be addressed with a surgical procedure known as rhinoplasty. This surgery aims to improve the appearance and shape of the nose to create harmony among all the facial features. Our surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery offer a variety of rhinoplasty techniques to help all our patients achieve their aesthetic goals.
Who does this procedure suit?
Women and men that are self-conscious about the shape and appearance of their nose may be good candidates for rhinoplasty. Surgery can address the following concerns:
- Hump or concavity on the nasal bridge
- A crooked nose due to injury or trauma
- A nose the is disproportionately large or small for the face
- A tip that is too narrow or wide
- A nasal tip that turns up or points downward excessively
- A bridge that is too wide or narrow
- Nostrils that flare too much or are asymmetrical
- The internal structure separating the nasal cavities is crooked (deviated septum)
It is vital to have healthy expectations for what this surgery can – and can’t – achieve before scheduling your procedure to ensure you are satisfied with your outcome. Adults are better suited to rhinoplasty since teenagers can still have growth spurts that could impact the result of the procedure. Social and emotional adjustments need to be considered and any age, but particularly in younger patients. It is critical you choose to have this procedure done for your benefit, rather than to please others.
What results will I expect?
Rhinoplasty can make subtle adjustments to the size, shape or position of your nose so that you can feel more confident about your appearance. Going into the surgery with realistic expectations will go far in how you think about your results after your procedure. Everyone has a degree of facial asymmetry, but the imbalance may be more noticeable in some individuals. The amount of asymmetry you want to correct in surgery will affect your results and your satisfaction with your outcome.
While the primary focus of rhinoplasty is to improve the look of the nose, the function must also be a consideration. If you experience breathing obstruction due to a structural defect, this may also be addressed during your rhinoplasty. If you do not have any issues with function, it is essential to ensure that rhinoplasty does not change that in any way. Our surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery have extensive experience in this procedure and strive to produce the best cosmetic results while preserving the full function of the nose. Keep in mind that rhinoplasty is not designed to treat allergies or stop snoring.
What’s the first step to take?
During your first consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss what you’d like to achieve, any expectations you have, questions about the procedure, medical history and current medication you are taking. Your surgeon will perform a careful examination of the nose, as well as your facial symmetry and the condition of your skin to determine how to make alterations to the nose that will bring harmony to the entire face. Our surgeon, with the help of our experienced staff, will provide you with all the information necessary to feel comfortable with your decision to undergo surgery. If you are still unsure after this first appointment, we encourage you to schedule an additional consultation so that you go into your procedure confident of your decision.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Photographs will be taken as a part of the preparation for your surgery, allowing you see the changes to your nose after your procedure by comparing before and after photos. Your surgeon will ask you about any history of bleeding or bruising associated with surgery, so you can take steps to reduce risks with this procedure. Some of the actions you can take include:
- Avoid pain relieving or other analgesics that can impact your blood’s ability to clot for at least two weeks before your procedure. Vitamin E should also be avoided since it can have a similar effect. Panadol and Vitamins B and C are safe to use before surgery.
- Inform your surgeon if you take any herbal medications or other supplements since some can also affect clotting or interfere with the anaesthetic you receive during your procedure.
- Avoid smoking before and after surgery to prevent complications during the surgery and the healing process. We encourage you to give up the habit completely if possible.
- Let your surgeon know if you come down with a cold, flu or infection during the week before your surgery.
What happens on the day of my surgery?
Your rhinoplasty will be performed at one of the area hospitals where our surgeons typically work. When you arrive at the hospital for your procedure, we will guide you through the process to ensure both your surgery and your recovery process go smoothly. You will be instructed to bring your toiletries, any medication you need, and loose clothing or a nightgown that you do not need to lift over your head.
- If your procedure is in the morning, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
- If your surgery is in the afternoon, avoid eating or drinking anything after 8:00 a.m. that day.
While you wait for your procedure, you will meet with your surgeon, anaesthetist and other staff involved in the surgery, so that you can have questions answered and provide any additional information needed to ensure your surgery is safe and comfortable.
What should I expect during surgery?
Your procedure will be performed either using general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with light sedation. With the former, you will sleep comfortably throughout, while the latter leaves you awake but unable to remember the procedure afterward. Surgery should take between one and two hours and you will likely remain in the hospital for one to two days, so we can monitor you and keep you comfortable during the early part of your recovery process.
Rhinoplasty may be performed through either a closed or open approach. Closed rhinoplasty involves incisions inside the nasal cavities, eliminating any visible scarring afterward. Open rhinoplasty adds a small incision across the tissue underneath the nose that separates the nostrils, known as the columella. Your surgeon will determine the optimal method for you based on the amount of correction necessary. Through the incisions, your surgeon will make the appropriate repairs to the nose to enhance the appearance and function if appropriate. If additional cartilage is needed to reshape the nose, it is frequently taken from the ear, and this can be done at the same time as the rhinoplasty.
What should I expect after surgery?
Recovery from rhinoplasty is a process and you will receive all the instructions you need to help your nose heal comfortably and safely. Some of the steps that will occur during your recovery include:
- Your nose will have a paper tape and small splint applied to help maintain the new shape during the healing process. A small pad is also taped underneath the nostril area to catch any nasal secretions.
- If the nasal bones were moved during surgery, you could expect to have some swelling and bruising under the eyes and around the cheeks for a week or two.
- Pain and discomfort are typical for the first few days as well, but we will give you oral medications to provide relief so that you can rest comfortably. You will also be given antibiotics during the surgery and for a few days afterward to minimise the risk of infection.
- It is best to elevate your head with a couple of pillows when you sleep for the first week to keep swelling to a minimum.
- You can expect to have some bleeding after surgery and your nose will likely feel stuffy. You will be advised not avoid blowing your nose for at least a week while the internal tissues heal.
- You will have your follow-up appointment seven to 10 days after surgery to assess your recovery progress and remove dressings and sutures
- Most patients take around two weeks off work or school, while activities that increase your blood pressure like jogging or swimming should be avoided for an additional week. Try to avoid bumping your nose for at least eight weeks to allow for ample healing time.
What are the risks associated with rhinoplasty?
Every surgery carries a degree of risk, including the following:
- Infection, which is minimised with antibiotics during and after surgery
- Excessive bleeding or bruising that typically subsides on its own over time
- Blood clots that are extremely rare, but can be life-threatening in some situations
You can reduce your risk during and after surgery by choosing a credentialed plastic surgeon that is experienced in rhinoplasty procedures. All the surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery bring extensive experience and expertise to the operating table, ensuring our patients have the safest surgeries and the best possible outcomes.
**Please call our office if you experience any of the following symptoms: excessive pain or bleeding, abnormal swelling, or fever during the first 24 hours after your procedure.
Rhinoplasty offers a myriad of benefits with the ability to address a variety of concerns in a single procedure. To learn more about this surgery, schedule your consultation with one of our surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery on 03 9508 9508.