Aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery of the nose, also called rhinoplasty (“nosejob”), can improve the shape, size and general appearance of the nose as well as the overall balance of facial features. The procedure involves reshaping the internal cartilage framework of the nose in order to change its external appearance. In addition to aesthetic reasons, the procedure can also be performed to correct breathing difficulties, which may have been caused by a previous injury to the nose.

Rhinoplasty Candidates:
If you are bothered by the appearance of your nose, you may be a good candidate for rhinoplasty surgery. Rhinoplasty surgery is performed on teens as young as sixteen, and on older patients well into their 80s.

You may be a good candidate for nose surgery if you have a nose that:

  • looks too large for your face
  • has a bump on the bridge when viewed from the side
  • seems too wide when viewed from the front
  • has a tip that is droopy or plunges, or that is thick or enlarged
  • has excessively flared nostrils
  • is off-center, crooked, or appears asymmetrical

The Procedure:
The cornerstone of our approach is to individualize treatment to your specific circumstances and goals and to ensure that you have an adequate understanding of the issues involved so that you are able to make a fully informed decision.

Alterations may be made to increase or decrease the nasal bridge, reduce the size or width of the nose, narrow the nostrils, change the angle between the nose and the upper lip, or reshape the tip. Often incisions will be placed inside the nose, where they will not be visible. This technique is called a “closed rhinoplasty”. Sometimes, a very short incision is made across the vertical strip of tissue that separates the nostrils, called the columella. This technique is called an “open rhinoplasty.” Through the incision, modifications are made to the cartilage and bone that form the framework of the nose. Sometimes, the position of certain bones may need to be altered slightly in order to make the nose look narrower and straighter. If the nose needs to be built up in certain areas, this can be done using nasal cartilage, or perhaps bone or cartilage from another site. The procedure takes between 1.5 – 3 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic. Minor alterations to the nose can be performed as a day-surgery procedure but most patients usually spend one to two nights in hospital following a rhinoplasty.

Nose-Related Medical Problems (airway or breathing problems):
Any problems, such as septum deviation or growth of certain structures in the nose that interfere with breathing, can be repaired at the same time as the nose surgery. In certain instances, a combined procedure with a qualified ENT surgeon may be necessary in order to optimize results.

After Your Surgery:
Although there will be swelling and bruising around the nose, patients can usually go home the same day as their nose surgery. A cast will be placed over the nose will remain for about a week. Packing that is placed in the nose during surgery is usually removed the next day. Any bruising will typically disappear in two weeks, but swelling usually lasts longer, resolving significantly in the first month but may last for six to eight months. Patients can go back to sports activities 6 weeks after the nose surgery, but they must avoid sports-related activities where it may be possible to have a trauma to the nose. Occasionally, it may be necessary to perform a second, revision procedure after the initial rhinoplasty, which is usually a more minor operation that does not cause bruising and swelling.

  • People have different expectations regarding the shape of the nose they want to have.High patient satisfaction is usual when expectations are realistic.
  • Significant complications from rhinoplasty are infrequent.
  • Results are permanent, except for changes associated with the aging process.
  • Incisions are usually inconspicuous.
  • Patients may be able to return to work as soon as 7 – 10 days after surgery. Most normal activities including gentle exercise can usually be resumed within 2 – 3 weeks.

Risks and Considerations:
  • Every surgery carries some risk. Potential complications include bleeding, infections and reactions to anaesthesia. Numbness of the skin is usually temporary. Noticeable swelling may last for several weeks but minor residual swelling may continue for many months. Bruising around the eyes and cheeks is most apparent during the first three days following surgery.
  • Occasionally, additional surgery may be necessary. Since the healing process is gradual, the patient should expect to wait up to one year to see the final results.
  • Patients must avoid exposing their reshaped nose to direct sunlight, and must be conscientious about using sun block.
  • Patients should allow 1 to 2 weeks off work following a nose operation. Although gentle exercise may be resumed after 2 to 3 weeks, more strenuous exercise should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • After a rhinoplasty, some patients experience an altered sense of smell, while others find that their nasal breathing is affected.

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