Nose Surgery

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, can change the size of the nose in relation to the face. The procedure is also known as a “nose job”. The position and size of nostrils can be changed as can the width of the nose at the bridge. Certain breathing difficulties may also be alleviated by Rhinoplasty. The procedure can alter a person’s appearance probably more than any other cosmetic surgery.

As well as restoring a patient’s self confidence when it comes to looks, the procedure can help with structural defects that may cause breathing difficulties. The patient is shown photographs and will discuss with the surgeon what effect he or she would like to achieve.

Costs can be discussed at consultation and can vary according to the surgery undertaken. There may be payment plans available to spread the cost as cosmetic surgery is usually undertaken privately. However, if breathing difficulties are involved, the procedure may be considered vital and treatment may be available on the NHS.

Patients will have contacted a surgeon as they are dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose. Even a few millimetres difference can produce pleasing results and alter a patient’s appearance considerably. You can see examples of before and after pictures here.

The surgeon makes an incision across the skin separating the nostrils or inside the nose. The bone and cartilage making up the nose framework are sculpted to the patient’s desired profile. Stitches are then inserted to complete the surgery which is normally performed as an outpatient procedure and lasts a couple of hours.

The leading name in the business of Rhinoplasty is Their website gives clear and concise information regarding surgery. Qualified staff are on hand to deal with all enquiries and will be happy to discuss what you can expect both during and after surgery.

Procedure Guide

Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) aims to improve the shape or the function of the nose. It is a common procedure which can also reduce or increase the size of the nose. It can re-shape the tip or bridge, narrow nostril span and change the angle between the nose and upper lip. It can also correct structural problems caused by birth defects, injury or breathing problems. One of the most common conditions it can correct is a deviated septum which causes other symptoms such as stuffiness, post-nasal drip and snoring.

Who is nose procedure for?

People who do not like their nose. It is too short or long, too wide or narrow, crooked, has a bump on its bridge, the nostrils are flared, the tip droops or plunges or is enlarged. It is also for people with structural problems.

Who is the nose procedure not for?

Generally people under the age of fourteen (the nose is still growing in children).

What does nose procedure involve?

The procedure is carried out using a general anaesthetic and takes two to three hours in the operating room.

There are two types of procedure – open and closed. ‘Closed’ occurs inside the nostrils by making a few tiny incisions. ‘Open’ is an incision in the skin between the nostrils allowing a view of the deeper structures. Shape of the nose and the patient’s preference are considered when choosing the technique.

  • Nose profile – modified by lowering the height of the bridge by shaving upper cartilages and septum.
  • Reducing length – end part of septum is resected and upper lateral cartilage is adjusted.
  • Reducing roundness – portion of alar cartilage is shaved.
  • Narrowing nostrils – wedge is used which is removed through a skin incision.
  • Narrowing bridge – nasal bone is cut and pushed together.
  • Building up – cartilage grafts from septum are used to build up layers.

After the procedure a splint is fixed to the nose to give support. It is removed one to two weeks later.

How long is the recovery period?

Normally a patient will be recovered two to three days post-surgery. It is a good idea to take one to two weeks off work to allow healing. Strenuous activity must be avoided in the first month and contact sports should be avoided.

What can I expect post-operatively?

A puffy face and an aching nose for a couple of days. Painkillers can be taken. Bruising and swelling around the eyes lasting for up to three weeks. Bleeding will occur in the days post-surgery. Blowing the nose must be avoided to prevent trauma. Any dressings, stitches and splints will be removed after one week.

What are the risks?

No surgery is without risks. Choosing a reputable surgeon decreases risks. Risks are increased if the patient smokes, drinks heavily, has a compromised immune system, suffers from a bleeding disorder or diabetes. The healthier a person is before surgery the lower the risks post-surgery.

  • Infection – excessive pain or redness post-operatively indicates infection.
  • Bleeding (haematoma) – blood clot forms between the skin and cartilage, requires a second operation.
  • Injury to eyes – damage to the tear duct can lead to problems.
  • Intracranial symptoms – meningitis can set up in the brain.
  • Skin rash – the tape applied to the nose can irritate the skin.
  • Broken capillaries or thread veins – treated by laser.
  • Scarring – normally barely visible after healing.
  • Bone problems – the nasal bone is shaped incorrectly.
  • Nasal obstruction – rare. An ENT surgeon should be consulted.
  • Hanging or retracted columnella – may indicate a minor operation.
  • Decreased sense of smell.
  • Dark circles under the eyes – normally fade with time.

How can I prepare?

Undertake a thorough search of available surgeons.

Prepare yourself physically and mentally. Follow a healthy diet, do not drink heavily, give up smoking, take regular exercise. Make sure you have discussed the procedure with a health care worker such as your GP.