Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose, which may be required for both cosmetic or medical reasons.

Reasons for rhinoplasty

Medical reasons for rhinoplasty surgery can include to correct blockages within the nose or widen nasal passages, as these may be causing problems such as difficulty breathing or chronic sinusitis. Problems can also occur following a previous injury to the nose of facial trauma, which rhinoplasty surgery may help alleviate.

Many rhinoplasty procedures are carried out for cosmetic purposes if somebody feels that their nose is crooked or out of proportion with their other features, and it’s affecting their self-esteem and confidence.

The procedure

At Hadley Wood Hospital, we understand that this can have a big impact across many areas of your life, and will do our best to support you in making the right decision for you. While rhinoplasty surgery can have significant positive outcomes, it’s also important to be fully informed about what the procedure entails and a realistic expectation of the results, so it’s important to discuss it thoroughly before going ahead.

The surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, and the length and exact techniques used will depend on your individual needs. In some cases, sections of bone may be removed or ‘shaved’ down, or a section of cartilage may be removed from the tip of your nose. Often, the surgeon will need to break and reset bones in your nose in order to reshape it as required. Your surgeon will explain what’s going to happen beforehand. Most of the procedure is performed inside your nostrils, meaning there won’t be any external incisions (this is known as ‘closed rhinoplasty’). However, sometimes a small incision at the base of the skin between your nostrils is required (known as ‘open rhinoplasty’).

Your nose may be packed with dressing when you wake up, so you will need to breathe through your mouth until this is removed. There may also be a small split to help hold your nose in place – these are usually removed after around 7-10 days. Bruising and swelling are also normal (this can take a few weeks to heal completely) and it’s common to experience minor bleeding and fluid dripping from your nose during the initial few days after the procedure. However, you won’t be able to blow your nose and will need to sleep sitting up for at least a week afterwards. Most people are able to go home from hospital after one or two nights, although you’ll need at least two weeks off work. Your surgeon and nurses will explain how to continue with your aftercare while you recover at home.

Although it’s usually possible to see improvements immediately after the surgery, it can take up to 12 months for the full results to be apparent.

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