Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed for different reasons. It can be a purely cosmetic procedure to reshape or resize the nose, but it can also be used to clear nasal blockages or to repair the nose after an injury. Revision rhinoplasty can help to correct problems after a previous nose job.
During your first meeting with an ENT doctor in London to discuss rhinoplasty, the specialist will ask about your reasons for considering surgery. The doctor will also perform an assessment to determine whether you are a good candidate for surgery. The treatment options will be explained in detail. The doctor will ensure that you understand what the surgery involves, the risks and expected results. The cost of the procedure will also be explained to you so that you can make an informed choice. You won’t need to make your mind up right away and you will have a chance to ask any questions.
The exact procedure will depend on the aims of the surgery, but rhinoplasty usually involves removing bone or cartilage from the nose. Grafts taken from other parts of the nose or body can also be added to rebuild, reshape or strengthen the nose if necessary.
All patients will experience some temporary bruising and swelling after rhinoplasty. Other common side effects include light nosebleeds and numbness or stiffness. More serious complications are rare, but they can include damage to the nose, problems with the airways, or heavy bleeding. As with other surgical procedures, there is also a risk of infection, blood clots or allergic reactions to the anaesthetic.
Most patients will need to take time off to rest for about two weeks after rhinoplasty surgery. It can take several weeks for the bruising and swelling to disappear. Most normal activities can be resumed by this time, but some activities such as contact sports will need to be avoided for up to six weeks. It can take up to six months for the full effects of the surgery to be visible.
Rhinoplasty isn’t suitable for everyone. It is important to have realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve and to discuss these with an experienced ENT specialist. Cosmetic rhinoplasty might not be right for you if you aren’t emotionally ready. There can also be physical reasons why the procedure cannot be performed. For example, rhinoplasty can only help with certain kinds of nasal obstruction. Other treatments such as turbinate reduction may be more suitable for some patients. The doctor will also need to be sure that you are fit enough to undergo surgery with a general anaesthetic.
Rhinoplasty can be performed in two ways. Open rhinoplasty involves making an incision on the underside of the nose, on the skin between the nostrils. This will leave a small, well hidden scar on the underside of the nose. Closed rhinoplasty is performed through incisions that are made inside the nostrils, so there will be no visible scar. The technique that is used will depend on the purpose of the procedure and which parts of the nose need to be accessed.
Rhinoplasty can help to improve your breathing by strengthening or opening up the airways. Some patients choose to have the surgery primarily for this purpose. However, there is a small risk of damage to the airways during rhinoplasty, which could cause permanent breathing disabilities. It may be possible to correct this with revision rhinoplasty.