Nose reshaping, known as Rhinoplasty, is one of the longest established and most commonly requested cosmetic procedures. It is popular with men and women of all ages. This operation alters the size and/or shape of the nose to create a new profile and bring it into proportion with the rest of the facial contours. It may be that this procedure has been considered because of a feeling of unhappiness with the nose, or it may be that there is a problem that contributes to such difficulties as breathing difficulties. Whatever the reason, these conditions can normally be improved with a simple surgical procedure.
Rhinoplasty is usually performed under general anaesthetic and involves an overnight stay at the Hospital. The operation takes about an hour, depending on the complexity of the procedure. It is carried out through incisions made inside the nose, which leave no visible scars. In some cases, where the width or flare of the nostrils is being reduced, small outside incisions are used. In these cases the incisions will be made where possible in natural crease lines of the nose to conceal scarring.
The procedure involves removing, shifting or altering the underlying bone and cartilaginous structure. If the nose has a prominent hump, bone and cartilage can be removed to reduce the size of the nose. If the nose is too wide it can be narrowed, or if it is bent to one side it can be straightened. The modification of the nose could concern part or all of the elements of the infrastructure; the point of the nose, the nostrils, the bridge of the nose and the nasal septum. The modification of one of these elements can often lead to the change of another. When this occurs the entire visual perception of the nose is greatly improved with only a relatively minor adjustment.
There are variations on standard Rhinoplasty such as a Septo Rhinoplasty. This is when the internal bone (septum) is deviated, often leading to an obstruction to breathing and this can be corrected at the same time as altering the shape. If the nose has a bulbous tip and only cartilage needs removing there is a lesser procedure known as a Rhino Tip. The surgeon will discuss all of these options with you during your consultation.
After surgery a small plaster of Paris splint is carefully positioned on the nose, remaining in place for 7-10 days. While this is on breathing may feel different and, although this is not painful, it may be uncomfortable. During this time there will be some bruising around the eyes and nose. This should have reduced after about 14 days. It is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks and body contact sports for 6 months.
It is necessary to come in for a pre-operative assessment at the hospital about a week prior to surgery. This takes about 30 minutes. It is also important to remember to make time for post-operative consultations.