Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose, a “nose job”. It may be done to reshape your nose following a previous injury, to improve the appearance of your nose or to improve breathing through your nose. Rhinoplasty can increase or reduce aspects of your nose such as a hump on the bridge, the size or shape of the tip or your nostrils or can correct a bend in the nose. It may be combined with a septoplasty (reshaping of the cartilage which sits in the middle of your nose and divides your nose into two sides behind your nostrils), if there is a bend in the septum which affects your breathing.
It is a very big personal decision to make and therefore it is crucial to prepare properly for any rhinoplasty surgery in advance.
Before surgery, please consider the following:
A rhinoplasty can improve the appearance of your nose and your breathing. Some of the reasons we do rhinoplasties are to straighten noses, level off a hump, build up a collapsed nose, change the shape and size of the tip of a nose, narrow a wide nose, change the size and shape of nostrils and improve breathing through the nose.
In order to achieve a natural look, it is important to consider the effect of altering one part of the face on other areas of the face. For example, a rhinoplasty will improve and reshape the nose, but it will not affect any other part of the face. Therefore there is the possibility that facial “disharmony” may result, particularly on side profile, if the remaining facial features are not balanced. The most common situation that this occurs in is when someone has an excessively receding or protruding chin. Altering the profile of their nose alone, without augmenting or reducing their chin, may not fully achieve facial harmony. The most natural appearance is achieved by balancing the shape and appearance of the nose in relation to the rest of the face.
Ms Nugent also takes a very detailed medical history and does a full examination before reaching any decision about rhinoplasty surgery.
Rhinoplasties are usually done under a general anaesthetic (while you are asleep). During the surgery, the skin of the nose is lifted up via very discrete small incisions inside the nostrils and sometimes across the columnella (the central part of the nose in between the two nostrils). The underlying structure (bone and cartilage) of the nose is then reshaped to the desired dimensions and appearance. Often cartilage grafts from within the nose are used to support the new structure of the nose. Sometimes it is necessary to use cartilage grafts from the ears or ribs if significant extra support is needed e.g. in a secondary rhinoplasty. Finally the skin is stitched back together and usually a supporting splint is placed on top of the nose to protect it during the early recovery.
It is normal to have some swelling and bruising after rhinoplasties. The bruising and most of the swelling will go during the first two weeks after surgery. The rest of the swelling resolves gradually. By six weeks, it is usually indiscernable although small amounts can persist for longer. Usually it is necessary to protect your nose for six to eight weeks after surgery e.g. to avoid contact sports. Small amounts of swelling may persist for up to one year after surgery.
The nose grows until approximately the age of sixteen. Because of this, it is generally unadvisable to have rhinoplasty surgery before this age.