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NASAL RESHAPING (Rhinoplasty)

Nasal reshaping surgery is carried out to produce a change in the appearance of the nose and in this respect is considered cosmetic surgery. However surgery to the nose usually performed by ENT surgeons to alleviate symptoms such as nasal obstruction and breathing difficulties can also produce a change in nasal appearance and it is important for anyone considering nasal surgery to make a distinction between what they wish to improve. Before nasal reshaping surgery, it is important that one has a good appreciation of what may be changed and how your nose will look after surgery. This is done using photographs taken at your initial consultation and discussion of these with you at subsequent consultations. This process is an essential part of planning nasal surgery. It is however not a guarantee or an absolute assurance of what the final result will look like and nasal surgery is one of the areas of cosmetic surgery where there is an inherent degree of unpredictability.

The surgery

Rhinoplasty is carried out under general anaesthetic and may be done either open or closed, depending upon the complexity of your surgery. When performed closed, incisions are made inside the nose only and minor changes such as a small hump reduction or tip narrowing may be done. Open rhinoplasty is the best option for more significant changes in the nose. This open approach permits a direct view of the complex cartilages that comprise the majority of the nose and for this reason is more commonly used today than in the past. This involves a small incision across the strip of skin (columella) between your nostrils which usually heals without a noticeable scar. Nasal surgery often involves reshaping of the nasal bones and you will have a nasal splint placed following surgery. This splint helps hold the tissues in place while healing is occurring as well as protecting the nose during sleep and against accidental bumps.

Post operative follow up and aftercare

You will normally be discharged the same day or the morning following surgery with instructions for use of a saline nasal spray and an appointment to be seen 5-7 days following surgery when the nasal splint will be removed.

Possible complications

All operations carry a risk of general complications and whilst rhinoplasty is generally a very safe operation, there are specific risks to consider, the commonest of which is the inability to predict exactly what the final outcome will look like as the nose is such a complex three dimensional structure. A small degree of post operative ooze is common and of no concern. More serious bleeding is unusual and may require a return to theatre. Infection is also a very uncommon problem around the nose and is usually dealt with effectively by antibiotics. Bruising around the eyes is common and resolves within 10 days. Asymmetry and unevenness are difficult to assess initially as healing and nasal swelling can take several months to resolve. Several other complications such as reduction in the sense of smell or damage to sight are all extremely rare.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

FACTS AT A GLANCE

SURGERY TIME
1-2 hours

HOSPITAL STAY
Day case or 1 night

ANAESTHETIC ASSESSMENT
No

PRE ADMISSION TESTS
Possibly

REASONABLY MOBILE
Same day

WASHING
Keep splint dry for 1 week

DRIVING
3-5 days

SPORT & EXERCISE
4-6 weeks contact sport 12 weeks

SEXUAL ACTIVITY
4 weeks

FULL RECOVERY
1-2 weeks

TIME OFF WORK
1-2 weeks