This website is intended to provide you with general information only. This information is not a substitute for advice from your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and does not contain all the known facts about this procedure or every possible side effect of surgery. It is important that you speak to your surgeon before deciding to undergo surgery. If you are not sure about the benefits, risks and limitations of treatment, or anything else relating to your procedure, ask your surgeon to explain. Patient information provided as part of this website is evidence-based, and sourced from a range of reputable information providers including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Better Health Channel and Mi-tec medical publishing.
Nose surgery, also known as rhinoplasty, is designed to reshape or repair the nose by improving the appearance and/or function of the nose. Another procedure associated with rhinoplasty and often performed at the same time is septoplasty, a procedure that opens up nasal passages blocked by a bent septum.
Nose surgery may be performed for cosmetic reasons or for reconstructive purposes, such as correcting breathing problems. Nose surgery can change the size of the nose as well as its width and profile. The nose tip, shape of the nostrils and balance of the nose (nasal symmetry) can also be altered.
Nose surgery aims to achieve the following results:
Nose surgery is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Your surgeon will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.
Before you decide on nose surgery, there are some important issues to keep in mind:
Nose surgery may not be a good option for you if you are:
Nose surgery may be a good option for you if:
Most nose surgery procedures are performed under general anaesthesia. Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but does have some risks. Ask your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and anaesthetist for more information. Your surgeon and/or anaesthetist will ask you about all the medications you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have. Make sure you have an up to date list before the surgery.
Modern surgery is generally safe but does have the potential for risks and complications to occur.
Some general risks and complications of surgery may include:
Specific risks and complications associated with nose surgery include:
Depending upon your general health and the extent of the procedure, nose surgery can be performed either as a day case or alternatively with a short hospital stay. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will advise on the best option for you.
Before undergoing surgery, it is important that you:
You will also be asked to provide a complete medical history for your Specialist Plastic Surgeon including any health problems you have had, any medication you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have.
You may be advised to stop taking certain medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, and medicines that contain aspirin. You may also be asked to stop taking naturopathic substances such as garlic, ginkgo, ginseng and St John’s Wort as they may affect clotting and anaesthesia. Always tell your surgeon EVERYTHING you are taking.
Unless your surgeon advises differently, you will be able to continue taking most medicines that you have been taking.
Your surgeon will also advise you if any other tests are required, such as blood tests, X-ray examinations or an Electrocardiograph (ECG) to assess your heart.
Prepare a “recovery area” in your home. This may include pillows, ice packs, a thermometer and a telephone within easy reach. Make sure you arrange for a relative or friend to drive you to and from the hospital or clinic. Someone should also stay with you for at least 24 hours after you return home.
Your surgeon should give detailed preoperative instructions. Follow them carefully.
Arrange for a relative or friend to drive you home after the surgery. Someone should also stay with you for at least the first day after the operation and preferably for a few days.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, notify your surgeon immediate:
After surgery, your nostrils may be packed with cotton or soft splints to help align the nasal septum. You may have a splint taped to the outside of your nose to encourage the nose to keep its new shape while it heals.
You may experience pain, headaches, inability to breathe through the nose and facial puffiness. Elevating your head will help these side effects to settle. Rest in bed with your head on a few pillows for the first 48 hours. Using an ice pack will also help reduce swelling. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will prescribe pain medication as required.
Do not blow your nose for at least seven days or rub your nose for a minimum of eight weeks. It is also important to protect your nose from sunburn and accidental knocks for at least eight weeks.
Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, swimming and strenuous sports until advised by your surgeon.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on post-operative care. These instructions may include:
Be sure to ask your surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period, such as:
Nose surgery is usually performed through the nostrils, which means there are no visible cuts (or subsequent scars) to the face. Occassionally scars will be placed between the nostrils or at the base of the nose.Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will endeavour to minimise scarring and to keep your scars as inconspicuous as possible by locating the incisions in easily hidden sites. That way, scars will be along natural skin lines and creases. Scars may fade with time and become barely noticeable. If you are prone to scarring, you should advise your surgeon.
As with all surgical procedures, revisional surgery may be necessary to correct minor irregularities.
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for individual procedures can vary widely between Specialist Plastic Surgeons. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
Your surgeon should welcome any questions you may have regarding fees.
Visit the Plastic Surgery Glossary for more medical terms.