Plastic (Cosmetic) Surgery
Nose surgery, also known as a nose job (medically known as a Rhinoplasty) is a form of plastic surgery performed on the nose to change its shape or improve its function. The surgery can be performed for medical reasons to correct breathing problems related to the nose or to correct disfigurement resulting from trauma or birth defects for example. The surgery can also be undertaken for cosmetic reasons, to change the shape and appearance of the nose.
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Our plastic surgeons combine the science and art of Rhinoplasty to give patients effective, lasting results. It is recommended that the surgery is undertaken on adults due to change in growth/change in facial features in the teenage years. However, Rhinoplasty is possible for teens that understand the procedure and have full parental consent. Ideally, girls should be at least 15 or 16 years old to have the procedure; boys should be at least 17 or 18. If combined with a Septoplasty (straightening of the septum), this procedure can improve not only the appearance of the nostrils but also ones breathing.
The exception to this would be paediatric patients who have a facial birth defect, such as cleft palate. Additionally, patients should be in good overall health and a non smoker because smoking can lead to poor blow flow and increase the risk of tissue damage.
Whilst Rhinoplasty is a safe procedure, it’s important that the surgery is done by an expert. We use 3D imaging prior to surgery to show patients how their nose will look post surgery. The plastic surgeon can print models of the nose as it looks pre surgery alongside the expected appearance after surgery.
We have found that the ability to visualize the anticipated results also helps patients feel more comfortable about undergoing surgery.
Rhinoplasty generally takes 1.5 to 3 hours and is usually an outpatient procedure. In “closed Rhinoplasty,” incisions are made within the nostrils – a technique that has a limited ability to make changes. In “open Rhinoplasty,” an incision is made across the tissue between the nostrils as well as within the nostrils. These incisions heal very well and are barely visible.
If additional cartilage is needed to augment the nose, it is often taken from the patient’s nasal septum. In secondary or revision Rhinoplasty, which is done to correct deformities caused by a previous procedure – this cartilage might be taken from an ear or rib, though sometimes approved cadaver cartilage might also be used.
Because of the cartilage needs and potential for scarring, revision Rhinoplasty is a more difficult procedure to perform, so it’s important that it’s done by a highly experienced and skilled plastic surgeon.
Following surgery, most patients experience mild to moderate discomfort that can be controlled with medication. However, the first part of the recovery period can be somewhat awkward at work and in social settings due to possible bruising under the eyes and the use of a splint. Patients should expect to wear splints on the inside and outside of the nose for about a week after Rhinoplasty to protect the nasal bones and cartilage. Additionally, patients should avoid strenuous activity such as jogging or swimming for two to three weeks and avoid wearing glasses for four to five weeks.
The nose is a complex structure made of delicate cartilage and bone. A small change to one part of the structure affects the rest of the nose; Rhinoplasty requires expertise to achieve a natural, functional outcome.