People with prominent nasal features can feel self-conscious and this can have a detrimental impact on quality of life. Correcting the feature or making it less noticeable can have a beneficial impact on confidence and self esteem, making you more able to enjoy your life to the full. Sometimes your nose may have been injured.

What is it?

Nose reshaping surgery, also called rhinoplasty, can improve the aesthetic appearance of the nose, for example by reducing its size or correcting crookedness or a hump, a wide base or nostrils, or an over-projected tip. It can also address functional problems such as breathing disorders caused by injury.

What to expect

The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. Cuts are made inside your nose and on the skin between the nostrils, at the base (columella). The skin of your nose is carefully lifted off the bone and cartilage underneath. A hump can then easily be accessed, reduced and combined with a hairline fracture of the bone to re-shape the nose.

Following surgery you will be given injections of local anaesthetic to control the pain. You are likely to feel as though you have a blocked nose, like when you have a cold. This is partly from swelling and partly from the dressings placed inside and outside the nose.

Bruising is common after 24 hours and mainly affects the skin at the side of the nose and lower eyelids. The internal nasal-packs are removed on the ward, at 24 hours post-op and further gauze dressing is placed over your nostrils, to protect the internal healing wounds. It is best to sleep and rest, sitting-up. You will be discharged from the ward, after this and you will be asked to come back and see your surgeon a week later.

What results can be achieved?

There is not a single, perfect nasal shape. Plastic surgery aims to make alterations that look natural and suit the rest of your face and that do not detract from your own, individual look. Your surgeon will discuss with you the type of rhinoplasty that is best suited to your nose and face.

Possible Risks

All surgery carries risks and cosmetic surgery is no exception. Fortunately, there are rarely any significant complications associated with nose reshaping surgery, which is a commonly performed procedure.

After surgery

After nose reshaping surgery you are likely to experience pain and bruising as described above.

It is advisable to take about a week off work, depending on the type of job you do. It is best to stay indoors for this time, away from cigarette smoke and dust.

Avoid bending, stooping, straining, blowing your nose and if possible, sneezing. Do not put instruments or dressings into your nose to clear any secretions as this could cause it to start bleeding from the swollen tissue or stitch lines. Avoid any sporting activity for four to six weeks.

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Common risks

The risk of most types of cosmetic surgery is similar and these will be discussed with you during your consultation. You can help to minimize certain risks by following your surgeon’s advice and instructions after surgery. Some of the common risks include:

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  • Pain, discomfort and swelling – this should subside naturally as you heal after surgery.
  • Numbness – Occasionally, you can have some numbness of your upper lip or teeth, which usually settles with time.
  • Skin sensitivity – The nasal skin can become sensitive to touch, from recovering nerves. This improves with time and as the swelling reduces. Good skin care is important by moisturizing and gentle massage. Sun protection is advisable when directly in the sun.
  • Dissolving skin stitches not holding properly – if this occurs the stitches may need to be removed under local anaesthetic.
  • Stitch granuloma – sometimes a tender lump or abscess can occur at the stitch site. This is generally more common where the skin is thinner. The stitch may need to be removed or it may be treated with antibiotics.
More serious risks
The symptoms listed above are normally temporary or without serious consequences. There are some more serious risks associated with cosmetic surgery, which will be discussed with your surgeon as part of the initial consultation.

Plastic surgery alone cannot change your life but it can give you the confidence to make those changes for yourself.

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