Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)
A surgical procedure that reshapes the nose by changing the size, width of the bridge, position of the nostrils and tip of the nose to create a more pleasing profile.
Nose surgery, medically called rhinoplasty and sometimes referred to as a “nose job”, can reshape the nose by changing the size, width of the bridge, position of the nostrils and tip of the nose to create a more pleasing shape. Nose surgery is often chosen by people who have asymmetrical or misshapen noses, and for those who have breathing problems due to the structure of their noses or as the result of a sports injury or accident.
Nose surgery is an increasingly popular procedure for women and men of any age.
Reasons for choosing to haveClick to collapse
People have nose surgery for a variety of reasons. Historically, this procedure was performed on people who had either constricted breathing as a result of an injury or birth defect such as a deviated septum or simply did not like the shape of their nose, the procedure is increasingly in demand for purely aesthetic reasons.
The nose is a dominant feature of the face, one that can either stand out or make your face look balanced and in proportion. A slight change to the nose can be dramatic.
Usually nose surgery patients choose to have their noses reduced in size and shape, but there are people with small noses who elect to have them made larger.
Some surgeons have virtual software that can give you an idea of how you will look after your surgery. Spend time with your surgeon altering this ‘after’ photo so you both have a clear understanding of the look you want. Your surgeon will be able to tell you the scope of the potential enhancement that is possible through surgery.
Things to consider once you've decided to have nose surgeryClick to expand
Look in the mirror and ask yourself exactly what you don’t like about your nose. The following are some suggestions:
- Your nose looks too big for your face.
- You have a bump on the bridge of your nose.
- Your nose looks too wide when viewed from the front.
- The tip of your nose droops or looks too thick for the rest of your nose.
- You have excessively flared nostrils.
- Your nose is asymmetrical or crooked.
Two surgical approaches used to alter the nose are open and closed surgery. Open surgery involves an incision being made in the tissue at the very base of the nose between the two nostrils, thus “opening” the nose. In closed surgery, incisions are made entirely inside the nose. Open surgery is usually a longer operation and better suited to patients who require alterations to the tips of their nose. Closed surgery avoids a visible scar, but can’t be performed if many alterations to the nose are required. Open surgery leaves a very small scar, which disappears over time. More surgeons are preferring this technique.
What to expectClick to expand
Nose surgery takes between 1 and 3 hours, depending on your surgeon’s choice of technique and how much surgery is involved. A revision rhinoplasty may need further surgery time. You should expect to be given a general aneasthetic. Most nose surgery is performed on an outpatient basis; you will most likely be sent home after the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. Your surgeon might want to monitor you in hospital overnight.
Before and after surgeryClick to expand
There are things you can do leading up to any kind of surgery to improve the experience.
There are also a number of things you can do following any surgery.
After surgery you will be taken to a post-operative recovery room for continued monitoring. You may have a splint on your nose to hold the tissue in place until it has stabilised. This will protect your nose when you sleep and help it to heal correctly. There may also be soft internal splints used inside the nostrils.
After your surgery
- Noticeable swelling can sometimes last for several weeks after surgery. Most people encounter minor residual swelling, frequently on the tip of the nose. This may continue for many months, but generally it is not apparent to others.
- Stitches holding the splints to the nose can be removed between one and seven days after the surgery. Other stitches in the nose eventually dissolve.
- You may need to do a nasal saline wash every few hours to ensure debris doesn’t build up in your nose.
- Avoid wearing glasses for a few months after the surgery to help the bridge of your nose heal and strengthen.
The healing process takes time, and you may need to wait up to a year to see the final results of your nose surgery operation. In most cases, you can see and enjoy the improvements in your appearance within weeks of your surgery.
You can safely return to work within 1 – 2 weeks after surgery. It is best to avoid strenuous activity such as bending and lifting for 2 weeks following surgery. Remember that the amount of time taken for recovery depends on the procedure used and varies greatly among individuals.
Possible risks and complicationsClick to expand
As with any surgical procedure there are risks involved in nose surgery.
The best way to minimise risk is to find a fully qualified surgeon with experience in rhinoplasty.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with the full list of complications that could arise as a result of any surgery.
An unsatisfactory result may mean the need for the operation to be done again. This procedure is called revision rhinoplasty surgery.
Additional informationClick to expand
Rough costs involvedClick to expand
The cost of nose surgery will vary depending on the surgeon and the type of structural or cosmetic changes that are needed. Costs are best estimated after a surgeon’s consultation. A rough estimate of costs is between $8000 and $15000 (AUD). Some private health insurers in Australia may help with hospital bed and theatre fees. Having a doctor’s referral will enable you to claim some of this cost.
You should expect the costs to be higher if you are having combined procedures at the same time.
This information is correct as of 2019.