Rhinoplasty also referred to as nose surgery or nose reshaping, is a surgery that changes the shape of the nose. The motivation for rhinoplasty may be to change the appearance of the nose, its function or both.
Why it's done
When planning rhinoplasty, your surgeon considers your features, the skin on your nose and what you would like to change. The upper portion of the structure of the nose is bone, and the lower portion is cartilage. Rhinoplasty can modify bone, cartilage, skin or all three. Talk with your surgeon about whether rhinoplasty is appropriate for you and what it can achieve.
Rhinoplasty can change the size, shape or proportions of your nose. It may be done to repair deformities from an injury, correct a birth defect or improve some breathing difficulties.
What you can expect:
Rhinoplasty is not a procedure with a set series of steps. Each operation is unique and is customised for the specific anatomy and goals of the person undergoing the procedure.
Rhinoplasty may be done inside the nose or through a small external incision at the base of the nose, between the nostrils. Your surgeon will likely readjust the bone and cartilage underneath your skin.
Your surgeon can augment your nasal bone or cartilage in several ways, depending on how much needs to be added, the structure of your nose and available materials. For small changes, the surgeon may use cartilage harvested from deeper inside your nose or from your ear. For larger requirements, the surgeon can use cartilage from the rib, implants or bone from other parts of the body.
During the surgery
Rhinoplasty requires local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on the complexity of the surgery and your surgeon's preferences. Discuss with your doctor beforehand which kind of anaesthesia is best in your case.
Local anaesthesia with sedation. This type of anaesthesia is usually used in an outpatient setting and is limited to a specific area of your body. Your doctor injects a pain-numbing medication into your nasal tissues and sedates you with medication injected through an intravenous (IV) line. This makes you groggy but not fully asleep.
General anaesthesia. You receive the drug (anaesthetic) by inhaling it or through an IV line — a small tube placed in a vein in your hand, neck or chest. General anaesthesia affects your entire body and induces a temporary state of unconsciousness. General anaesthesia requires a breathing tube.
After the surgery, you'll be in a recovery room, where the staff monitors your return to wakefulness. You might leave later that day or, if you have other health issues, you might stay overnight.
After the surgery
After the surgery, you need to rest in bed with your head raised higher than your chest, to reduce bleeding and swelling. Your nose may be congested because of swelling or from the splints placed inside your nose during surgery. In most cases, the internal dressings remain in place for one to seven days after surgery. Your doctor also tapes a splint to your nose for protection and support. It's usually in place for about one week.
- Avoid strenuous activities such as aerobics and jogging.
- Take baths instead of showers while you have bandages on your nose.
- Don't blow your nose.
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to avoid constipation
- Constipation can cause you to strain, putting pressure on the surgery site.
- Avoid extreme facial expressions, such as smiling or laughing.
- Brush your teeth gently to limit movement of your upper lip.
- Wear clothes that fasten in the front; don't pull clothing, such as shirts or sweaters, over your head.