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Nose reshaping (Rhinoplasty)

Rhinoplasty, or surgery to reshape the nose, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, remove any bumps, narrow the span of the nostrils, correct any post-traumatic deformities, change the angle between the nose and the upper lip and may even relieve some breathing problems.

Whatever the problem is, rhinoplasty aims at delivering a nose that “blends-in” with the rest of your facial features.


General anesthesia

Hospital stay
Day case or 1 night stay

Return to work
7-10 days

Full recovery
4-6 weeks

Rhinoplasty generic

When can rhinoplasty be performed?

Rhinoplasty can be performed at any age, but is usually recommended after the age of 15-16, when the development of the nose is completed.

How is rhinoplasty performed?

Otoplasty procedure

The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes 1-2 hours. The incisions are placed on the inside of your nostrils where they are not visible. Occasionally, in selected cases with complicated problems, an open approach might be used by placing a small incision across the columella, the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils.

The shape of the nose depends on the underlying framework which consists of bone superiorly and cartilage inferiorly. The skin is separated from the supporting framework, which is then sculpted to the desired shape. If there are breathing problems the septum can be altered accordingly. Finally, the skin is redraped over the new framework and any incisions closed. When the surgery is complete, a small splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape and small jelly nasal packs will be placed inside your nostrils to control any bleeding and to stabilize the lining of your nose.

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What can I expect after the operation?

As already mentioned, the procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually requires an overnight stay in hospital. During the first 24 hours you will feel puffy and you will not be able to breath through your nose. You will notice swelling and bruising around your eyes that will seem to increase at first, reaching a peak after 2-3 days. These can be reduced by applying cold compresses for the first 24 hours, and most of the swelling should disappear in 2-3 weeks. Pain is usually minimal and can be easily controlled with regular painkillers.

The nasal packing will usually be removed the following day and the splint will be removed after a week’s time. During this time you should avoid blowing your nose and sneezing. Any external sutures are removed in one week’s time.

When can I resume my normal activities?

On the day after surgery you will be able to resume light activities, but more strenuous activities should be avoided for 1-2 weeks. Depending on your job you could be back to work in 5-7 days. Care should be taken to avoid injuries to the nose for the first 3-4 weeks and glasses should be avoided for 2-3 weeks. Full recovery to your previous activities is expected after 4 weeks.

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Pictures (c) ASPS, ASAPS, AAFPRS, ADAM, Allergan

Download Rhinoplasty brochure in PDF format

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