The purpose of rhinoplasty (nose re-shaping) is to reshape the nose to give a more desirable shape or to relieve blockages in the nostrils.
What does the procedure involve?
The surgery can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic depending on the extent and type of work to be carried out. There are a number of procedures that can be used by surgeons to reshape the nose so the method and technique used will depend on the result you will want to achieve.
Open and closed surgery can be performed on the nose. Open nose operations involve the surgeon making cuts outside the nose whereas closed surgery involves cuts being made inside the nose.
During surgery an incision is made in or around the nose to separate the soft tissue that lies on top of the nose from the bone and cartilage underneath. The surgeon will then break the nose bone and reposition it or reshape the cartilage. If the nose needs building up, then cartilage from other parts of the body such as the ear, rib or different part of the nose are grafted and used.
What are the benefits and what are the risks?
If rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic reasons then a more pleasing shape should be acquired. However it is worth noting that the surgeon can only work with what you already have, in terms of bone and cartilage structure, which may limit the extent to which you can alter the shape of your nose.
If surgery is undertaken for functional reasons such as the removal of obstructions, then your breathing should be improved.
Nasal Bleeding is common after surgery but is not usually deemed to be a risk, and infections are rare. The main problem is that some people are not totally happy with their new nose, as the \"perfect\" shape is not always achievable. Some irregularities with the shape however do subside over time and it may take up to a year for the final shape to \"emerge\". As a result secondary surgery should not be considered until after this time.
Is it the right procedure for me?
It is recommended that girls wait until they are at least 14 years old and boys 16 years old until they have rhinoplasty, as the nose may not be fully developed until they reach this age and it may therefore change shape slightly. Most people who undergo rhinoplasty for cosmetic purposes usually do so because they feel that their nose is too large for their face; the nose is crooked; they have a bump on the nasal bridge; or nostrils are excessively flared.
Certain procedures may also interfere with your breathing, so this will become a consideration when deciding whether to go ahead with surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
Surgery takes approximately two hours depending on the extent of the work.
What happens after surgery?
After surgery a splint is generally applied to the nose, for about week, whilst the bones \"set\". The nose will be packed with medicated gauze which may be removed after a couple of days and you will be shown how to change these should you experience bleeding. Any internal stitches will not need to be removed as they are self absorbing. You will experience some discomfort for several weeks following surgery, including swelling, bruising and stuffiness. You may even have black eyes if the nasal bones are fractured. You may have to take up to two weeks from work and any sports or activities that may risk injury to the nose will have to be avoided for a couple of months.
How much is it likely to cost?
Prices may vary between £4,000 and £6,000