Overview of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is the term given to the surgical procedure designed to reshape the nose to improve its appearance. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between your nose and your upper lip. It may also correct a birth defect or injury, or assist in the relief of some breathing problems.

A new, more balanced look to your face may enhance your self-esteem and confidence. Rhinoplasty can dramatically alter an unbalanced face, creating a marked difference in appearance. In other instances, even a small change in some part of the nose may be insignificant to others, but highly significant to your own personal perception.


Who is the best Candidate for a Rhinoplasty?

The best candidates for Rhinoplasty are those who are looking for an improvement, not perfection in the way they look. It is important that you understand how the results of Surgery may be limited by the anatomy of your nose and that matching someone else’s features may not compliment your own.

Plastic Surgeons usually recommend that patients wait until they are at least 18 years of age, before undergoing Rhinoplasty. The nose may not be fully developed before this age. Assuming that you are in good health, there is no upper age limit for this procedure.

If you are getting this procedure done for medical reasons for example restriction of breathing, you will be required to get a referral from your general practitioner.

What to Expect

The initial consultation with your Surgeon will enable him to assess your individual needs based on a physical examination to determine the extent of surgery necessary and any combinations of surgery to give you the best possible result. You will be given information regarding your surgical procedure and your concerns and expectations will be discussed.

Your Surgeon will discuss your expectations and ideals when considering surgery to alter the shape or size of your nose. It is important to remember that changes you would like to have made to your nose may not be practical, based on the bony and cartilaginous structure and surgical limitations. Our surgeons are well versed in the anatomical guidelines for a well-proportioned nose and they will be able to assess whether your ideals are realistic.



Rhinoplasty can be performed as Day surgery or as Inpatient surgery. Our surgeons prefer to perform this surgery using either a General Anaesthetic as a Day Surgery procedure in the hospital.

Rhinoplasty usually takes one to two hours, although complicated procedures may take longer. Most procedures are performed as an “open” rhinoplasty meaning that an incision is made in the region underneath the nose between the nostrils, and the surgery is performed through the nostrils. Depending on what needs to be done to the internal structure of the nose, cartilages can be trimmed or grafted, nasal bones rasped or fractured and repositioned, and nostrils can be enlarged or made smaller.

When the surgery is complete, the incision in the nostril area is sutured and a splint is applied to the outside of the nose to help maintain its new shape. Nasal packs may also be used inside your nostrils to help stabilise the septum and other structures within the nose.


All surgery carries some risk and it is important that you consider this prior to proceeding with any procedure. When Rhinoplasty is performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor.

Risks that are specific to this procedure include haematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), nosebleed, infection and reactions to anaesthesia. Numbness of the skin may occur but is usually temporary. Follow-up surgery may be required for further improvement. After surgery, small blood vessels may appear as tiny red spots on the skin’s surface; these are usually minor but may be permanent. As for scarring, when Rhinoplasty is performed from inside the nose, there is no visible scarring at all; when an “open” technique is performed or when the procedure calls for the narrowing of flared nostrils, the small scars on the base of the nose are usually not visible.

Additional risks include skin loss, asymmetry and airway obstruction. These risks will be discussed in full with your Surgeon during your consultation.

After Surgery

It is important to realise that the amount of time that it takes to get back to normal will vary between individuals. For the first couple of days following your surgery, you should restrict your activities to sleeping with your head elevated. Straining, bending, jogging and lifting should be avoided during the first two to three weeks. Avoid hitting or rubbing your nose, or getting it sunburnt for eight weeks. Be gentle when washing your face and hair or using cosmetics. In most instances, you will be able to return to work within 7 – 10 days following your surgery, however, recovery time does vary between individuals. Normal activities including exercise can usually be resumed within three weeks.

The goal of Rhinoplasty is a nose that looks natural and blends harmoniously with your other facial features. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait up to one year to see the final results of your surgery.

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