Why you might need rhinoplasty
You may be unhappy with the natural shape of your nose, which could be disproportionate to the rest of your face or you may have suffered an injury which could have altered its form. Rhinoplasty can sculpt a new shape for your nose, naturally fitting it to your face.
How to prepare for rhinoplasty
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle is the most important step towards preparing for your rhinoplasty surgery. This includes maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine as well as stopping smoking. There are no specific preparation requirements for your surgery, any questions you have will be answered during your consultation ahead of surgery.
Candidates for rhinoplasty
For some patients, rhinoplasty is an elective surgery and can help restore confidence. The procedure also helps to correct medical issues and injuries sustained to your nose. Good candidates for rhinoplasty procedures are patients who:
- Are physically healthy
- Do not smoke
- Have a positive and realistic outlook on the procedure.
The different rhinoplasty procedures
There are many variations of rhinoplasty surgery - the shape of the nose can be changed, the bridge repositioned, bumps removed, the nostril shapeshifted or the tip reshaped. All rhinoplasty procedures aim to enhance or correct the appearance of the nose, but certain procedures are performed in different ways and come with their own advantages and disadvantages:
Open rhinoplasty procedures involve using a minor bridging incision, known as a trans-columellar to connect the right and left nostrils. This allows the surgeon perfect visualisation of the lower nasal skeleton, meaning the nose can be intricately evaluated. This procedure’s main advantage is that it allows vastly improved surgical access to the nose.
Closed rhinoplasty involves making incisions from within the nose, allowing for intricate assessment and reshaping. The main advantage of this surgery is that it comes with minor swelling and a faster healing process. It also eliminates scarring along the front of the nose.
The differences between closed and open rhinoplasty:
Swelling and bruising post-surgery
Minimal and swift recovery
Slightly more swelling and bruising
No visible scarring
Only noticeable from the undersurface
Other Types of Rhinoplasty
This is simply a follow-up procedure to rectify or further enhance a previous rhinoplasty surgery. Some patients may elect to have a follow-up procedure, but the vast majority of patients are happy with their primary rhinoplasty results.
Also known as ‘liquid rhinoplasty’, involves the use of injectable (dermal) fillers and is not a service we provide and can lead to severe side effects (such as skin necrosis) if performed by inexperienced practitioners.
As part of the procedure, the surgeon will normally make alterations by accessing your nasal shaft internally, possibly requiring a small incision to the nostril base. Bone structure and tissue can be manipulated to achieve the desired result.
Following surgery, a splint will be fitted to your nose to maintain the new shape, and this should be worn for approximately a week. You will also experience bruising and swelling around the nose and eyes, as well as pain, which can be managed with painkillers for a few days.
Scarring will be minimal, due to the internal access and any small incision scars will quickly fade. Each patient will undergo a different rhinoplasty recovery time based on the type of surgery and their individual healing process.
Your consultant will provide an aftercare plan that may include:
- How to assess and care for your nose
- Prescribe medication for minor swelling and/or bruising
- When to consult and follow up with your surgeon
We also encourage you to ask questions post-surgery to ensure you fully understand your aftercare process. Questions may include:
- What medication will I be given?
- When can I remove my dressings/bandages?
- How are my stitches removed and when?
- How long until I can return to work and resume normal activities?
- What other aftercare advice can you offer me?
Rhinoplasty is designed to be a lifelong procedure and patients are usually very pleased with their results. Once the initial stages of bruising and swelling have subsided you should be able to notice your results. However, your full results may take up to one year to show, but you will notice gradual improvements up to this point.
Although your results are long-lasting, age will, of course, impact your appearance and therefore your nose. However, your improvements should remain permanent regardless of your natural ageing process.
Everyone's treatment plan is tailored to their own individual needs, so no treatment price is ever the same, but you can expect to pay anywhere between £3,700 to £5,000+ (average).
Is rhinoplasty covered by health insurance?
As this procedure can be performed in a medical sense (to help improve breathing or reconstruct the nose due to accidents/injuries), your medical insurance may cover it. The procedure is therefore considered reconstructive, even if combined with cosmetic rhinoplasty.
We do strongly advise you to check with your medical insurance to ensure the procedure will be covered.
During your consultation, your consultant will first assess your nose to confirm you are a candidate for the procedure. They will then explain the procedure process in detail and discuss the different types of rhinoplasty procedures and which treatment is most appropriate for your personal needs requirements.
You should also be prepared to discuss the following:
- Your surgical goals and expectations
- Current medical conditions (and if you’re on any medication)
- Previous surgeries (if any)
Other topics might include:
- Your treatment options (open, closed or revision rhinoplasty)
- Take measurements
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Explain your results post-surgery and aftercare routines
- Arrange your consultation today
For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline on 01342 488054 for free and professional advice.
This article was written by The McIndoe Centre, in collaboration with Asit Khandwala MBBS MS MCh FRCS (Plast) Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. All information, advice and procedures were updated on 17th September 2019.