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What is Rhinoplasty?

Patients considering rhinoplasty will have a functional issue with their nose related to breathing, a concern regarding the appearance of their nose, or a combination of the two. A nose may be crooked, too large and out of balance with the rest of the face, have a broad tip, a dorsal bump or any of a myriad of other possible features.

Patients considering rhinoplasty for purely cosmetic reasons must be sure of what they want changed and have realistic expectations of what can be achieved with surgery.

At Niche Plastic Surgery, our surgeons have the training and expertise to customise your rhinoplasty to your precise needs and desired results. We perform this procedure with function in mind as well, knowing that a beautiful nose is also one that doesn’t produce any breathing difficulties. We take sufficient time with each of our patients to ensure we understand their aesthetic goals and we can provide them with the best possible surgical experience and outcome.

Problems addressed through Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a flexible procedure that can address a variety of cosmetic issues, including:

  • Noses that are too large or small in proportion to the rest of the facial features
  • A nasal bridge that features a dorsal hump or a concavity
  • Nasal tips that are too broad, narrow or pointed
  • A nose that turns up or droops downward
  • Nostrils that are asymmetrical or have too much flare
  • A nose that is crooked due to a previous injury

The first consultation with our staff at Niche Plastic Surgery consists of a detailed assessment of your concerns. Your surgeon will examine your nose from a functional and cosmetic point of view to ensure both are addressed through your treatment. You will be asked to describe what, if anything, you don’t like about the appearance of your nose.

It is essential to consider the nose in proportion with the rest of the face, rather than assessing your nose in isolation. We do not routinely use computer imaging/morphing, but we are happy to use photos as a guide, so we can visualise what you would like done. Patients will require additional consultations before deciding to go ahead with surgery. These will provide an opportunity to discuss the surgical plan further and answer any questions you may think of between your appointments.

About the Procedure

All rhinoplasty surgery is performed in the hospital and requires a general anaesthetic that is managed by a specialist anaesthetist. General anaesthesia allows you to sleep comfortably during your procedure. The surgery takes approximately two to three hours and typically requires overnight hospital admission. Most procedures are performed with an ‘open’ technique that allows more accurate assessment of the nasal anatomy and subsequent reconstruction. The open rhinoplasty involves incisions inside the nasal cavity as well as one small incision on the underside of the nose, in the tissue that separates the nostrils known as the columella.

After surgery, you may have nasal packs in both nostrils that are removed before discharge from the hospital. If a silicone splint has been placed in your nostrils, this will come out in five to seven days. The external splint on your nose remains for approximately 10 days.

Bruising and swelling are to be expected after rhinoplasty, but we will provide you with instructions to help you minimise those side effects. Most of our patients take one to two weeks off work and other activities to give the nose ample time to heal. Full results will take longer to visualise since swelling can take many months to subside completely.

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

The following steps will help you ensure a safe and comfortable recovery after your rhinoplasty:

  • You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital and provide support and assistance at home for the first few days.
  • Following a general anaesthetic, patients often feel washed out and tired. Ensure that you can get plenty of rest and eat a healthy, balanced diet to aid in a rapid recovery.
  • Do not smoke, as this will delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • Try to sleep slightly elevated on at least two pillows to reduce pain and swelling at night. You can lie on your back or side, depending on what is more comfortable for you.
  • You are likely to experience temporary pain, bruising and swelling. We will provide you with pain medication upon discharge, which you should take as prescribed for the first few days to keep discomfort to a minimum. Please do not drink alcohol when taking these medications.
  • You are likely to be comfortable in social situations by around two weeks after your procedure. Some patients will bruise more severely than others and take a bit longer.

Wound Care

A crucial element in a positive recovery is your attentiveness to caring for your incisions:

  • Keep the nasal splint and nose dry
  • Sniff through your nose as required, but do not blow your nose.  Nasal secretions can be swallowed or spat out into tissues.  Sniffing firmly will not hurt your nose; the air is good!
  • Keep your nostrils clean. Moistened cotton-buds can be inserted into the lateral nostril region, then twisted gently upwards towards the tip and out.  The cleaning movement is gentle and cleans as the bud is coming out.  If you have plastic splints in place, these should not be poked or moved.  If your nose gets blocked or scabby, do not try to pick out the blockage.
  • The splint is very important for keeping the nose in position during the healing process and must not be removed before seeing your surgeon at your follow-up appointment.

Follow-up and Review

At Niche Plastic Surgery, we take your follow-up care seriously because we know how vital it is for a safe and successful recovery process and the best possible results. Your follow-up process will include the following steps:

  • At the time of your discharge, you will have your first follow-up appointment times and locations confirmed. These appointments will typically be scheduled around five days and then 10 days post-surgery.
  • Please ensure that you have the contact details for Niche Plastic Surgery handy, and the after-hours contact information for your surgeon. You can call at any time if you have any questions or concerns.

We would always want to know if:

  • You have increased swelling and bruising of your face or nose and worsening pain
  • You have increasing redness around the surgical wound
  • You have any side effects to the medications such as a skin rash, nausea, headaches or vomiting.
  • You feel unwell with a fever and increased temperature
  • You have any bleeding or discharge

It is important to remember that your nose will continue to change over the course of the year. You will have a good idea of its ultimate shape by two months post procedure, but the final result won’t be evident for approximately 12 months.

Rhinoplasty is one of the most requested plastic surgery procedures because even minor adjustments to the nose can have a profound impact on your overall appearance and function. To learn more about the benefits of rhinoplasty or find out if you are a candidate for the procedure, contact Niche Plastic Surgery today on 9853 9705.