Face Surgery

Rhinoplasty Melbourne

What is Rhinoplasty?

There are two basic reasons why a patient may want a rhinoplasty. These are functional breathing issues or appearance/aesthetic concerns. Often it will be a combination of the two.

Functional: Often patients have issues with breathing because of a history of trauma to the nose. Other causes may be related to the shape of their nose and airway at birth. Examples include cleft noses related to having a cleft lip and palate, syndromic concerns or just having a nose that doesn’t function well from the time they were born.

When assessing the nose for functional concerns we will also assess any areas of concern you may have with the appearance of your nose. 

Appearance: All noses are different, and the desired appearance comes down to personal preference. While what you desire may not always be possible it is a good idea to have a clear picture in mind of what you would like changed when you visit your surgeon. This will then allow a structured conversation about what is possible.

About the Rhinoplasty 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 a more accurate assessment of the nasal anatomy and subsequent reconstruction. 

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

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

After your surgery, you will usually have splints in and on your nose to help control swelling. These will be removed over the next 1-2 weeks. There will be some bruising, which will depend on how much work is needed to be done. The swelling decreases fairly rapidly but continues to decrease over the next 12 months. We don’t know the absolute final result until 12 months post-surgery.

The following steps will help you ensure a 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 takes 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 toward 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.

Call us to Discuss Your Rhinoplasty Options

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.  If you need more information or wish to schedule a consultation with one of our FRACS-qualified surgeons, call Niche Plastic Surgery on 9853 9705.


Rhinoplasty FAQs

How Complex is Rhinoplasty Surgery?

This is complex surgery, and you should ensure your surgeon does this operation frequently. If it is a revision rhinoplasty, (meaning the nose has already been operated on), then this is even more complex. There will be scarring, and usually already structural changes made to the underlying cartilage framework of the nose. Some of the things that bother you may be corrected but some may not. You need to discuss this with your surgeon. It is a good idea to make a list of the things you would like to discuss.