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About Nose Surgery

Nose surgery, also known as rhinoplasty, nose reshaping or nose job.

Nose surgery, more commonly known as a nose job, is a cosmetic procedure that is used to correct and reconstruct the form and shape of the nose. It is used to resolve any nasal trauma, respiratory impediment or a congenital defect of the nose. Undergoing nose surgery can bring a better overall proportion with the rest of the face by altering size, shape, angle and aesthetic traits of the nose.

How is it performed?

Your surgeon will first numb the area before making incisions to access the cartilage and bones that support the nose. By removing or adding cartilage and bone and adjusting the supporting structure of the nose, the size and length of your nose can be dramatically altered.

Tip grafts made of cartilage can be used to remodel the tip of your nose making it more uplifted, shorter, longer or thinner. Your skin and other soft tissues adjust to assume the shape of the new underlying structure. Some patients require additional tissue fillers or fat grafts to increase volume in desired areas.

What will my nose surgery incisions and scars be like?
There are two general techniques for making the incisions.

  • Open rhinoplasty
    During an open rhinoplasty incisions are made on the outside of the nose, with a small access incision on the underside between the nostrils that connect with further incisions hidden inside the nose. Many surgeons advocate open rhinoplasty on the grounds that it fully opens the nose, allowing greater visualization of the nasal structures and a more direct route for surgical manipulation, the small scar is barely visible once it heals.
  • Endonasal rhinoplasty
    Incisions are made inside the nasal passages. These are hidden and become invisible after surgery. Surgeons advocate the endo-nasal approach on the grounds that it offers excellent visualization of nasal structures, permits a more limited dissection of the nasal tissues and eliminates the visible scar at the base of the nose.

What result can I expect?

Rhinoplasty procedures produce permanent results so it is important that you have very clear aesthetic goals when planning this procedure. Rhinoplasty procedures should not be performed until the nose has finished growing, usually by the ages of 17-18. If rhinoplasty is performed before development is complete, continued growth can change the outcome of your surgery, causing potential problems and complications.



  • The shape angle and size of your nose will be improved.
  • Structural problems that restrict breathing and cause congestion can be corrected.
  • Rhinoplasty can have a significant impact on your self-image and self-confidence.
  • Results are permanent


  • Depending on the type of surgery you may develop scars at the base of your nose.
  • You may have skin problems or breakdown of skin tissue associated with the use of grafting materials.
  • It will take time to adjust to your new look.


After surgery you may need to wear a nasal splint over your nose for support. This will shield your nose from accidental bumps and protect it while you sleep. There may also be a small, triangular bandage beneath the tip of your nose. Nasal packing will be placed inside your nose for additional support, acting as an internal splint and keeping the airway clean and free of crusts.

Adjusting to the nasal packing can sometimes be difficult as many people are not comfortable with the idea of anything being put in their noses. Some surgeons will insert a small tube in each airway to ensure the patient can breathe freely when the packing is in place.

Expect some bruising and swelling and possibly some discomfort. Your face will be puffy and the areas around your nose and eyes will be swollen and bruised after your surgery so you will have to limit your activities for the first few days.

Your aesthetic surgeon may recommend cold compresses to minimize the swelling and reduce any discomfort or pain. You need to keep your head elevated as much as possible and move it as little as possible for the first few days after surgery. Your doctor can prescribe a pain medication to deal with any pain if you experience it.

Recovery Time 
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your physician. This will usually include information about which compression garments to wear, how to take care of your drains, how to take any antibiotics or painkillers, if prescribed, and the level of activity that is safe for you to undertake. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms and how to spot any signs of complications.

It is important to realize everyone’s body is different and so the amount of time it takes to recover varies between individuals. You will need to wait several weeks before you can engage in exercise.

All surgical packing within your nose will be removed within the first week of surgery. Any splints and bandages on your nose will be removed by the end of the first two weeks and it will take about the same amount of time before the worst of the swelling and bruising subsides.Your return to work depends largely on how much exertion your job requires. Most normal activities can usually be resumed within three weeks. You should still avoid straining, bending, strenuous exercise and lifting until your plastic surgeon has said it is safe to do so.

Some minor swelling of your nose may persist for up to a year, but usually this will not be noticeable to others. It will be a few months before you can expose your reshaped nose to direct sunlight and it may be a number of weeks before you can wear glasses without special support such as tape if the bones in your nose were altered.

Limits & Risks

Fortunately, significant complications from rhinoplasty are infrequent. Your specific risks for rhinoplasty will be discussed during your consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.

Some potential complications of all surgeries are:

  • Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures.
  • Blood clots in your legs or lungs

Questions on Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty, Nose Reshaping or Nose Job)

What's the recovery time for a nose job?
I want to have a nose job (i think it's called a rhinoplasty) but I'm worried that it will take too...
If you've had a rhinoplasty is it possible to do a redo without surgery again? Perhaps with fillers?
I had a rhinoplasty done a few years ago and am unsatisfied with what the results were. The surgeon...
What are the potential risks and complications of rhinoplasty?
What are the potential risks and complications of rhinoplasty?...
Could my ongoing nasal congestion be helped with rhinoplasty?
I suffer with allergies and colds, but even when they aren't too severe I get lots of nasal congesti...