Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty)

Rhinoplasty is an operation that may reshape the nose: it can reduce or increase the size, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils or change the angle between the nose and the upper lip. The operation can also resolve airway problems or fix obvious deformities as a result of trauma.

Who is suitable for rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is often undertaken on patients for cosmetic reasons, to enhance appearance, reduce or re-shape the nose to increase self-confidence and self-esteem. Rhinoplasty can provide an improvement or enhance your nose, but it cannot provide an “ideal” nose.

Rhinoplasty can also be used to correct birth defects or improve breathing difficulties caused by natural obstructions in the nose. Your doctor might recommend rhinoplasty if your have difficulty breathing because of restricted nasal passages or excess nasal cartilage.

What to expect at the initial consultation

At a first consultation, I will ask you to tell me in your own words what you wish to change about your appearance. It is important to be honest and forthright as surgery is always tailored to your specific needs and expectations. Do bear in mind, however, that it is not possible to achieve unrealistic expectations.

In addition, I will take a full medical history, including any previous surgery, cosmetic or non-cosmetic, previous hospitalisation, chronic medical problems, medication and allergies, whether you smoke or not, the reasons for wanting the procedure and your goals and aspirations.

The examination will concentrate on your proposed treatment, but will also assess your general fitness and suitability for surgery. Routine photographs will be taken. Following the assessment, I will discuss all available options and formulate an operative plan, including what type of surgery and anaesthesia will be used, the venue for surgery and costs. Any risks and possible complications will also be discussed with you.

It is important that you are clear about what your surgery will entail. Well-informed patients cope better with surgery and you have the right to ask any questions you want and expect your surgeon to answer with honesty and without the use of jargon. Consent for surgery will also be taken.

Where does the surgery take place?

We can arrange for you to be admitted as an inpatient to either:

  • Parkside Hospital, Wimbledon, SW19
  • St Anthony’s Hospital, Cheam, Surrey
  • The New Victoria Hospital, Kingston, Surrey

A consultant anaesthetist will meet you prior to surgery. The surgery itself will take approximately two hours and you will need to stay in hospital overnight. Depending on what type of nasal surgery you have, you may need to wear a splint on your nose for the first week after your operation.

What can go wrong?

If performed by a fully qualified and accredited plastic surgeon in a proper operating theatre under sterile conditions on a relatively fit and healthy patient, rhinoplasty is a safe procedure. In general, complications are rare. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks and complications and these will be explained to you at your consultation. Possible risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Breathing and smelling difficulties
  • Minor skin changes – especially after secondary rhinoplasty
  • Asymmetry
  • Swelling
  • Poor scars

How long does it take to recover?

You should be able to go home the day after your surgery, although please arrange for someone to collect you as you will not be able to drive yourself. You may need to wear a splint on your nose to maintain the new shape. This will be applied in the operating theatre and secured with tape. You may have packs inserted into each nostril, but these will be removed before you are discharged from hospital.

It is advisable to make arrangements for help at home during your convalescence, which should be at least 1-2 weeks, especially if you have young children. Swelling and bruising may increase over the first 2-3 days before it starts to reduce. Cold compresses can be applied to make you feel more comfortable, and sitting in an upright position will help to reduce the swelling. If you have stitches, these will be removed by me approximately one week after surgery, along with any splints and dressings.

Return to work is usually after 1-2 weeks, depending on how you feel. Your nose and face may remain bruised and swollen for approximately two weeks, but this should gradually improve over this period. Less noticeable swelling will remain for several months after the surgery and is part of the healing process. You should be aware that it can take 12 months for the final result to be visible.

Contact sports should be avoided for 4-6 weeks following surgery, and strenuous activity should be avoided, as it may increase your blood pressure for approximately four weeks

How to book an appointment
Back to Treatments Page