Rhinoplasty is any surgery to reshape the nose.
It is one of the most common plastic surgical procedures, but also one which requires a lot of training and planning to get just right.
Rhinoplasty aims to increase or decrease the overall size of the nose, alter the bridge or tip’s shape, narrow the nostrils’ span, or change the angle between the upper lip and the nose.
The key to an excellent rhinoplasty is to achieve a natural and sustainable look.
Once you have described your preferred shape or rather the aspects of your nose that bother you, I will evaluate the anatomy of the perceived problem, and go through the operative steps that are needed to achieve your desired outcome.
I use advanced 3D computer generated imaging (not Photoshop) to try and simulate the predicted post-operative result. During your consultation we will go through your 3D image and, using my simulation software, plan your operation and likely post-operative result. I find using the simulation is a far more reliable and reproducible tool than showing you other patients’ before and after photographs, or using Photoshop.
More importantly, during the consultation process I get a sense of your surgical goals through the changes you wish to make to your 3D model. Today, attention should be placed on understanding your surgical goals and planning the procedure together.
Rhinoplasty can be performed using either a closed or open technique. The major difference between these is that the open technique involves a little incision on the outside of the nose. As a general rule, if you need any work done on your nasal tip I use the open technique.
Rhinoplasty surgery is a highly individualised operation and should always be customised to you, the patient. Predicting which approach and rhinoplasty technique would be best is very complicated and it is best done in person with me or a plastic surgeon you are comfortable with.
During the initial consultation I use 3D simulation software to help plan the operation, and with the animated models, I will attempt to predict the likely post-operative result. I admit 3D simulation may not be 100% accurate and results may slightly vary from simulated images, but it is the most precise tool we have to predict outcome at this point. It is far more reliable than showing you other patients’ before/after photographs or using Photoshop. More importantly, 3D technology is a great communication tool between me and you.
How long does it take to recover from a rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty surgery is performed under general anaesthetic either as a day case or with an overnight stay. Patients will usually take 1-2 weeks off work. During this recovery time, you will wear a splint down the length of the nose; this is done to support the new shape of your nose. If there is any work done to the septum, internal splints are also placed. In the immediate post-operative period I prescribe nasal sprays to help with the inflammation and also to prevent drying up of the mucosal lining.
What are the potential risks and complications of rhinoplasty?
Modern surgical procedures are generally safe, but there is still a potential risk of complications.
Complications and risks associated with nasal surgery include:
- Excessive bleeding from site of incision
- Infection which may require antibiotics or in some cases, additional surgery
- Formation of a blood clot under the site of the incision which then requires drainage
- Bruising, pain and swelling around the incision and around the eyes
- Itchy, unsightly and annoying scars known as hypertrophic and keloid scars, which form over the incision.
- Longer healing time, especially if you are a diabetic or a smoker
- Wound edges may separate
- Nausea and vomiting may occur for a short time following the general anaesthesic
- Once the swelling and bruising subsides, you may experience an altered sensation in your nose
- Ongoing pain from the nasal bone
- Temporary numbness in the upper front teeth
- Dark circles may appear on the skin under the eyes and may last for about six months or longer
- You may have an impaired sense of smell
- Slight swelling of the tip of the nose may last for a few months, especially if the open technique has been used
- If an implant is inserted, it may extrude through the skin or into the nose
- The nose may flatten as a result of weak underlying supporting structures
- Narrowing of the major airways, which may cause breathing difficulties when breathing through the nose
- Revision surgery may be required if the appearance or function of the nose is unsatisfactory
How much does rhinoplasty cost?
Rhinoplasty surgery is covered by most private health insurance. Review your policy carefully to determine what is covered.
Costs associated with a rhinoplasty varies between: $14,000-$16,000 depending on a number of factors:
- Anaesthetist’s fees
- Private hospital or day surgical facility fees
- Your level of private insurance cover
- Need for other facial plastic surgical procedures, such as eyelid rejuvenation, facelift, neck lift or brow lift.
- Surgical assistant’s fee