Commonly asked questions on rhinoplasty
For commonly asked questions and answers on rhinoplasty please click on the sections below:
A rhinoplasty or nose job is a surgical procedure designed to reshape the nose. Common indications include making the nose smaller, reducing the bridge (hump) of the nose, narrowing the nose, making changes to the nasal tip, reducing the length of the nose or lifting a droopy tip. Rarely surgery is requested to augment a small nose. Surgery is often requested by patients who have previously fractured their nose.
As mentioned above, it is easier when you are clear about what it is you don’t like about your nose and when your concerns match the examination findings. We appreciate that it can be difficult to express exact concerns in many cases and we will often take photos during the consultation and upload them and have a discussion about what may or may not be correctable.
This is a common complaint and is usually correctable if it is caused by a deviated nasal septum. This is easy to assess for during the consultation and will be pointed out to you. Correction of a deviated nasal septum along with a cosmetic rhinoplasty is known as a septorhinoplasty.
We prefer to wait until patients are 17-18 years old and have completed the growth of their facial skeleton. It is crucial to consider an individual’s emotional and social maturity and to make sure that they fully understand the implications of rhinoplasty surgery. A commonly requested time for rhinoplasty is just prior to starting university.
No, as long as you are in good physical and mental health, age is not a factor. Rhinoplasty in the 40s and 50s is relatively common. However, it should be noted that the recovery period and swelling may last longer in older age groups.
If you do not like the way your nose looks and are willing to undergo a surgical procedure, and if you are in good physical and mental health, then it is worth having a consultation to discuss your concerns. During your consultation we will talk with you in detail and examine you. If we feel we can fulfil your expectations then we will let you know what can be achieved and what that involves.
On average around 50-60 rhinoplasties a year.
The majority of patients who have rhinoplasty surgery with us in Edinburgh are of Caucasian background but we also have a significant number of patients of Middle Eastern and Asian background.
We take a conservative approach to rhinoplasty avoiding the ‘done’ look and aiming to give a natural ‘unoperated’ appearance. We will be realistic and aim to give you the best idea of what can be achieved.
Yes. Some patients have kindly agreed to allow us to use their images on the website (rhinoplasty photos
) and many more patients are happy for their images to be viewed during the consultation. You will see a range of results.
If an open rhinoplasty is performed then there is a small scar visible on the under surface of the nose (across the columella). Scar quality varies from patient to patient and scars can take up to 18 months to settle. With closed rhinoplasty there are NO visible scars at all as surgery is performed via incisions on the inside of the nose.
Typical scars following open rhinoplasty
You should have some idea about what you would like changed about your nose. It may be useful to write down any questions you may have. We will need to know your past medical history, including any previous nasal surgery. Some patients do bring photos of the kind of noses they like. This can be useful in helping to assess your needs and expectations.
If your surgery involves tip work only (no bony work) then usually it is carried out as a day case and you can go home the same day as your surgery. If your rhinoplasty requires work on the bridge line (bony work) then you will require an overnight stay.
A general anaesthetic is used in our practice.
Depending on the complexity, 1-2 hours.
Open rhinoplasty – before and after. This patient requested subtle changes to decrease the projection of her nose and to change the relationship between the base of the nose and upper lip
Not usually. Typically there is not much in the way of pain post operatively. Most of our anaesthetists use total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) and generally there is little in the way of post operative nausea.
Yes. This is a commonly asked question and the concern is about pain when the packs are removed. We use soft packing which is removed 12 hours after surgery and causes little in the way of discomfort when removed at this stage.
We use a low profile aluminium splint whenever bony work has been carried out. If you only require work on the tip of the nose then a splint is not required. The splint is removed after 7 days.
Patients who have bony work carried out during a rhinoplasty will need to wear a splint for 7 days after their surgery. This patient had an open rhinoplasty so her sutures were removed at the same time that the splint came off. You can view the immediate post operative photos when the splint came off in our image gallery.
We suggest that patients take a 7-14 days off work depending on what they have had done (tip work only – few days; infractures – 2 weeks). For most patients, recovery is uneventful. Small amounts of bleeding are common, and your nose will be stuffy. Most patients are presentable in public after removal of the splint (7 days).
The final result is usually present by 6 months. The obvious major changes will be apparent immediately while the more subtle changes do take time to become apparent. Minor degrees of swelling can take months to fully settle down.