Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, is a surgery performed on the nose in order to improve its function or to change its appearance and shape. It is one of the most commonly performed types of plastic surgery.

Why is rhinoplasty done?

A rhinoplasty may be performed for cosmetic reasons, that is if a person is unhappy with the shape and size of their nose, and wants to change its appearance, or for medical reasons, like to improve breathing pattern or to correct a birth defect.
It is suggested to wait until the age of 16 when the nose has grown to its adult size, although it can be performed at an earlier age if it is done to correct a breathing difficulty.

What are its types?

The types of rhinoplasty vary according to the reason for which the surgery is being performed. Some of the types are-

  • To correct a birth deformity
  • To change the size of the nose- either increase or reduce it
  • If there is regular bleeding from the nose
  • Remove obstruction in the airways
  • Changing the size of the nostrils


How is it done?

Rhinoplasty can be performed as an outpatient procedure in a doctor’s office or in an operation theatre, depending on the complexity of the procedure. In case of a simple procedure, local anaesthesia is used which will allow the patient to remain awake and will numb the sensations of the nose.
Once the nose is numb, the surgeon makes a cut on the nose to separate the skin from the cartilage or bone and then begins the procedure of reshaping the nose.

How does the recovery take place?

Plastic or a metal splint is usually prescribed by the doctor after the surgery to avoid any movement of the nose. The splint also allows the nose to maintain a new shape while it recovers from the surgery. Keeping your head elevated is helpful in reducing swelling post-surgery. Your doctor may also suggest the use of nasal packs that stabilise the middle cartilaginous separation of the nose.
If it is an outpatient procedure, the patient is kept under observation for a couple of hours and then can be sent home the same day. In case of more complicated surgery, the patient may be asked to be admitted for 2-3 days after the operation.
Some of the activities that you should avoid doing after your surgery to promote complete recovery are:

  • Vigorous physical activity
  • Sleeping with head down
  • Harshly pulling clothes overhead
  • Using heavy glasses over the nose
  • Expressing too much using facial muscles
  • Chewing too hard


What are its risks?

Every surgical procedure has some risk associated with it. Some of the risks of rhinoplasty are:

  • Scar formation at the base of the nose
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Damage to an artery or vein
  • Damage to a nerve
  • Excessive swelling
  • Abnormal shaping of the nose
  • Prolonged numbness in the nose

Rhinoplasty is regarded as a relatively safe procedure and is widely performed throughout the world for various reasons. If you think you need to get this procedure done, you should approach your plastic surgeon who will design an optimal plan of treatment designed specifically to suit you.

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