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Rhinoplasty is a term which covers several procedures to reshape the nose. Surgery can be used to alter the height, length and width of the nose; to straighten a bent nose; to change the shape of the bridge-line, tip or nostrils and/or alter the angle between the upper lip and nose. Sometimes, breathing difficulties can be corrected at the same time.
Rhinoplasty may be performed for cosmetic and or functional reasons which may arise from normal variations and deformities of the nose after trauma.
Common problems leading to a request for rhinoplasty include prominent dorsal hump, wide bridge and/or wide tip, the long nose, the large nose.
Most surgeons prefer to carry out rhinoplasty under general anesthesia.
LENGTH OF OPERATION
1 – 2 hours
TIME IN HOSPITAL
Usually an overnight stay
POSTOPERATIVE DISCOMFORT & LIMITATIONS
Pain is usually mild and can be controlled by simple pain-killers. There is some discomfort because packs prevent breathing through the nose. There will be bruising and swelling especially around the eyes. Bruising may take 2-3 weeks to settle and most swelling has gone by this time. A small amount of residual swelling may exist for several months. The splint is left in place for 7-14 days.
The nose should not be blown, nor crusts removed from inside the nose for about two weeks. The nose will be numb and feel “stiff” for several months following rhinoplasty
TIME OFF WORK
It is possible to return to work after a few days. However, in view of the bruising, swelling and splint, most will stay off work for about 2 weeks until bruising has settled.
RISKS & COMPLICATIONS
The most common problem after rhinoplasty is an unsatisfactory cosmetic result – about 10% of patients are not happy with the result. Heavy bleeding may occasionally occur after rhinoplasty. Infection is very unusual and responds to antibiotics if recognized early enough. Difficulty with nasal breathing is common in the first few weeks following rhinoplasty. This usually settles with time.
About 10% of patients are not happy with some aspect of the result following rhinoplasty. In most of these cases, it is possible for the surgeon to carry out a second operation to try and correct the residual problems. This second operation should wait until all swelling has settled and the suppleness has returned to the tissues of the nose – this is usually after one year.