Surgery to the nose can be both cosmetic or functional. The functional changes to the nose are usually around breathing and involve improving the airflow through both nostrils. The cosmetic changes to the nose usually involve changes to the bridge of the nose, tip shape and width or the tip position relative to the nostrils. Surgery usually involves a general anaesthetic, overnight stay in hospital. Access to the nose is either up through the nostrils or through the skin between the nostrils. This is called an open rhinoplasty and affords much better exposure to the structures providing support and shape to the nose. Once the changes have been made the wounds are closed and a nasal splint is applied. This is removed with any sutures at the first post-operative consultation at one week. The swelling to the nose takes about 6 weeks resolve, small improvements continuing to occur over the next 6 months. Risks are around changes in breathing, sense of smell, surface irregularities, overall shape and meeting the patient's expectations.
Patients seeking rhinoplasty usually have been thinking about it for a long time, and know exactly what they want. The skill within the consultation is to know whether what they want is something that is deliverable. This consultation more than any other will set these expectations. Multiple consultations are often needed to gauge the patient's understanding as to what they are being offered, and their buy in to this process. Time spent on the consultation process will result in a smooth operation and an acceptable outcome for the patient.
Surgery to the nose is called rhinoplasty. Used to correct breathing or shape. Usually a general anaesthetic. Overnight stay in hospital, splint worn for a week. Bruising around the eyes which resolves within 10 days.