Commonly referred to as nose reshaping, rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure used to improve the function or appearance of the human nose.
Depending on how extensive the work being done is, rhinoplasty can be performed under a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic. It is also sometimes combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures, such as chin augmentation.
Rhinoplasty can alter the shape, size and length of the nose, and scarring is extremely minimal. It is also often performed after the nose is damaged through injury. Patients must extensively discuss their expectations and desires with their surgeon prior to undergoing rhinoplasty, to ensure that the correct end result is achieved.
Rhinoplasty can be performed for both functional and aesthetic reasons, either to aid breathing or to improve the way the nose looks. There are two different main types of surgery - open approach and closed approach.
Closed rhinoplasty - incisions are made inside the nostrils.
Open rhinoplasty - an incision is also made in the bottom of the columella, the bit of skin that separates the nostrils.
The changes made to the shape of the nose during rhinoplasty can be achieved by adding or removing bone or cartilage. Tissue and synthetic materials can also be implanted to alter the nose's appearance.
Consultation and aftercare for rhinoplasty treatments
The surgery is typically straightforward and surprisingly painless. While some swelling and bruising is to be expected, rhinoplasty patients normally appreciate a change straight away - although it can take up to a year for the nose to assume its final shape.
As with all surgery, there are some risks associated with rhinoplasty. Therefore, it is important that patients see qualified surgeons and undergo a proper consultation where their surgeon is likely to take an X-ray to better see the bone structure of the face.