Rhinoplasty, or surgery to reshape the nose is taken from the Latin word Rhino (meaning nose) and plasty (Greek for molding or forming). It is a medical procedure that reshapes the nose for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes by reshaping the cartilage, bone and sometimes the soft tissues of the nose. It's most commonly referred to as a "nose job."
Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between your nose and your upper lip. It can also restore proper functioning of the nose in the case of injury or abnormalities of the nasal cavities. rhinoplasty ensures that a patient will be able to breathe through both nostrils.
Prior To Rhinoplasty Surgery
It's important to make sure you prepare well and follow any advice given at your consultation. If you smoke, it's a good idea to stop a few days beforehand, to minimise the risk of developing chest problems or a wound infection. If you feel unwell on the day, then it's better to postpone your surgery until you are recovered.
Because the procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, you must not eat or drink for up to six hours beforehand. You may need to wear compression socks during surgery, to prevent blood clots in your legs.
How Is Rhinoplasty Performed?
Rhinoplasty is performed using one of two techniques:1) The Open Technique or 2) The Closed Technique. Both techniques involve incisions made inside the nostrils, but the open technique makes a second incision in the fleshy skin between the nostrils. The operation usually takes around 1 to 2 hours to complete and can be performed with the patient having received either local or general anaesthetic.
Recovery From Rhinoplasty Surgery
During the surgery, the skin is separated and adjustments are made to the bone and cartilage. Bones may be broken or shaped depending on the patient's desired result which will take longer time to heal as a result. Throughout the rhinoplasty procedure cartilage may be trimmed, nasal passages packed and an external splint applied. These nasal packs are removed within 24 hours but the splint is worn for about a week.
Post surgery patients must rest with their head elevated and avoid any strenuous activity for at least two weeks. Any contact sport should be avoided for up to six weeks. Most patients can resume their regular routines after a couple of days and can even return to work within a week.
Following The Operation
The general anaesthetic may cause you to feel drowsy and disorientated for a few hours after your surgery. You will be given pain relief to keep you comfortable once the anaesthetic wears off. You will have swelling (and perhaps bruising) around your nose and eyes which can take up to three weeks to reduce.
There may be splints inside and outside your nose to keep everything firmly in place, and this may feel a bit strange. Dissolvable stitches will disintegrate after a few days without needing to be removed.
You may also have your nostrils packed with dressings to minimise the risk of bleeding, which might feel uncomfortable, especially as you won't be able to breathe through your nose. If your lips get dry, you could use lip salve or petroleum jelly to moisten them.
Recovering At Home
Your care team will give you advice about how to manage your recovery after you leave hospital.
You will need support for a day or two. You won't be able to drive, so arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home, and for someone to stay with you for at least 24 hours. The effects of the anaesthetic may take a while to leave your system, so avoid activities such as driving and drinking alcohol at first.
Keeping your head elevated will help you recover more quickly and feel more comfortable. It's important to take care of your wounds, so keep the area dry and avoid doing anything which could cause trauma, such as blowing your nose, or removing any scabs or crusty material. If you need to sneeze, don't try to block it, but sneeze naturally. Don't participate in any strenuous activities or contact sports for at least six weeks.
You can probably return to work within a few days, but you may prefer to allow a couple of weeks to allow you to recover more fully.
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Why Have The Procedure?
Having a nose that stands out as abnormally large/small, twisted, or disproportionate can cause anxiety, distress, social trauma and low self-esteem. Besides, a nose that is too small, or has internal structures that limit breathing capacity can be altered by rhinoplasty surgery to improve function and relieve breathing. Apart from correcting deformities people were born with or have acquired due to injury or because of serious breathing problems/obstacles in the nose causing headache, or sinus problems, there are others turning to nose jobs for aesthetic reasons; to improve the shape or size of the nose to improve their looks. Whatever the reason, the goal of rhinoplasty nose surgery is to improve the existing condition and bring either form or function of their nose in to line with the patient’s needs.
Potential Side Effects Of Surgery
After rhinoplasty surgery, there are no visible scars except in case of narrowing of flared nostrils. However even with this specific procedure these scars will completely disappear a few months after the surgery has been performed.
On the other hand, rhinoplasty complications range from serious ones such as infection, bad reaction to anaesthesia, loss of sense of smell, and excessive bleeding to just not liking how the new nose looks. In rare cases, the scar tissue may heal in a way that may cause a whistling sound when breathing in and out which although not painful, can be very annoying.
Risks and complications include infection and heavy nose bleeds. Patients can also experience a loss of sensation or loss of smell for a period of time which can sometimes be permanent. Some patients also experience difficulty breathing through the nose and may require further surgery to correct this after the healing process is complete.
Rhinoplasty in London and the UK
The cost of rhinoplasty surgery can vary for each individual based on a variety of factors including where in the country you live, as well as the type of hospital or private health clinic you choose. For example if a potential Rhinoplasty patient was considering undergoing surgery at one of the many well-established clinics dotted around London then this will obviously cost more than having the same treatment at a smaller rurally based clinic.
It also depends on what procedure(s) you are going for as typically it could cost anywhere from £3200 to £5000, depending on the clinic. However as with other types of cosmetic surgery, price alone should not be considered as the sole factor when deciding where to undergo rhinoplasty surgery. The experience of the acting surgeon, their track record, the clinic reputation, and aftercare available should be all taken in to account when weighing up the various options available.
Financing Rhinoplasty Surgery
Certain clinics offer services for people with bad credit. There vary, but typically are:
- Low monthly payment plans: With a small deposit, you can choose low monthly payment options and spreading the cost from 2 to 5 years.
- 0% finance : Borrow from £500 to £10,000, over 12 months interest-free.
- Buy now pay later : You can take the surgery but have payment holiday for up to 6 months. After this period you can either pay off the whole amount or pay over 36 months at 15.9% APR.
Rhinoplasty Surgery on the NHS
Due to the way that NHS funds are allocated with the most urgent cases receiving priority, it is highly unlikely that the NHS will fund surgery performed for purely aesthetic reasons. Any potential patient considering cosmetic surgery should seek consultation from a health professional or their GP before committing to such a procedure. In this consultation a medical professional will be able to explain the strict criteria required by the NHS to be considered for funding and whether the patient meets these.