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What is Rhinoplasty – your questions answered

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures here in the UK, with around 4,000 ‘nose jobs’ undertaken each year. It’s one of the areas in which our lead surgeon, James Murphy, specialises. Here, Mr Murphy answers some of the most common questions his patients ask about rhinoplasty.

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Why do people have rhinoplasty?

There are lots of reasons why people become unhappy with the shape of their nose. Some patients have suffered an injury and wish to look more like their ‘old selves’. For many, however, it’s the result of a lifelong dislike of the shape of their nose, and they decide to make a change once and for all.

The nose is, of course, a prominent part of the face so can have a severe impact on self-confidence.

What does the surgery involve?

The surgical technique will vary from patient to patient depending upon the results they wish to achieve. Most operations are carried out within the nose, though more complicated cases may require what is known as an ‘open’ procedure on the outside of the nasal area.

Usually, incisions are made inside the nostrils or at the base of the nose, providing access to the cartilage and bone, which can then be sculpted into shape. When the surgery is complete, a splint is applied to help the nose maintain its new shape. Nasal packs or soft plastic splints may be placed inside the nostrils to stabilise the septum, the dividing wall between nasal passages.

Rhinoplasty usually involves a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital.

How long does recovery take?

Again, this varies from patient to patient. Dressings will need to be worn for at least a week after surgery, and then there will be swelling and bruising for a few weeks. For this reason, many people take at least one and sometimes two weeks off work after rhinoplasty. It may be several months before the nose settles down into its new shape.

How painful is nose surgery?

Expect to feel some discomfort in the immediate aftermath of surgery, though we usually prescribe painkillers for when patients return home. After a couple of days, the discomfort usually subsides but you’ll need to take care not to bump your nose on anything, and to avoid the area when washing your face as it’s likely to be a bit tender and sore for a few weeks.

How can you be sure you’ll get the shape you want?

This is the main concern of most people before they undergo rhinoplasty and the key area of focus during our initial consultation. During this meeting, we will discuss in detail what you don’t like about your nose and the shape you wish to achieve. We will assess your nose and determine whether we can achieve the look you want so that you can decide whether surgery is, indeed, right for you.

What to do next

If you would like to discuss rhinoplasty at Manchester Plastic Surgery, please get in touch to arrange your initial consultation. We will be able to provide the information you need to decide whether surgery is the right step for you.

You can find out more on our Rhinoplasty pages and you may also like to read our Rhinoplasty Q&A.

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