Because it is the central feature of the face, the nose often attracts unwanted attention. A particularly large or very crooked nose cannot be easily concealed in the way other imperfections of the body can be. This problem, which is generally regarded as a cosmetic flaw, can develop into a real psychological burden for many people. However, if they decide to have correction surgery, (rhinoplasty) they will soon be able to (quite literally) breathe easy again.
Often there will be medical problems in addition to any aesthetic flaw (e.g. impaired breathing due to narrowing of the partition between the nostrils). This can be corrected during the same surgical procedure. Reconstructive nasal surgery also includes various corrective procedures, which might be indicated as a result of an accident or congenital abnormalities. Complex reconstructive techniques are required in the case of open injuries to the nose, where the skin is destroyed as a result of an accident, thereby exposing the underlying cartilage and bone structure. These techniques are also used to correct malformations such as a cleft nose, as well as cleft lip, jaw and palate and the nasal problems associated with these conditions.
Common procedures in nasal surgery include septorhinoplasty, rhinoplasty, nasal reshaping, correction of nasal humps, tip rhinoplasty and nose reconstruction.
The operation - rhinoplasty
On the day of your rhinoplasty you will arrive at the Pyramid Clinic one and a half to two hours before your scheduled surgery. Our nursing staff and your specialist will prepare you for the surgery and will explain the planned anaesthetic procedure.
Rhinoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about two hours. It may be performed as an outpatient procedure in the Day Clinic or as an inpatient procedure, i.e. with an overnight stay at the Pyramid Clinic.
A rhinoplasty usually leaves a small scar on the base of the nose, or no visible scar at all, if the procedure is performed inside the nostril using the “closed” method. The skin of the nose is separated from its supporting framework of bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to give the desired profile and shape. To achieve this, the nose is packed with gauze strips (a tamponade) and stabilised with an external plaster cast.
Follow-up care - rhinoplasty
The tamponade is removed after two to five days and the plaster cast after one week. Afterwards your new nasal profile will be clearly visible, although some swelling caused by the surgery will still be evident at this stage. In the weeks that follow, this swelling will gradually disappear. The final results of the rhinoplasty can only be gauged after several months. It is also quite normal for the contour of your nose to change slightly within the first year following surgery. In rare cases some further corrective surgery may be required as a result.
You should avoid any sport or other strenuous activity for at least four weeks.
Situation before surgery
The unwanted hump is surgically removed
The profile now matches the rest of the face
Facts and figures
1 to 2 hours, under general anaesthetic
Outpatient or 1 night at the clinic
The tamponade is removed 2 to 5 days after surgery, and the plaster cast is removed after about 1 week
Back to school or work
Resume after 4 to 6 weeks