Rhinoplasty (nasal reshaping)
Operation | Follow-up care | Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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
Can I choose my own preferred nose shape?
Correction of the nasal profile will be discussed with you and carefully planned with the help of photographs. Requests for a preferred size or shape will naturally be taken into account wherever technically possible. However, it is important that the shape chosen is in keeping with the rest of your face and in proportion to your other facial features.
Do I need to tell you about any medication I am taking?
It is extremely important in every case that you advise the specialist treating you of any illnesses and any medication you may be taking. For two weeks before surgery you must not take any medication containing aspirin (e.g. Aspirin, Aspégic etc.). These medications may lead to excessive bleeding during the operation and delay the post-operative healing process. The specialist may decline to go ahead with the rhinoplasty at any time if an increased risk is posed as a result of medication taken before the operation.
What are the risks associated with a rhinoplasty?
As a general rule, any operation carries with it certain risks (e.g. intolerance of certain medication, bruising, delayed healing, inflammation, scar problems or loss of normal sensation). This all depends on the individual’s general state of health. The specialist will discuss any potential risks with you as part of the consultation process and in preparation for surgery.
Rhinoplasty can lead to swelling and bruising in the area around the eyes and cheeks. This will go down within a period of five to ten days. In rare cases, visible irregularities on the bridge of the nose or further breathing difficulties associated with renewed narrowing of the septum may occur. Additional surgery will be required in these cases.
When will I be able to socialise again?
This depends on how quickly you heal and how soon you wish to be seen. The plaster will be removed after one week, and usually you will be able to socialise again as early as this. The swelling caused by the surgery will be scarcely visible but you will still feel it. It may take up to six months or, in rare cases, somewhat longer, before everything has fully healed. The discoloration visible in the first few weeks will disappear after a short time.
When will I be able to play sport again?
You should not play any sport for at least four weeks following a rhinoplasty.
How much does rhinoplasty cost?
The cost for rhinoplasty depends on the type and scope of the surgical procedure involved and can only be determined as part of a private consultation and medical examination. In total you can expect to pay around 12,000 Swiss francs. The preliminary consultation is 200 Swiss francs.
Is rhinoplasty covered by health insurance?
In the case of a cosmetically motivated rhinoplasty (cosmetic surgery), the cost will not be covered by health insurance. In the case of medically necessary rhinoplasty (e.g. when breathing is impaired as a result of curvature of the nasal septum), the costs will be partly or fully covered by health insurance. If the rhinoplasty is accident-related, the operation may be covered by an accident insurance provider. However, any partial or full cover of costs by your health or accident insurance company will be dependent on a comprehensive medical assessment.
Our doctors have many years of experience. We guarantee rapid, expert investigation and advice. Treatment is provided using the most up-to-date equipment and facilities. You are also welcome to ask us for a second opinion.
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