Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Noses come in all shapes and sizes, and not all are in harmony with the rest of the face. These changes can be due to the way that the nose has developed, or may have changed following an accident. Some people are unhappy with the size and shape of their nose, others may have difficulty breathing due to an abnormality of the air passages inside the nose. Dr Woods only performs surgery when there is a functional medical problem with breathing difficulty, or where deformity occurs from injury or birth abnormality.

A Rhinoplasty (Nose job operation) is an operation undertaken to alter the size and shape of the nose, and if necessary, to improve the nasal air passages to allow more air to pass through the nose. An incision is hidden inside the nostrils, with a small scar externally across the bridge of skin between the nostrils, to allow access to the structure of the nose underneath. This is made up of a complex of bone at the top and cartilage lower down. Most procedures require some modification of this structure, whether smoothing down a hump on the top of the nose, a controlled fracture to straighten the nose, or work on the nasal tip to refine the shape. Procedures to alter the airway passages are performed on the structures inside the nose, most commonly with straightening of the nasal septum (the central cartilage partition between the two nasal passages). The wounds are sutured carefully closed and usually a plaster splint is placed to hold the new shape change following the operation, and reduce swelling. The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and usually requires an overnight stay in hospital, though sometimes can be performed as day surgery.

Rhinoplasty is a commonly performed cosmetic procedure with high patient satisfaction and low complication rates. When the nasal abnormality has occurred following an injury or causes airflow obstruction, your procedure should be partially rebatable by all leading private health funds. It is important to obtain a referral from your family doctor to be eligible for this.

Am I suitable for Rhinoplasty?

Many people are good candidates for surgery to alter the shape and function of the nose. Individual suitability is a matter for you to discuss with Dr Woods during your clinical consultation. During this consultation, Dr Woods will discuss with you the particular type of rhinoplasty operation that will best address your particular concerns.

What are the benefits of Rhinoplasty?

This surgery aims to change the shape of your nose to suit your desired appearance. The procedure can be very successful at improving the balance and proportion between the nose and the rest of the face, and can aid patient confidence and self-esteem.

Where are the scars?

The scars are mostly hidden within the nostrils, though a small scar may be necessary across the skin bridge between the nostrils -this usually fades well and is rarely visible when the scars have fully matured.

Is the procedure painful?

Rhinoplasty is not usually a particularly painful procedure-strong pain killers and local anaesthetic injections are given during the procedure to provide initial relief. It is not uncommon to feel some discomfort in the nasal area in the first day or two, and strong analgesic tablets can be provided if needed. On discharge from hospital, pain can usually be managed with simple analgesics like paracetamol.

How long does it take to recover from surgery?

Often people will feel more tired than usual for the first couple of weeks after surgery. It is not uncommon for bruising and swelling to last for several weeks after surgery. Your splint will be removed after one week. Most people feel able to return to work after 3 weeks, but need to refrain from contact sports for at least 3 months.

When will I notice the results and how long will they last?

Some improvement will be noticed when the splint is removed a week after the surgery. The nasal appearance will steadily improve following this as bruising and swelling dissipates. An appreciation of the final result may take several months, as swelling in the nasal area can linger longer than other areas.

Will I be told the risks and complications?

All operations have a risk of complications, however major complications are rare after rhinoplasty. During your initial consultation, Dr Woods will have a thorough discussion with you about the risks and complications of surgery. Fortunately with careful selection of the correct procedure for the specific patient's concerns, risks can be kept to a minimum. You can be reassured that Dr Woods will only recommend surgery if he feels that the benefits of the procedure substantially outweigh the risks.

Important Note when Choosing Your Surgeon

In Australia, just about anyone with a standard medical degree is allowed to perform cosmetic surgery. In fact, currently there is no legislation to stop any doctor from calling themselves a 'surgeon', even without formal surgical training.

Your only safeguard is to look for the letters FRACS under a doctor's name and check that they are affiliated with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), as only fully qualified plastic surgeons have these titles and memberships. They confirm that your doctor has completed many years (at least 10 years) of training and examinations in surgery -far beyond the medical school period.