How is the procedure done?
A rhinoplasty procedure will be done in a hospital or other outpatient surgical facility. In some cases, an overnight stay may be required. Local or general anaesthetic will be used and will depend on the simplicity or complexity of the procedure.
For simpler procedures, a local anaesthetic may be used to numb the nose area and surrounding areas of the face (injected into the nasal tissues). Medication may also be administered through an IV line (intravenously) through a vein in the arm. This may not put you to sleep, but will likely make you feel a little groggy.
A general anaesthetic is usually preferred for complex procedures or if the patient is a child, and will either be inhaled or administered through and IV line.
Once numb or unconscious, your plastic surgeon will make incisions (cuts) between or inside your nostrils (less visible), or through an external incision at the base of the nose, and begin separating the skin from the cartilage or bone that normally supports the structure. Reshaping can begin from there.
There is no set series of steps to this procedure. Each surgery is customised to a patient’s specific anatomy and desired results. Bone and cartilage may be removed, or tissue may be added. How the reshaping takes place depends on the desired effect by both the patient and the surgeon, as well as available materials and how much needs to be added or removed.
Additional cartilage (in a small amount) may be needed for additional structure support during the procedure and may be harvested from deeper inside the nose or from the ear. If this is necessary, your surgeon may insert an implant (or synthetic filler) or a bone graft (additional bone added to your own bone in the nose, sourced from your rib or bone from others parts of the body).
Once the re-shaping is complete and the skin and tissue has been re-draped over the new nose structure, your surgeon will place a splint (metal or plastic) on the outside of the nose to support the new shape. This will be left in place during the recovery period.
Nasal packs or splints may also be placed inside the nostrils to stabilise the septum. If all goes well, the procedure generally takes between 1 and 2 hours. More complex procedures can take a little longer. Once inside the recovery room, a medical care team will monitor your return to consciousness. This can take up to a few hours following surgery. If there are any health concerns, you may be required to stay on for a day or two, otherwise you will be able to return home the same day.