What to consider before deciding to have rhinoplasty done
Before going ahead with the procedure, it is strongly advisable to consider the following:
- Self-image: The nose is a prominent feature on your face and has a big impact on your appearance. If your nose is the source of a low self-image, rhinoplasty can help to improve your levels of self-esteem or self-confidence. As the procedure is a cosmetic alteration it is very important to ensure that you have clear and realistic expectations of the surgery and what it can and can’t achieve. Most who are happy with their results were clear about their expectations, happy within themselves and with their surgeon beforehand.
- Anaesthetic: A general anaesthetic will sedate you to the point of unconsciousness (being deeply asleep). You will not feel anything during the surgery procedure, hear anything happening around you or be able to recall anything about the operation (during and shortly after) process. If you elect to have a local anaesthetic, you will not be completely sedated and will be able to hear your surgical team and the sounds associated with working on the bones and cartilage of your nose. If this makes you uncomfortable, this means of sedation may not be a good option for you. Local anaesthetic will only be an option for simpler procedures. If you are comfortable with this, it is best to prepare yourself ahead of time for what you may be exposed to.
- Medical health insurance: Unless your procedure is being done for medical reasons (to correct a functional problem or impairment, or defect caused by injury or disease such a deviated septum or similar), a medical health insurance company will likely regard the surgery as purely cosmetic and may not cover the cost at all. Some insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost. Costs will include the surgeon’s fee, operating facility fees, the anaesthesiologist, medicines, splints and other services or materials. If your healthcare system requires you to be financially responsible for all medical consultations and procedures, it is strongly advisable to check your policy and enquire what your health insurance will or won’t cover before going ahead with the procedure.
Risk factors and complications
Infection, excessive bleeding or an adverse reaction to anaesthetic (or irritation from the surgical tape or bandaging) are some of the more common rhinoplasty complications which can occur during (or soon after) the surgery.
This procedure may also increase your risk of:
- Nosebleeds (these can be recurring)
- A numb nose (in and around the nose. This can be permanent)
- Injury or holes to your septum, known as septal perforation (the wall that separates the nostrils)
- An asymmetrical nose (uneven-looking)
- Difficulties with breathing and nasal blockage (caused by swelling inside the nose)
- Skin necrosis (breakdown of skin tissue)
- Persistent pain, discolouration or swelling
There is some degree of risk that you may not be satisfied with the results of your surgery. A second surgery may only be considered once the nose has fully healed, in this case.