A rhinoplasty (or “nose job”) is the procedure to reshape the nose. The shape of the tip, the bridge and also the nostrils can be changed. It is a very common cosmetic procedure, and if combined with a septoplasty it can sometimes correct breathing difficulties. A nasal hump can be reduced with a rhinoplasty and a deviated nose and septum can be straightened. The result will depend on the size of your nose, the type of your skin, whether you had a previous injury to the nose and your age.


The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic. It’s done either as closed (from inside the nostrils) or open (by making a small cut in the skin of the columella and lifting the skin). An open rhinoplasty will result in a skin scar, usually V-shaped.

Once the bony and cartilaginous nasal skeleton is accessed, your surgeon will reshape the nose. This might include any or combinations of the following:

  • Hump reduction – changes to the bridge of the nose
  • Reshape of nasal tip
  • Change the length and the width of the nose
  • Septoplasty (correcting the septum of the nose)

After the nasal skeleton is reshaped, the nasal skin will be re-draped and sutured. You will have a pack in each nostril and a splint over the bridge of your nose to protect it.

Possible complications

Like any other surgical procedure, rhinoplasty has potential risks. Your OMFS surgeon will discuss these risks prior to your surgery, so that you can make an informed decision, weighing the potential benefits of having the procedure versus the risks. The most common complications are:

  • Scars (minimally visible)
  • Bleeding:
  • Infection
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Septal perforation: This is a rare complication of a hole in the septum, when septoplasty is carried out alongside the rhinoplasty
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Altered smell

After the procedure

The operation usually takes about two hours.

  • You will be given an antibiotic ointment to keep the wound clean
  • You will have packs in your nostrils and a splint on the bridge of your nose
  • You will be able to go home the same day
  • You will be prescribed painkillers
  • You will have the sutures removed 7 days after the procedure
  • Bruising around the eyes is common and can last for 2 weeks
  • Avoid straining or weight lifting for few weeks
  • Once the nasal splint is removed, be very careful to avoid knocking your nose
  • You will be able to return to work around two weeks after your surgery

The final results won’t be obvious until the swelling settles. This can take up to 6-9 months. Your surgeon will see you for follow up and take post-surgical photographs for your record.