The nose is the centre of our face. 

When people look at us, their focus is on our eyes, our nose and our mouth.

Unfortunately, not all of us are born with noses that match our face, or are considered beautiful or even “normal”.

No wonder rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries to be performed.

Quite aside from the aesthetics of our nose, many people have breathing difficulties because their nose is either naturally, or through trauma “deviated” or bent.

Whatever your reason for wanting surgery on the nose, it is helpful to know all of the changes that can be made to your nose at the time of rhinoplasty surgery.

Make sure you chose a qualified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon who enjoys rhinoplasty and you will be able to address all of the nuances that you dislike.

Rhinoplasty can:

  • Reduce the length of your nose
  • Remove any lumps or humps on the bridge of your nose
  • Reduce or widen the tip of your nose
  • Narrow the span of your nostrils
  • Change the angle between your nose and your upper lip
  • It may also correct a birth defect or injury
  • Straighten a bent or crooked nose which may help relieve some breathing problems.

Rhinoplasty cannot:

  • Give you the nose of someone else.

There are 2 basic types of rhinoplasty:

Closed version:

  • This is performed wherever possible.
  • Involves incisions inside the nostril, so scars are not visible

Open version:

  • An incision is made in the crease where the nose meets the upper lip.
  • This version is required where more involved work needs to be done to address your problems.
  • The scar is in the natural crease and is not noticeable once healed.

Make sure to make a list of everything that you dislike about your nose before your consultation with Dr. McGovern. You can then together discuss each concern and Dr. McGovern will give you realistic expectations of what can be achieved.

A lot of people ask about digital imaging, hoping to see exactly what their nose will look like after surgery.

Unfortunately, we are human and not machines and we are all different to start with and do not all respond in the same way to surgical interventions. 

Digital imaging can be performed. You will be given a picture that states: ”this is not what you will look like”.

Unfortunately again as humans, we see this picture and expect this is exactly what your result will be. This ultimately leads to disappointment.

Discussing your concerns in detail with your surgeon is the best way to understand what can be achieved by rhinoplasty in your particular case and having realistic expectations and thus being very happy with your results.

Our experienced staff are happy to answer your basic questions. The actual details of your surgery can only be discussed in consultation with Dr. McGovern.

surgeryGood communication between you and your plastic surgeon is essential. In your initial consultation, your surgeon will ask what you’d like your nose to look like, evaluate the structure of your nose and face, and discuss the possibilities with you. He will also explain the factors that can influence the procedure and the results. These factors include the structure of your nasal bones and the cartilage, the shape of your face, the thickness of your skin, your age, and your expectations.

He will also explain the general anaesthesia he will use, the hospitals where the surgery can be performed, the risks and costs involved, and any options you may have.

If you have previously broken your nose, have breathing problems through your nose or if you have a marked developmental abnormality, medicare and your health fund may contribute towards your surgery. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you’ve had any previous nose surgery or an injury to your nose, even if it was many years ago. You should also inform him if you have any allergies or breathing difficulties, if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or recreational drugs and if you smoke.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications and washing your face. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days if needed.

nopic1Rhinoplasty may be performed in all of the local hospitals visited. It’s usually done as a day procedure, for cost containment and convenience, however an overnight stay can be arranged if necessary. More complex procedures may require a night or more in hospital.

Rhinoplasty can be performed under local anaesthesia and sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on the extent of the procedure. With general anaesthesia, you’ll sleep through the operation, and this will be the most comfortable option generally.

Rhinoplasty usually takes an hour or two, though complicated procedures may take longer. During surgery the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting frame work of bone and cartilage, which is then sculptured to the desired shape. The nature of the sculpting will depend on your problem. Finally the skin is reshaped over the new frame work and absorbable sutures will secure the healing skin.

Many rhinoplasty operations, are performed from within the nose, making their incision inside the nostrils. Others require an “open” procedure, especially in more complicated cases – a small incision is made across the columella, the vertical strip of tissue separating the nostrils. When the surgery is complete, a splint will be applied to help your nose maintain its new shape. Nasal packs also may be placed in your nostrils to stabilise the septum, the dividing wall between the air passages.

recoveryAfter surgery, particularly during the first twenty-four hours, your face will feel puffy, your nose may ache, and you may have a dull headache. You can control any discomfort with pain medication prescribed, but typically there is little pain. Plan on staying in bed with your head elevated for the first day.

You’ll notice that the swelling and bruising around your eyes will increase at first, reaching a peak after two or three days. Applying cold compresses will reduce this swelling and make you feel a bit better. In any case, you’ll feel a lot better than you look.Arnica is a natural remedy for bruising and swelling and we will give you a spray bottle of this to assist in your recovery. Most of the swelling and bruising should disappear within seven to ten days. (Some subtle swelling unnoticeable to anyone but you and your surgeon will remain for several months.)

A little bleeding is common during the first few days following surgery, and you may continue to feel some stuffiness for several weeks. Your surgeon will ask you not to blow your nose forcefully for a few weeks, while the tissues heal.

If you have nasal packing, it will be removed on the day of surgery. By the end of the first week all dressings, splints and any stitches should be removed.

Most rhinoplasty patients are up and about within two days, and able to return to school or sedentary work a week or so following surgery.

Your surgeon will give you more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. Avoid strenuous activity (jogging, swimming, bending, any activity that increases your blood pressure) for two to three weeks. Avoid hitting or rubbing your nose, or getting it sunburned, for eight weeks. Be gentle when washing your face and hair or using cosmetics.

You can wear contact lenses as soon as you feel like it but sunglasses must be worn with care. Once the splint is off, only very light glasses can be worn. Your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits in the months following surgery to check on the progress of your healing. If you have any unusual symptoms between visits, or any questions about what you can and can’t do, don’t hesitate to call him.

In the days following surgery, when your face is bruised and swollen, it’s easy to forget that you will be looking better. In fact, many patients feel depressed for a while after plastic surgery. It’s quite normal and understandable.

Rest assured that this stage will pass. Day by day, your nose will begin to look better and your spirits will improve. Within a week or two, you’ll no longer look as if you’ve just had surgery. Still, healing is a slow and gradual process. Some subtle swelling may be present for months, especially in the tip. The final results of the rhinoplasty may not be apparent for a year or more.

In the meantime, you might experience some unexpected reactions from family and friends. They may say they don’t see a major difference in your nose. Or they may act resentful, especially if you’ve changed something they view as a family or ethnic trait. If that happens, try to keep in mind why you decided to have this surgery in the first place.

If you’ve met your goals, then your surgery is a success. If you have further questions, write them down and ask your surgeon and his highly trained staff at your consultation.