Rhinoplasty surgery, also referred to as a nose job in Singapore, is the most common type of plastic surgery that focuses on changing the shape, size or proportion of the nose.
The motivation for rhinoplasty may be to repair deformities or improve breathing, or for cosmetic purposes. During the surgery, your surgeon can adjust the size and angle of the nose, straighten the bridge, reshape the tip, and narrow the nostrils.
Functional Rhinoplasty is carried out to improve breathing by relieving any nasal obstruction. Cosmetic Rhinoplasty, on the other hand, is purely to enhance the appearance of the nose. In many cases, however, function follows form so the majority of Rhinoplasty surgeries serve both functional and cosmetic purposes.
If Rhinoplasty is carried out for cosmetic reasons over health reasons, you should wait until your facial bone growth is complete. This would be about 15 years of age for girls and a bit older for boys. If the surgery is conducted for health reasons, it can be performed on children of younger age.
Rhinoplasty is considered a major surgery and with any major surgery, there is always a degree of risk involved. With Rhinoplasty, the risks are:
As a result of these risks, you may require a second surgery.
There is no fixed order of steps because each surgery would be customised to the specific anatomy and goals of the person undergoing the surgery.
As rhinoplasty is a major surgery, it requires the patient to be put under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia, depending on how complex the surgery is.
Local anaesthesia with sedation is administered through an intravenous (IV) line that makes you groggy but does not quite put you to sleep fully. This is commonly used in outpatient settings. General anaesthesia is also administered through an IV line normally placed in a vein in your hand, neck or chest. It will put you to sleep, so a breathing tube will be attached to you during the surgery.
The procedure may be done through a small incision at the base of your nose or from inside your nose. The surgeon may use cartilage from your nose or ear, rib or bone from other parts of the body, depending on how big the changes are to be made.
During the surgery, the surgeon can also correct the sides of your nose if they are bent or crooked. This would help improve breathing.
Post-surgery, you will be wheeled to a recovery room where a healthcare staff monitors your return and wakefulness. Patients are typically within the day.
Immediately after the surgery, you will be advised to rest in bed with your head elevated, to reduce bleeding and swelling. Slight bleeding and drainage of mucus and old blood is common for a few days. To further reduce the chances of bleeding and swelling, your doctor may suggest that you take precaution while carrying out your daily routine e.g. avoid strenuous workouts, take baths instead of showers, brush your teeth gently, wear clothes that fasten in front instead of going over your head, avoid extreme facial expressions and blowing your nose, etc.
Your nose may feel full or congested due to swelling or because of the splints inside. Swelling of the nose usually takes longer to resolve. Limiting your sodium intake will help the swelling subside faster.
The internal dressings normally remain for about a week post-operation. After removing the dressing, your doctor may place a small piece of gauze under your nose to absorb drainage. You may be required to change the gauze, as directed by your doctor.
Your doctor will also take a splint to your nose for protection and support on the outside, for about a week. You should notice a difference in appearance when this splint comes off, although it can take up to a year for your nose to ease into its new shape.
Some other recommendations to follow while you are on recovery include:
Rhinoplasty can also affect the area around your eyes and some numbness, swelling or discolouration around your eyelids is expected. This should last a few weeks but in rare cases, can persist for up to six months or longer. To alleviate the swelling and discolouration around your eyelids, you may apply cold compression.
Most people rate their pain between 0 and 4 out of 10, one day after the surgery.