Septorhinoplasty: all of your questions answered about the modern nose job

Written by: Top Doctors®
Published: | Updated: 25/10/2023
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Septorhinoplasty is otherwise known as a 'nose job', and is a popular surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the nose. The procedure consists of a septoplasty, which is to straighten the septum (the cartilage and bone that divides the nostrils), and a rhinoplasty, which is work on the bone structure that gives the nose it's shape.



What should I expect from a septorhinoplasty?

Septorhinoplasty surgery is performed in two stages. The first is a septoplasty - the correction of a deviated nasal septum. An internal incision is made to enable the septum to be moved to a position that corrects the deviation and improves nasal breathing. The second phase is the rhinoplasty. This corrects the tip and the nasal dorsum, that is, the outside of the nose.


What is the difference between an open and a closed rhinoplasty?

The technique of a closed rhinoplasty is used in cases where an incision is made in the nasal cavity, through which the aesthetic deformity is corrected. During an open or external rhinoplasty, an incision is made in the nasal septum to expose the entire tip and the nasal dorsum.

Septorhinoplasty exposes the entire tip and the nasal dorsum without an external scar, since the same manoeuvres can be performed as in the external rhinoplasty without any limitations. In addition, the aesthetic results can be checked immediately.


Is a septorhinoplasty painful?

The operation itself is not painful, although there is usually a dull pain associated with interocular oppression. A little postoperative discomfort can be expected due to nasal packing being used for around four days after the procedure. 


What type of anaesthesia is used during the procedure?

General anaesthesia is almost always used for a septorhinoplasty, as it is much safer and more comfortable and less risky than when carried out with local anaesthesia.


How long does a septorhinoplasty take?

The procedure usually takes around one to two hours. With the prep time beforehand, and the time needed to recover from the general anaethesia afterwards, the whole operation should take no longer than four hours.


At what age can it be performed?

It is advisable not to perform septorhinoplasty under the age of 18. This is due to two main reasons:

  • The patient usually hasn't stopped growing until at least 18, so bone development may not have finished yet before this age.
  • Mental maturity is required in order to be able to withstand the procedure and post-operative care. Although the procedure is not painful, it can be difficult from an emotional point of view, especially due to the possibility of a lack of sleep because of the nasal packing in the days following the operation. In some patients this can cause a feeling of anxiety.


Are there any scars with a septorhinoplasty?

The septorhinoplasty technique leaves no visible scars. There is often a light bruising around the eyes and nose, but this will usually disperse within around two weeks after the surgery.


Why is nasal packing used after the procedure?

The nostrils are packed during the postoperative period due to a risk of bleeding from the correction to the septum. Any bleeding will usually clear up within 4 days, and the packing can be removed. In the cases where only minimal surgery has been performed, nasal packing may only be required for 24 to 48 hours.


What if I wear glasses?

You should also be aware that if an osteotomy is done to correct the nasal bone pyramid it is advisable to avoid wearing glasses during the first six months following the procedure. This is because the glasses rest on the location of the osteotomy. If a septoplasty is performed alone or combined with a correction of the nasal tip (i.e. septorhinoplasty surgery), glasses can be worn without any inconvenience.


How long do I have to wait to do sports?

Most sporting activity and exercise (except for contact sports) can be resumed from two weeks after the operation. For running and high impact sports, it is advisable to wait a month.


Can I smoke after surgery?

It is advisable not to smoke after a septorhinoplasty due to the inconvenience of nasal packing.


By Topdoctors
Plastic surgery

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