Your Guide to Rhinoplasty: What You Should Know

Updated on November 15, 2019

If there is one single procedure which can transform a person’s whole appearance quickly and relatively easily, rhinoplasty would have to win hands down. Not only can reshaping your nose improve its shape and size, but it can also affect the appearance of the surrounding features. Your face may look slimmer, your eyes bigger or your expression may look less severe.

With all these benefits, it is no wonder thousands of Australians are choosing to reshape their nose each year.

Where to begin

The best advertisement for any plastic surgeon is their past patients. When interviewing surgeons, take careful note of their before and after photos, particularly those showing patients with similar issues as yourself. Ask questions such as:

  • What are your credentials? Are you a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon?
  • Are before and after photos of YOUR actual patients?
  • At what interval were the before and after photos taken?
  • What are the risks with the type of procedure I am considering?
  • What can I expect my final result to look like?
  • Will I require ‘closed’ or ‘open’ surgery and will there be visible scarring?
  • What is involved in the healing process and when can I return to work/school?
  • What follow-up do you offer if I am unhappy with the results?

Types of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is very versatile and a skilled surgeon can make your nose bigger, smaller, slimmer, wider, straighter or refine and lift the tip. When it comes to reshaping the nose, it is often a case of ‘less is more’. Subtle changes require a surgeon with an aesthetic eye who understands the importance of looking at the nose in combination with the rest of the face to create balance, harmony and symmetry.

Surgery to improve the nose sometimes requires using cartilage which is grafted from another area of the body or a piece of cartilage may be used from the septum which divides the nasal passages. Plastic Surgeons can not only sculpt the nose into a more aesthetically pleasing shape, but they can also improve breathing by clearing the nasal passages.

The term ‘closed rhinoplasty’ indicates there will be no external incisions because the surgeon was able to make corrections through the nasal cavity. Open rhinoplasty is generally used for more extensive reshaping. Incisions may be made in the columella (the strip of skin separating the nostrils) so the surgeon can retract the skin to get more access and a clearer view of the underlying nasal structure.

Occasionally a surgeon may use injectable fillers to correct bumps, dents or other deformities.

How long does it take?

Generally, a straightforward rhinoplasty will take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours to perform.


Rhinoplasty is a relatively safe procedure but still carries some risks. If you have chosen your surgeon well, he will listen to your concerns or issues and promptly act to rectify them. The most serious concerns include:

  • Risk of infection
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unsatisfactory results
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Perforation of the nasal septum
  • Scars
  • Poor wound healing

Your surgeon will provide you with care instructions and these should be followed closely. They are a key ingredient in a positive outcome.


The time it takes for your nose to heal will depend on the extent of your procedure. If the nose was broken during surgery, this will impact the healing process. Bruising and swelling will vary greatly but after three to four weeks you should begin to get an idea of what your final results will be. Residual swelling may last up to six months or even longer, but will likely not be noticeable to anyone other than you and your surgeon.


Like any specialised surgery, Rhinoplasty is not cheap and is unlikely to be covered by Medicare. The reason for the high cost is more than simply the fee for the Plastic Surgeon, there are a number of other unavoidable costs involved including:

  • Hospital fees
  • Blood tests and other pathology procedures
  • Anesthetist fees
  • Medication such as antibiotics to prevent post-surgery infection
  • Surgical garments

Taking all the expenses into consideration, the cost for Rhinoplasty will generally sit between $7,000 and $15,000. The variance in prices takes into account the skill required of the surgeon and the complexity of the procedure being undertaken.

If you have been considering Rhinoplasty for a long time, why wait? Lifes too short to think ‘if only’. With the right surgeon, you could soon be sporting a nose which is envied and admired everywhere you go – and wouldn’t that be nice!

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