Is your nose getting you down? Learn how this surgical procedure might boost your confidence

Rhinoplasty Nose Job

Your nose is an important attribute. It’s not only responsible for breathing and smelling, but aesthetically it plays an important role in facial attractiveness.

According to the BAAPS, rhinoplasty is the fifth most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the UK, and for men specifically, it trumps all other procedures.

With the rise in social media and selfies, the way you look in profile view (where the nose undoubtedly dominates) has suddenly started mattering more to many men and women.

Although many are content with the uniqueness of their nose, as it’s a feature which often adds a lot of character to a face, there are those who despise it. Nasal differences are known to attract attention and are often felt to be stigmatising. They are also known to negatively affect the perception of personalities.

What is rhinoplasty?

‘Rhino’ comes from the Greek word rhī́s, meaning nose, and ‘plasty’ is a common medical term used by plastic surgeons that means moulding, shaping or formation of a specified part. Rhinoplasty therefore is a surgical operation that involves altering the shape of one’s nose – colloquially known as a ‘nose job’.

A rhinoplasty procedure may be recommended by a cosmetic surgeon if an individual wishes to permanently change the shape of their nose, improve breathing, or both!

What does a rhinoplasty procedure involve?

There are many different rhinoplasty techniques that surgeons use to achieve cosmetic improvement and it’s usually performed under general anaesthetic through small incisions made inside the nostrils.

The surgeon may choose to use a closed rhinoplasty technique (performed from inside the nostrils) or an open rhinoplasty technique (a small cut between the nostrils is made and the skin is lifted). They are then able to remove or reshape any undesired bumps, cartilage and bone causing the cosmetic problems.

Surgeons may also choose to use bone, cartilage or an implant if needed to augment the area. The bone or cartilage can be taken from other areas on the nose, or from the rib, hip or ear.

At the end of the surgery, the surgeon will place stiches, special bandages and a plaster cast to control bleeding, help healing and reduce infection. These are usually needed for around a week.

A rhinoplasty procedure usually lasts 1.5-3 hours and patients will likely need to stay in hospital for one or two nights. Due to swelling, it might take several months before you see the full effect of the procedure.

What are the benefits of rhinoplasty?

For those who are insecure and self-conscious about the shape of their nose, rhinoplasty can be a good option to permanently improve its appearance and make your nose feel right for you.

A rhinoplasty procedure can:

  • Modify the size of the entire nose, either increasing or decreasing its appearance
  • Alter the shape of the tip of the nose, the bridge of the nose, the hump of the nose, and the nostrils
  • Change the angle between the nose and the upper lip
  • Straighten the inside of the nose that separates the nostrils (called the septum) with a procedure called septoplasty

One study looking at patient satisfaction following rhinoplasty suggested that amongst 2,326 online reviews, the overall satisfaction rate was 83.6%.

Another study involving 473 observers showed that patients after rhinoplasty were rated to be significantly more attractive, perceived as more successful, and overall healthier.


Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure, so you need to take into account the risks and recovery time, and know that not everyone is suited to have the procedure.

You may experience pain after the operation, although you should be given painkillers to help control this discomfort. You may not be able to breathe through your nose for about a week and will have to avoid strenuous exercise for six weeks.

Along with the risks of general anaesthetic, more specific complications associated with rhinoplasty include: swelling and bruising, scarring, asymmetry of the nose, unsatisfied results, heavy bleeding, infection, healing problems, increased or reduced sensation, breathing difficulties, amongst others.

It’s also important to know that the appearance of the nose will change over time as a result of ageing and other lifestyle factors so although the results are permeant, further surgery may be needed in future to maintain the result.

As with all cosmetic procedures, results can never be guaranteed, and some patients are not good candidates for the surgery. It’s important to have a thorough medical consultation with your surgeon to discuss if the treatment is right for you and to learn whether you will get the results you desire.

Your surgeon should be properly trained and be on the specialist register held by the General Medical Council. In England, they should be performing the procedure in a clinic that is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

What rhinoplasty alternatives are available?

Although rhinoplasty is still a very popular cosmetic treatment, the stats show that it’s actually decreasing in popularity.

This is partly because there are a number of non-surgical alternatives that are now available, such as dermal fillers and threadlifts (called non-surgical rhinoplasty) which may help improve the appearance of the nose before surgery. These are temporary though, and repeat treatment will be needed to maintain results.

Your surgeon should be able to tell you if a surgical or non-surgical approach is best for your individual concerns.

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