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Septorhinoplasty (nose surgery)

Septorhinoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum and reshape your nose

Doctor examining a patient's nose after a septorhinoplasty (nose surgery)
A septorhinoplasty is a combination of two surgical procedures:

  • Rhinoplasty — a procedure to reshape your nose that is usually performed for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of your nose
  • Septoplasty — a procedure to straighten your septum, the thin piece of bone and cartilage that separates the two sides of the nose. It is normally performed to make it easier to breathe through your nose

Call or book online today to arrange a consultation to discuss private septorhinoplasty with a consultant of your choice at Circle Health Group.

This page explains what septorhinoplasty is, what happens during the procedure, and what to expect during your recovery.

The cost of this procedure depends on your reason for having it, as well as your individual circumstances surrounding the surgery.

Our fixed-price packages include the cost of your surgery and all appropriate aftercare appointments. However, any pre-surgery diagnostic tests and your consultant’s outpatient appointment consultation fee are charged separately.

Our flexible payment options help you spread the cost of your payment across a time period that suits you.

If you have private health insurance, the procedure will usually be covered by your provider. Speak to your insurer directly to find out.

In most people, the septum that separates the two sides of the nose is straight, but sometimes, due to an accident or injury, or simply because you were born that way, your septum may be deviated (bent, crooked or misaligned). A deviated septum can cause problems, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth (caused by breathing through your mouth)
  • Frequent nosebleeds (rhinorrhoea)

By combining surgery to straighten your septum with a rhinoplasty (nose job) your surgeon will also reshape and improve the appearance of your nose.

At your first consultation, you will be seen by a consultant plastic surgeon. Your consultant will ask you about your reasons for wanting a septorhinoplasty. These may include questions about:

  • Your symptoms
  • Whether you have had a previous injury or surgery to your nose
  • Your medical history
  • Any medications you take regularly
  • Any allergies you have

Your consultant will examine your nose to check your septum and the structure, skin thickness and the cartilage at the end of your nose.

If septorhinoplasty is a suitable procedure for you, your consultant will discuss your expectations for treatment and tell you what kind of result can be achieved. They will explain how to prepare for the procedure, what happens during the surgery and what to expect during your recovery.

Why is this first consultation so important?

At Circle Health Group, your first appointment is very important, as it’s where we get to know you and discuss your expectations for treatment. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask your consultant any questions you may have about the procedure.

Your consultant will tell you everything you need to do to prepare for your septorhinoplasty. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for your surgery, speak to your consultant or call the hospital for advice. Being well-prepared for your surgery will help ease any anxiety you may have and allow your surgery and recovery to go more smoothly.

Before your surgery, tell your consultant about any medical conditions or allergies you have and any medication, including over-the-counter medicines you are taking.

Your consultant may tell you to stop taking some medications like blood thinners before your operation. This is to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after your surgery.

You will not be able to eat or drink anything from midnight on the day of your operation.

H3: What lifestyle changes can I make before my surgery?

Being in the best possible health before your surgery can reduce the risk of complications and speed up your recovery.

To make sure you are as healthy as possible before your surgery:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
  • If you smoke, try to stop at least eight weeks before your surgery
  • Avoid alcohol for a few days before and after your surgery. Alcohol thins the blood and can increase the risk of bleeding
  • Take regular exercise

Septorhinoplasty is normally carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep for the procedure.

Exactly what happens during septorhinoplasty varies depending on your reasons for having the procedure and what your surgeon aims to achieve during your surgery. Your consultant will discuss the procedure with you during your consultation.

To perform the septoplasty part of the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision (cut) on your septum. Your septum is then either repositioned inside your nose, or removed and straightened before being placed back inside your nose. Your surgeon will then close the incision with dissolvable stitches.

Rhinoplasty can be performed either through your nostrils (closed procedure) or by making an incision at the base of the nose between your nostrils (open procedure). Depending on the result you want to achieve, your surgeon may:

  • Remove cartilage from the tip of your nose
  • Shave down a bump on the bridge (dorsum) of your nose
  • Straighten and narrow your nose by breaking and resetting your nasal bones
  • Rebuild part of your nose using a graft (cartilage from another part of your body, such as your rib or ear)

Depending on what is done during the procedure, septorhinoplasty normally takes around one to two hours.

Recovery from any type of surgery is different for everyone and depends on factors such as your age, general health and whether there are any complications during your surgery or recovery.

When you wake up from your anaesthetic, you will have a cast on your nose. Your nostrils may be packed, meaning you will have to breathe through your mouth. The cast will be removed around a week after your surgery and the packing after one to two days.

You may have a small piece of plastic called an internal splint inside your nose to keep your septum in its new position while you heal. The internal splint also helps prevent scar tissue from forming inside the nose. It is normally removed a week or two after the operation.

Your healthcare team will give you instructions on what to do during your recovery from septorhinoplasty. These may include:

  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping for a week to ten days after your surgery
  • Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing for the first week after your surgery. If you must sneeze, open your mouth to reduce pressure inside your nose
  • Avoid wearing clothes you need to pull on over your head for the first week to ten days
  • Avoid wearing glasses for the first two months
  • Avoid intense or strenuous activity for the first week after surgery, or until your consultant says it’s ok
  • Avoid heavy lifting (anything over 4.5kg) for the first week after your septorhinoplasty

You can expect to have facial bruising and swelling after your septorhinoplasty. Your nose will also feel blocked, as if you have a heavy cold. This will gradually subside after around a week to ten days.

How many nights will I need to stay in hospital?

You’ll normally need to spend one to two nights in hospital after your septorhinoplasty.

Will I be able to drive home?

You will not be able to drive yourself home from hospital after your septorhinoplasty. Please arrange for someone to collect you, or we can organise a taxi if you prefer.

How soon can I go back to work?

How soon you can go back to work after your surgery depends on your individual recovery and the type of job you do. Most people take between one and two weeks off work after septorhinoplasty.

How soon can I drive?

If you feel well enough, you should be safe to drive around 24 to 48 hours after your septorhinoplasty. Don’t drive while taking prescription painkillers, or other medications that may affect your concentration and reaction times.

When will I be back to normal?

You should be able to resume most normal activities within around two to three weeks after your surgery. It can take around a year for the swelling to completely subside after septorhinoplasty.

As with all types of surgery, septorhinoplasty carries a small risk of complications. Your consultant will explain all the possible risks and complications before your surgery and answer any questions you may have about your procedure. Being as well-informed as possible about your procedure will help put your mind at rest and allow you to make an informed decision, so please ask any questions you may have.

Possible complications of any surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Adverse reactions to the anaesthetic

Possible complications specific to septorhinoplasty include:

  • Bleeding (usually minor)
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Altered sense of smell
  • Altered breathing
  • Visible scarring
  • Graft rejection (if you had a cartilage graft)
  • Dissatisfaction with the result
  • Punctured septum
  • A blood clot in your nose
  • Temporary numbness in your gums, teeth, or nose

At Circle Health Group, we have the experience and expertise to ensure the best possible care and outcome for our patients. As a patient with Circle Health Group, you can expect the highest standards of care, including:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations that are convenient for you
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private ensuite rooms as standard
  • A range of delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about septorhinoplasty, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in February 2024. Next review due February 2027.

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