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A nose job, also known as a rhinoplasty, is a nose reshaping operation which is done to change the shape and size of one’s nose, usually for cosmetic purposes.

Rhinoplasties appear to be very heavily present in celebrity culture, with many famous faces changing their noses. While some try to deny it, others are more open about their surgical procedures.

Here are some examples of before and after pictures of celebrities and house-hold names you may recognise, or even envy for their nose that you did not realise was plastic!

 How much will it cost?

The cost in the UK ranges from around £4,500 to £7,000 for a nose job. These prices do not necessarily include the cost of any consultations, further surgery and/or the follow-up care that may be needed after the operation.

If the nose job is being carried out for cosmetic reasons, it is almost never available on the NHS – but for some extreme cases it is granted on the NHS. NHS may be provided if you are in need of a rhinoplasty to help you breathe.

What does a nose job involve?

Nose reshaping surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, so you will be put to sleep.

The surgeon carrying out the rhinoplasty may do any of the following:

  • Nose Reduction – making the nose smaller by removing some of the cartilage and bone.
  • Nose augmentation – making the nose larger by taking cartilage from the ears and bone from the hips, elbow or skull. Then using these to build up the nose, which is none as a nose “graft”.
  • Change the nose’s shape – (including the nostrils). They may change the nose’s shape by breaking the nose bone and rearranging the cartilage.
  • Change the angle between the nose and top lip

How it works can cause a lot of confusion, but the skin over the nose should always just shrink or expand to fit around the new shape of the nose.

The actual operation involves either making one cut across the skin between the nostrils, this is known as a rhinoplasty, or tiny cuts inside of the nostrils, which is known as a closed rhinoplasty.

Many wish to opt for a closed rhinoplasty as the way it is done with its smaller internal cuts leave no visible scars and causes less swelling. However, this isn’t always available.

Whether it is an open or closed rhinoplasty, the procedure should take anywhere from an hour to three hours. Most people will be required to stay in hospital for at least one or two nights.

It is normal to leave the hospital with dressings (packs) in each nostril, and also have a splint help over your nose with tape. You will probably not be able to breathe out of your nose for whilst these are on – this is very normal.

You shouldn’t be in any significant amount of pain after a nose reshaping operation, but painkiller will be given to help you control any mild pain you may experience as a side effect.

The recovery period

You will probably have to plan to take up to two weeks off work to recover after a rhinoplasty. It may take several months for you to see the full effect of the nose reshaping operation, and can take up to a lengthy six months for the swelling to go down completely.

You also will not be able to drive for a few days after the operation, your surgeon should advise you about this personally.

About a week after the operation, your stitches will be removed if they are not dissolvable stitches, in which case they will disappear on their own. The splint may also be able to come off after a week.

At around three weeks you may notice that any swelling, bruises and redness may have faded. You may also be able to get your nose wet.

At around four weeks, you may be able to resume things like contact sport which would have had to avoid after your nose reshaping operation.

Advice that is usually given in the recovery period is to:

  • Use a pillow to prop your head up for a couple of days when resting or sleeping, to help reduce swelling.
  • Avoid hot baths
  • Avoid getting your splint wet at all costs
  • Avoid blowing your nose or removing any crusts until your appointment comes to have your splint removed for good
  • Sneeze through your mouth if possible, to avoid any pressure on your nose
  • Avoid smoky or dusty places
  • Not participate in any strenuous exercise or contact sports for four to six weeks, you should ask your surgeon when he or she thinks you can return to these.
  • Take prescribed painkillers, such as paracetamol to relieve any mild pain


Side Effects of a nose job

The following are very common after a nose job:

  • A blocked nose – you will have to expect to have to breathe through only your mouth for around a week or so.
  • Numbness of the nose.
  • Stiffness of the nose.
  • Soreness, swelling and bruising around the eyes, which can last up to three weeks.
  • Light nosebleeds for the first couple of days or first week, depending.


There may be a few things that can go wrong as a result of a rhinoplasty, and a nose reshaping can occasionally result in:

  • An altered sense of smell
  • Permanent breathing difficulty
  • Damage to the cartilage wall between your nostrils
  • Heavy nosebleeds, along with light ones
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Developing a blood clot in a vein
  • An allergic reaction to the anaesthetic

Your surgeon will almost definitely explain any risks, complications or side effects, and how likely they are to occur. He or she will also explain how each of the complications or side effects, should they occur, would be treated.

Some people find that they are unhappy with the results for one reason or another, and choose to have follow up surgery’s to correct any thing they wish to or to add to the changes on a more extreme level.

You you want an account of someone who has had a nose job, please refer to this personal account and see if it is for you before making any decisions!

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