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Nose Surgery

At Fitzwilliam Clinic we carry out the following types of nose surgery procedures:
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Septorhinoplasty
  • Alar Adjustment (tip rhinoplasty)


What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure performed in order to improve the function (reconstructive surgery) and / or the appearance of the nose. It can be performed to meet aesthetic goals or for reconstructive purposes to correct trauma, birth defects or breathing problems.

Is it suitable for me?

At your consultation, you can discuss what you want to change about your nose with your surgeon and agree what size and shape nose you would like to achieve. There are many considerations to be taken into account and these will be discussed during your initial consultation.

What can I expect?

Cosmetic surgery can address a number of concerns which you may have. Not only can the surgeon reduce the overall size and narrow or widen the width of the nose, but even improve the angle between the nose and the upper lip, improve the tip or remove an unwanted bump. Unbalanced, crooked or curved noses can be straightened and made more symmetrical.
Your surgery should improve the appearance of your nose without drawing attention to it. The idea is not to create a new nose, but rather to improve and enhance the one you have.

What does the surgery involve?

Surgery is performed primarily through incisions inside the nose. If external incisions are necessary the scars are small and inconspicuously placed.
The procedure is carried out under a local or general anaesthetic and does not usually require an overnight stay. Surgery typically takes between an hour and an hour and a half.

What happens after surgery?

After surgery a small splint may be placed on the nose to maintain and protect its new shape. It is worn for approximately 7-10 days and should not be removed or allowed to get wet. In some cases a nasal pack may be inserted into the nose to support the inside.

Any pain or discomfort you experience can be controlled with medication. Moderate bleeding from the nose is normal and swelling / bruising around the eyes generally occurs within the first 24 hours after surgery. Sutures are usually removed 7 – 10 days following surgery.

It is also normal for there to be moderate swelling over the bridge and tip of the nose. This can be expected to last about 3 weeks and may be hidden using light make up. It can take up to 3 months for the reconstructed nose to mature and maybe a little longer if you have had a lot done.


What is Septorhinoplasty?

Septorhinoplasty is specialist nose surgery for patients who wish to make their nose look better, and who also suffer from breathing difficulties due to problems with their septum. The most important part of any septorhinoplasty is maintaining or improving the airway.

A septum is the thin piece of cartilage which makes up the wall between the two sides of your nose. In an ideal world, the septum would lie exactly in the middle, both allowing you to breathe freely and giving the nose a symmetrical appearance.

In some cases it is very off-centre, and can therefore cause problems. This is called having a deviated septum, and can occur naturally or as the result of an injury.
People can experience frequent nosebleeds and problems breathing as a result of a severely deviated septum. If this occurs, they may opt for surgery to fix their septum, called septoplasty. If they opt for a more radical procedure, which both straightens the cartilage and bone and also approves the nose’s overall outer appearance, it is called septorhinoplasty.

What does the surgery involve?

The first part of this operation straightens the septum, the second reshapes the nose. The surgery usually takes from two to three hours and requires general anaesthesia.
The operation is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars. A small cut will be made inside the nose itself, then some of the bone and cartilage will be removed. The surgeon will move your septum to a normal position and reshape the external appearance of your nose, bringing it into balance with the other features of the face.

Dissolvable stitches will probably be used and you will most likely have a splint on your nose for a while afterwards. The nose may also be packed with cotton wool or special dressings for a while – at least overnight.

What is the recovery time?

For the next week or two your breathing will be somewhat compromised due to some swelling inside the nose. You will also have some bruising which is to be expected – this may give you ‘black eyes’. Your breathing will become easier with time, and after 2-3 weeks you should be fully recovered; again depending on the extent of surgery. Be sure not to blow your nose for at least a week and avoid smoky places. Numbness is also to be expected for a short time, and occasionally even the teeth will feel numb. Additionally, your nose may bleed occasionally for a while following surgery.

Alar Adjustment (Tip Rhinoplasty):

What is Alar Adjustment?

Surgical refinement of the nose almost always involves reshaping the nasal tip. In some cases, the tip is the only part of the nose that requires attention. It is often referred to as alar adjustment or ‘tip rhinoplasty’. This can involve making the tip narrower, smaller, less bulbous, less boxy and more / less upturned – depending on the goals of the surgery. On occasion, a cartilage tip graft may be desirable.

Because the nasal bones do not need to be fractured in most cases, the swelling and bruising that usually follow surgery are significantly reduced, and the patient is back at work and normal lifestyle much sooner than usual.

Looking in profile, the distance measured between nasal tip and where the nose starts from the face is called tip projection. Changing tip projection can dramatically alter the beauty of the nose.

What does the surgery involve?

“Tip rhinoplasty” can be performed under local or general anesthetic. The operation is performed via closed rhinoplasty or open rhinoplasty. In closed rhinoplasty, all the incisions are placed on the inside of the nose.

Open rhinoplasty involves connecting the intranasal incisions with an incision across the column of tissue between the nostrils. Closed rhinoplasty is certainly appropriate for some tip deformities, but many surgeons prefer the open approach to correct major deformities of the tip because it allows direct visualization of the structures.
The demand for absolute surgical accuracy in rhinoplasty means that revisions are more commonly required with the tip than any other part of the nose.

What is the recovery time?

The recovery following tip rhinoplasty is variable depending on what rhinoplasty techniques are used e.g. whether the surgery was performed open or closed, and whether the nasal bones were broken. Patients who undergo open rhinoplasty typically have more oedema (swelling) that persists longer compared to patients in whom closed rhinoplasty techniques were used. If the nose was surgically broken then there is usually more swelling and bruising.

It is also common for there to be bruising around the eyes which should disappear in 1 – 2 weeks.

For further information on any surgical procedures or
to book a consultation, please contact us at:

Fitzwilliam Clinic, 70-72 Lisburn Road, Belfast
Tel: 028 9032 3888