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Common Nose Job Complications

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, is a popular procedure that alters the appearance of someone's nose. You should be aware of the potential complications that may arise from such an invasive procedure before undergoing the procedure.

In this guide, we’ll explore common nose job complications, postoperative care and the possibility of revision surgery. By understanding these aspects, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions and minimise the risks associated with rhinoplasty.

Understanding rhinoplasty complications

Undergoing a nose reshaping surgery can be a life-changing experience and may improve your life for the better. Being aware of complications can help you make informed decisions, set realistic expectations, and work closely with your surgeon to achieve the best possible outcome.

Complications of rhinoplasty can range from minor concerns to more severe issues that require additional treatment or revision surgery. Below, we’ll delve into the common rhinoplasty complications, their underlying causes, and how they can be addressed.

Surgical risks

While rhinoplasty surgery is generally considered safe, it is not without risks, including bleeding, infection and complications related to anaesthesia. It’s important to note that infection following rhinoplasty is exceedingly rare. If an infection does occur, prompt treatment with intravenous and oral antibiotics, similar to the treatment approach for sinus surgery infections, is crucial.

Another potential risk is visible scarring. Although most incisions are made inside the nose, some may be visible, especially in more complex procedures. To minimise these risks, it’s essential to choose an experienced surgeon who is skilled in handling such delicate procedures and discuss any specific concerns you may have about potential risk factors.

Aesthetic concerns

Aesthetic concerns after cosmetic rhinoplasty may include over or under-correction, asymmetry, or an unnatural appearance. In some cases, these issues may necessitate revision surgery. 

You should choose a surgeon with experience and skill and an aesthetic sensibility to achieve the best possible outcome. By discussing your expectations, concerns and desired results with your surgeon, you can work together to ensure a more satisfactory and natural-looking outcome.

Postoperative care and recovery

An essential aspect of minimising complications and ensuring a successful outcome is proper postoperative care and recovery. From managing swelling and bruising to pain management and resuming activities, following your surgeon’s guidance is vital for a smooth and healthy recovery process.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss specific aspects of postoperative care and recovery, providing you with essential information to help you navigate this crucial period.

Managing swelling and bruising

Swelling and bruising are common occurrences after rhinoplasty. To minimise these symptoms, you can use ice packs, elevate your head while resting, and take medications prescribed by your surgeon. Although swelling may persist for up to one year, bruising typically resolves within one week.

It’s important to note that open rhinoplasty, a more invasive procedure, is generally accompanied by a longer period of tissue swelling than closed rhinoplasty. By discussing the different approaches with your surgeon, you can choose the best option for your specific needs and preferences.

Pain management

Pain management after rhinoplasty typically involves prescribed medications and over-the-counter pain relievers, as well as rest and relaxation. Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can provide relief following the procedure.

Resuming activities

Resuming activities after rhinoplasty should be done gradually and with the guidance of your surgeon. It’s essential to listen to your body and avoid strenuous activities or contact sports until your surgeon clears you to do so.

The possibility of revision rhinoplasty

In some cases, patients may require revision rhinoplasty due to dissatisfaction with the initial results or complications that arise after the surgery. Understanding the reasons for revision rhinoplasty, the timing of the surgery, and the risks and challenges involved can help you make informed decisions and achieve the best possible outcome.

Reasons for revision

Reasons for revision rhinoplasty may include unresolved structural issues, aesthetic concerns, or complications from the initial surgery. By discussing your concerns and desired results with your surgeon, you can determine if revision rhinoplasty is the right solution for your specific situation. Together, you and your surgeon can develop a personalised plan to address any issues and achieve the best possible outcome.

Timing of revision surgery

The timing of revision surgery is crucial, as it should be done after the nose has fully healed from the initial procedure, typically at least one year later. The rationale behind waiting at least a year before considering a revision rhinoplasty is that the nose requires an adequate amount of time to heal from the original procedure.

It’s essential to discuss the timing of revision surgery with your surgeon, as they can provide guidance based on your specific situation and ensure that your nose has healed sufficiently before undergoing a second procedure.

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of revision rhinoplasty may be higher than the initial surgery, making it essential to choose an experienced surgeon and carefully weigh the benefits and risks. Some of the potential risks and challenges associated with revision rhinoplasty include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Infection
  • Breathing disturbances
  • Cartilage replacement

By selecting a skilled and experienced surgeon, discussing your concerns and expectations, and following all preoperative and postoperative care instructions, you can minimise the risks and challenges associated with revision rhinoplasty and achieve a successful outcome.

Prevention and minimising complications

Prevention and minimising complications in rhinoplasty involve preoperative preparation, intraoperative precautions, and postoperative care. By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of complications and ensure a successful outcome.

Preoperative preparation

You should inform your surgeon of any medical conditions, allergies and medications you are currently taking to minimise the risk of complications. Additionally, patients should discontinue any medications that increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Lifestyle modifications, such as quitting smoking and abstaining from alcohol consumption for at least two weeks before and after the operation are also advised.

Postoperative care

Postoperative care for rhinoplasty includes following the surgeon’s instructions for wound care, pain management, and activity restrictions. Essential elements of postoperative care include elevating the head while resting, ingesting fluids orally, applying ice water, avoiding strenuous physical activities, staying hydrated, and shielding the nose from the sun.

Contact us

If you have undergone rhinoplasty and experienced complications that you believe were caused by the negligence of the surgeon responsible, get in touch with our expert solicitors today. Call 0808 271 3278 or request a call back by filling in your details in the form on this page.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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