Stephen McCulley, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. MBChb, FCS(SA)Plast, FRCS(plast)

Can rhinoplasty improve my breathing through my nose?

Rhinoplasty will help the functionality of the nose by creating a less obstructed nasal package with clearer channels to breathe through. Sometimes, however, breathing can be affected by sinus problems, so it is worth highlighting the source of the problem before electing to have rhinoplasty for this purpose alone.

How soon after breaking my nose can I have a rhinoplasty?

As with all post-accident reconstructive surgery, different injuries will require different approaches. With this in mind, it is advisable to speak to your surgeon shortly after the accident to give them chance to decide whether urgent action needs to be taken or not.

In most cases, a broken nose will come hand in hand with a considerable amount of swelling, and is therefore advisable to let the injury settle down before scheduling rhinoplasty surgery. Most surgeons will suggest waiting between 4-6 weeks, for the swelling to subside. However, in some cases, when the bones in the nose are badly broken and displaced, your surgeon may prefer to operate immediately.

I have large nostrils but I’m happy with the rest of my nose – can you do anything to minimise the size of my nostrils?

It is possible to have nostril reduction surgery (alarplasty) without having to undergo a complete rhinoplasty. The surgery is likely to involve narrowing the nostril by removing a crescent shaped piece of tissue from the area where the nostril wall meets the cheek. As the incision is made at the base of the nose, scarring is likely to be relatively inconspicuous.

How old do I have to be to have a nose job?

Unless there is a significant health issue which would require urgent attention, it is advisable to wait until a young person has finished growing as features can change. This is roughly around 17-18 years old for boys and 16 years old for girls.

Each individual is different however, and emotional maturity is also likely to be taken into account. Although rhinoplasty can have huge confidence enhancing benefits for young people, undergoing cosmetic surgery is still a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.