Rhinoplasty or nose reshaping is a surgical procedure that can change the size, shape, and symmetry of the nose. This can also address breathing difficulties due to nasal deformities resulting from birth defects or injuries.

Dr Scott Turner is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Sydney who performs both cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty surgery.

What is a Rhinoplasty?

This surgical procedure reshapes the nasal bones and the cartilage of your nose. It may involve surgical techniques such as removing or adding tissue, repositioning the cartilage, or altering the nasal bones.

During your consultation, Dr Turner will discuss and create a unique plan to address your cosmetic or medical concerns, as well as explain in detail the surgical procedure, recovery phase, and risks associated with rhinoplasty.

Thanks to 3D imaging technology, you can get a close-up view of what your nose would look like after the surgery. This allows you to visualize what changes are realistic and achievable. These simulations help you describe your aesthetic goals.

Suitable Candidates for a Rhinoplasty

Suitable candidates for the procedure must be:

  • Medically and psychologically healthy
  • A non-smoker or are willing to stop smoking
  • Willing to follow specific instructions before and after the procedure

In addition, candidates for rhinoplasty are looking to change the size, shape, and symmetry of their nose due to cosmetic concerns, or are experiencing breathing difficulties due to nasal deformities resulting from birth defects or injuries.

Rhinoplasty Surgery

Rhinoplasty surgery is performed in an accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. Depending on your nose condition, the procedure may require general anaesthesia and can take 2 to 3 hours to perform.

During the procedure, Dr Turner carefully makes the incisions to gain access to your nasal skeleton. The nasal hump is first removed by shaving down the cartilage and bone. It is usually necessary to adjust the nasal bones to allow them to meet in the midline and create the new narrowed nasal dorsum. This also narrows the bony base of the nose at the bridge.

Next, the cartilage under the skin that shapes the tip of the nose is adjusted in size and shape. In some cases, an additional incision across the base of the nose at the nostrils is used to narrow the base of the nose.

Sutures are then placed inside the nostrils and across the columella. Tapes and a splint are applied for support. The nasal splint is required for seven days to support and protect the bones while they adjust to their new position. Internal silicone splints may be used to ensure the lining of the nose sets correctly.

Open Or Closed Rhinoplasty?

Nasal surgery can be done either open (via external incision across the mid part of the columella) or closed (no external incision). Depending on the patient’s needs and case, Dr Turner will suggest the appropriate method:

  • Open rhinoplasty – The incision starts inside the nostril and continues over the columella – the tissue that separates the nostrils at the base of the nose.
  • Closed rhinoplasty – This involves creating all the incisions inside the nostril and is used for minor to moderate nasal reshaping.

Different Types of Rhinoplasty

Hump Reduction Rhinoplasty

Hump reduction rhinoplasty aims to reduce the prominence or size of a dorsal hump on the bridge of the nose. This is performed by removing the excess bone or cartilage from the hump.

Rhinoplasty Hump Reduction

Tip Rhinoplasty

A tip rhinoplasty reshapes the size, shape, and projection of the nasal tip. The incisions are usually placed in the nasal tip region which allows reshaping of the cartilage and tissue.
Tip refinement sutures

Asian Rhinoplasty

Asian rhinoplasty alters the nasal bridge, nasal tip, or nostril shape. Depending on your nose condition, the procedure may require repositioning of tissues or the use of cartilage grafts or implants.

Ethnic Rhinoplasty

The primary goal of ethnic rhinoplasty is to change the appearance of the nose while preserving the patient’s cultural identity and maintaining the ethnic characteristics of the nose.


Nostril reduction surgery or alarplasty reduces the size or width of the nostrils. This is performed by creating incisions at the base of the nostrils to remove a small amount of tissue and reshape the area.
Alar Base - Nostril Reduction


A septoplasty corrects a deviated septum by removing or repositioning portions of the affected nasal structures. This procedure can address breathing difficulties.
Septoplasty / Crooked Septum

Recovery after Rhinoplasty Surgery

After nose surgery, Dr Turner will place a small external nasal splint on your nose. Both the splint and sutures will be removed after 7 days at your follow-up appointment. Once the splint is removed, you can wash your nose gently.

You must not blow your nose for at least two weeks. You may clean the internal part of your nostrils to remove any crusting or blood clots using Vaseline on a cotton bud. Avoid hitting or rubbing your nose and be very gentle washing your face.

You will experience post-operative pain which can be managed by taking the prescribed medications. Have someone fill the prescription, drive you home, and take care of you as you recover during the first few days after surgery.

While some results will be seen when the splint is removed, it takes about a year before the final result can be fully seen. Your nose may feel numb after surgery as the nasal tissues heal.

Contact lenses can be worn immediately, however, if you wear glasses, they must not put pressure on your nose for the first 4-6 weeks. You can usually return to work 10-14 days after surgery. You can resume light exercise in 2 weeks but refrain from strenuous activities for 6 weeks.

Risks and Complications of Rhinoplasty

As with any surgery, rhinoplasty is also associated with risks and complications, such as:

  • Wound infection
  • Bleeding or haematoma
  • Abnormal scarring
  • Allergies or reactions to medications, sutures, or topical treatments
  • Delayed healing
  • Chronic pain & numbness
  • Prolonged visible swelling that may last for weeks & sometimes months
  • Loss of structural support and collapse of the nasal airways during breathing
  • Perforation of the nasal septum
  • Nasal breathing alterations
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Reddening of the nasal skin
  • Bending or movement of a cartilage graft away from its ideal position
  • Deviation of the nose or septum
  • Revision surgery

The success of any surgical procedure relies on the collaborative efforts of both the surgeon and the patient. During your consultation, Dr Turner will assess your overall health and expectations. This also provides an opportunity for you to disclose important information to your surgeon such as any allergies you have, previous surgeries, or medications you are currently taking.