Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure performed on the nose to change its shape or size, or to improve its function. Rhinoplasty helps patients achieve a more cosmetically appealing nose. This can improve confidence, optimism, and self-image. Rhinoplasty can be performed to reconstruct the nose after trauma, to correct physical imperfections, birth defects and breathing problems.

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The Procedure

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures, and is one of the most difficult. It requires a specialised, highly qualified and experienced Plastic Surgeon with an artistic eye and a great understanding of the functionality of the nose i.e. airways and breathing. Dr Nettle has performed well over 1000 rhinoplasties throughout his medical career and is world renowned for his natural-looking rhinoplasty results.

The goal of Rhinoplasty is to create a natural-looking nose, so that it fits harmoniously with other facial features, and functions normally. Reshaping is usually done either through incisions inside the nose (closed rhinoplasty) or a well-hidden incision on the underside of the nose (open rhinoplasty). The size is generally reduced or if needed built up, by adjusting the supporting structures by meaning of reshaping, removing or adding bone and cartilage. In some cases, an internal deformity may affect breathing, due to an irregularity in the septum (central cartilage inside the nose) or problems with the internal side walls of the nose. Adjustments to improve the nasal airway can be made at the same time as alterations to the external appearance. All nose surgery is performed under general anaesthesia.


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The Recovery

After Rhinoplasty surgery, you should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week. Nasal packing is very rarely used. You may experience some bruising and swelling around the eyes, but this will begin to fade within a week. Breathing through the nose can be very limited for a few weeks due to swelling. The nasal cast is removed after five or six days, and most people can return to work about 10 days after undergoing Rhinoplasty. Although you can see changes straight away, until the bones have healed and the swelling has completely subsided, you will not be able to determine the completed result, which can take up to 12 months or more, depending on exactly what is done in the surgery.


Although there is no age limit for Rhinoplasty, the mid-teens, when the nose is near full development, is the earliest recommended age. Most people’s noses stop growing by about the age of 16 or 17. However, rather than age, the patient’s motivation to have rhinoplasty surgery is important. Patients need to be aware that there is no such thing as the perfect nose and no face is 100% symmetrical. The ideal rhinoplasty patient is looking to improve the look of their nose, but is not aiming to achieve perfection. If the appearance of your nose is an issue that affects your mental well-being on a daily basis, we advise you to seek psychological help before undergoing surgery.

Rhinoplasty surgery is performed in a private, accredited hospital under general anaesthetic with a qualified anaesthetist and usually take approximately 3 hours. You can go home the same day but will require someone to pick you up to care for you at least overnight and take you to Silkwood for your post-op appointments.

In closed rhinoplasty surgery, the scars are hidden within the nose. This technique is generally only performed on simple primary rhinoplasties. In open rhinoplasty surgery, a small scar is placed on the underside of the nose. This will fade in time to be almost invisible.

The cost of rhinoplasty surgery is determined by the expected complexity and duration of your operation and will be estimated following your first consultation. Dr Nettle’s surgical fee starts from $15,000. This does not include the assistant fee, anaesthetist fee or hospital stay.

This procedure may attract an item number from Medicare which allows you to claim a rebate. If you have the appropriate level of health insurance cover, they may pay for your theatre and accomodation fees. Possible Medicare item numbers are 45638/41671.

Rhinoplasty is an individualised procedure that requires a thorough evaluation of the bone and cartilage that make up the skeleton of your nose. In your consultation, the airway structures on the inside of the nose are carefully assessed, and the relationship of the nose to your overall facial structure is evaluated. After that Dr Nettle will create a morphed image of your nose to help visualise the results you are seeking to ensure that they are realistic.

This depends on what you start off with. Plastic surgeons can aim towards certain shapes, proportions, and features and will advise on what can be done in each specific Rhinoplasty surgery. During Rhinoplasty consultations, we routinely take photos of your nose and work with you to morph them on the computer using special software to show you what can realistically be achieved.

Strenuous activities can prolong swelling so it is recommended to avoid these for at least 3 weeks after surgery. Aerobic activity should be avoided for 4 weeks, and any contact sports should be avoided for 8 weeks as this time is needed for the bones to heal. You will be able to drive once the swelling subsides and doesn’t interfere with your ability to see. Flying is allowed 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.

You will be seen by Dr Nettle within 7 days of your surgery.

Regular appointments are made to remove sutures and to check on your healing following surgery.

You will be given a Plastic Surgery Recovery guide upon booking your surgery. This document explains in great detail all of your after care following surgery.

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