Risks of Surgery

Complications are infrequent and are usually minor. However, as with any surgery, there are some risks associated with a rhinoplasty. The procedure is kept as minimally traumatic as possible to reduce risks even further.


  • Infection: Rarely an infection may occur during the healing process of patients. In those individuals with higher risk of infection, prophylactic antibiotic will be provided to reduce the risk. Routine use of antibiotic is not advised.

  • Bleeding:  It is common to notice a little bleeding for the first few days after surgery and it generally settles on its own.   More severe nosebleeds should be treated by sitting upright, leaning forward,  applying cold  compresses over forehead and taking gentle and deep breaths through the mouth. The vast majority of nosebleeds will stop in 15 minutes. Very rarely would the nosebleeds be severe enough to warrant packing or dressing inside the nose.

  • Bruising & swelling: These are a normal part of healing and occur around the eyes and the nose to a various extent between individuals but should largely subside within a few weeks. Minor swelling particularly around tip of the nose can be present up to 12 -18 months post-surgery.

  • Poor wound healing or scarring: In closed rhinoplasty all scars will be hidden inside the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, there will be a small scar across the skin between the nostrils. This cut usually heals very well and is barely noticeable a year post-operation. When the flare or size of the nostril is reduced, there may be a small scar in the corner of the nostrils. Permanent outward marks are hardly discernible, though any kind of surgery and healing process can be unpredictable, so it is wise to remain realistic and be prepared.

  • Irregularity on the nose: Unpredictable healing or responses to surgical steps may cause new irregularities or asymmetries that can appear weeks or months after surgery. These irregularities may be felt or could be visible.


  • Discomfort or pain: Rhinoplasty is surprisingly pain-free, very few patients experience any pain only some discomfort.


  • Change in skin sensation (numbness): This is a common occurrence and subsides over a few months. However, this may persist up to one year after surgery particularly around the tip of the nose.


  • Skin discolouration: Skin over nasal bone is particularly thin and more prone to get red and inflamed following surgery. Pre-existing scars over the nose are more likely to become discoloured.


  • Difficulty breathing through your nose: Congestion and nasal blockage due to internal bruising is common initially. Persistent breathing disturbances is less common and tends to be more in reduction rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty patients. One has to be aware that scars and loss of mucosal-sensation can also give the feeling of a “blocked nose”. 

  • Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the nasal septum): There is a small risk of developing a hole in the nasal septum that maybe amenable to a surgical repaire. Septal cartilage has memory and wants to go back to the origin shape, hence there may also be some remnant septal deviation.


  • Unsatisfactory nasal appearance: Unacceptable results are rare and most concerns are resolved by the time the nose is fully healed in 12 -18 months after surgery. Therefore, it may require a lot of patience from you. After this period of time only about 1 in 20 patients who had their first (primary) surgery may require a second (revision) surgery.​

  • Risks associated with anaesthesia: General anaesthesia is usually very safe. Risk level varies depending on your medical conditions. Our skilled anaesthetic Consultant will discuss this with you and ensure that you are well informed, confident and comfortable to proceed.


The majority of patients are extremely satisfied with their result and report an raised self confidence. A small group of about 7% of patients may require more surgery to correct an irregularity. This risk is higher in patients that have had previous nasal surgery or have severe deformities.  It is important to appreciate that surgery cannot guarantee a perfect result, although every effort is made to achieve the best outcome possible.