A Rhinoplasty, or a 'nose job', is one of the five most common cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, accounting for roughly 10% of all cosmetic procedures in 2019 alone.

As the central feature of the face, the size and shape of the nose is a key determining factor in how we feel about our overall appearance and attractiveness. If, for whatever reason, you are unhappy with it, a rhinoplasty procedure is the most effective solution to change it.

A rhinoplasty procedure reshapes, corrects or reconstructs the nose to achieve more aesthetically pleasing proportions and to enhance ones' physical appearance.

Our surgeons are leading experts in their field, and via a rhinoplasty procedure, can make your nose smaller, more prominent, slimmer, or wider, or simply smooth away unwanted lumps or bumps.

What is a Rhinoplasty

The nose develops its final shape only after puberty and this development is complete by the age of 16. This determines the earliest age at which one can reasonably carry out a rhinoplasty.

A rhinoplasty procedure reshapes, corrects or reconstructs the nose to achieve more aesthetically pleasing proportions and to enhance ones' physical appearance.

Whilst this is most commonly carried out for aesthetic reasons, a nose job can also be performed as a procedure to improve function by correcting breathing issues and help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnoea and snoring. In these cases, one is likely to also be operating on the septum or turbinate which are blocking the airway, otherwise known as a septoplasty or submucosal resection ('SM Resection').

There is also the large group of patients who have suffered injuries to the nose, very often a nasal fracture, playing sport or as a result of physical assault. These are the few patients that medical insurance companies may accept for reimbursement.

Whatever the motivation, our surgical approach is designed to work with a patient's natural features, sculpting the nose to harmonise the face and give a natural-looking result. This requires a delicate balance between the size, shape, contours and definition of the nasal bridge and tip. Nose reshaping requires skill and surgical finesse as millimetres make the difference between a natural-looking result and one that has obvious trademarks of surgery.

Introduction to Rhinoplasty

Why do people have it

For many people, both male and female, the size and shape of their nose can cause unhappiness and insecurity. A rhinoplasty, or nose job, can help improve the way we feel about our looks, and increase self confidence and overall levels of happiness.

It can also help improve an array of medical issues, such as correct breathing issues or alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnoea. Whether for cosmetic or medical reasons, a nose job is the most effective and immediate corrective procedure in such instances.

Who is suitable

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for the procedure, if all of the following are true of them:

  • Physically and psychologically fit and healthy
  • Bothered by the size or shape of their nose, either for cosmetic or medical reasons 
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by surgery
  • Would like to correct damage or an injury that has occurred to their nose
  • Snore loudly, experience sleep apnoea or have breathing difficulties

Types of Rhinoplasty Procedure

The nose is supported by a skeleton. In the upper third, it is a bony skeleton and the lower two-thirds are nostrils, flexible cartilage of the same type as we have in the ear. Dividing the two airways running back from the nostrils, we have another sheet of cartilage, covered with mucosa, called the septum. This is a strut which stops the cartilaginous part of the nose from collapsing.

Most operations on a Caucasian nose involve a reduction in size and therefore both the bony and cartilaginous skeleton are reduced, allowing the skin to retract, often without trace of a scar.

Non-surgical or medical rhinoplasty

The founder of the Cadogan Clinic, world-renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, introduced the non-surgical rhinoplasty 30 years ago. In this non-surgical procedure, fillers are injected to alter and shape a person's nose. 

Today non-surgical rhinoplasty is a medium-term solution as the filler used - hyaluronic acid – commonly lasts a year, and is therefore not permanent. Some patients prefer to start down the non-surgical route first in order to see the likely result of a long term surgical rhinoplasty, before making the commitment. Others opt for a top-up every year.

View treatment

What to expect


The first step for all of our patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation.

At the consultation, you will be able to discuss with your surgeon what your hope to achieve from the procedure, as well as discuss in detail what may or may not be possible given the existing structure of your nose. Dependent on which consultant you see, a visualisation of what outcome you can expect will be made via Crysalix 4D imaging technology used at the Clinic to help you visualise this.

After that, several key measurements will be made of your nose, and standard clinical photography will be taken.

Finally, a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding the post-procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two-week 'cooling-off' period.

Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.

You should expect your consultation to last a full hour, and you should factor coming in at least twice – the second time free of charge – to ensure that both you and your consultant are aligned on your expectations.

 Some questions your consultant may ask you include:

  • What is the current state of your overall health?
  • What, if any, pre-existing health conditions do you have?
  • Can you provide a full and comprehensive description of your past medical history?
  • Can you provide a full and comprehensive description of your past surgical history?
  • Please can you provide a list of any medications you currently take, including prescription and over the counter drugs?
  • What is your current weekly level of alcohol consumption, smoking and recreational drug use?
  • Do you have any allergies that we should be aware of?
  • What are your overall goals for surgery?

Some questions you may ask your consultant include:

  • Is a surgical rhinoplasty procedure the right procedure for me?
  • If so, which surgical approach do you recommend as the right one for me?
  • If not, should I opt for a non surgical rhinoplasty alternative?
  • Will there be any pain after the surgery?
  • Will there be any scarring after the surgery and if so, where?
  • What is the recovery process? How long will it take for me to recover from my rhinoplasty?
  • Are my expectations realistic?
  • How many procedures of this type have you done before? Have you got any before and after pictures of rhinoplasties that I can look at?
  • What happens if I am not happy with the results?


If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure. 

Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:

  • In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend smoking is discontinued as patients who smoke have a higher risk of healing more slowly and complications  
  • In the week before your procedure you must cease taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin
  • In the 6 hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (e.g. still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to 2 hours before admission 


On the day of your rhinoplasty procedure we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant vitals, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.

Rhinoplasty itself is straightforward and takes place under general anaesthetic over the course of between one and three hours. A Rhinoplasty can be 'open' or 'closed', dependent on where the incision is placed. Your surgeon will choose an incision site that minimises this scale and visibility of this site.

Following the procedure, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between two to three hours. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.


Once home you will have access to our dedicated oncall nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and pain control, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.

A Rhinoplasty is one of the least painful procedures, although it is completely normal to feel that your nose is blocked up due to the swelling that you will experience following the procedure. This should subside after 7 – 10 days, after which you should expect some residual bruising. We advise total rest for several days after treatment, and recommend at least 2 weeks off work to allow adequately for this process. We also recommend avoiding UV light for 2 -4 weeks to aid the scarring process.

We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.

You should see your results clearly at the 6 week mark, although on occasion it can take a little longer. We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 weeks for a post procedure for a final check up.

What can I expect from my surgery?

What are the risks

Complications are unlikely. That said, as with all surgery, some complications are possible, please read our FAQ's for more information.

Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation.

Why come to The Cadogan Clinic for Rhinoplasty

  • Cadogan Clinic is an award winning specialist cosmetic clinic, with a track record of delivering safe, high quality cosmetic surgery  
  • We are home to a team of high profile, published rhinoplasty specialists 
  • Unlike many of our competitors, we use the latest anaesthetic technologies to minimise your downtime, and allow you to return home on the day of your procedure 
  • Our nursing team provide a dedicated 24/7 oncall service during recovery – whatever your question, we can provide the answer 
  • We offer a complimentary consultation and treatment with our onsite team of aestheticians to ensure you heal and scar quickly and efficiently 

Results Gallery

Rhinoplasty Results

Click here to view our gallery of Before & Afters and Rhinoplasty results

Frequently Asked Questions

A rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery or a ‘nose job’, is a procedure that addresses many concerns related to your nose. As the nose is the central feature on your face, it can define your overall look. With a nose job, we address various concerns, including:

- Size reduction
- Length reduction
- Correcting asymmetry
- Removing a bridge or bump on the nose
- Reshaping the tip or shape of the nose
- Alleviating a deviated septum or improving breathing difficulties
- Making changes to the nostril shape and size

Not all rhinoplasty procedures are created equally. Depending on your needs, we offer different procedures to achieve your desired results. During your initial consultation with your surgeon, they will evaluate what type of rhinoplasty surgery is right for you.

There are five types of rhinoplasty procedures that we offer at the Cadogan Clinic.

Closed Rhinoplasty

This is the most common type of rhinoplasty. There are no external scars, as all incisions are done inside the nose. The soft tissues are lifted slightly upward, allowing access to the bone and cartilage. There are several advantages of closed rhinoplasty, including reduced nasal tissue irritation, less detectable scarring, shorter operating times and faster recovery.

Open Rhinoplasty

This is a more invasive surgery and it is widely used for patients who need more extensive work. Your surgeon will make incisions in the columella, which is the skin between your nostrils beneath your nose. Following the incisions, the skin is lifted up allowing access inside the nasal cavity for your surgeon to perform reshaping. After the surgery is complete, the columella is sutured and the nose will be secured in place with tape and a splint to keep the nose in place. The splint will keep the nose in place during the healing process and normally will be removed after one week.

Open rhinoplasty is excellent for patients with issues such as genetic or structural deformities, trauma to the nose requiring grafting and unsatisfactory results from a previous nose job.


A septo-rhinoplasty is commonly done to improve the way you breathe through your nose. This is often done for patients who suffer from a deviated septum. The septum is the cartilage and bone inside your nose that divides the nostrils. Your surgeon will make an incision in the mucosa (the lining inside your nose), and lift it off the bone and cartilage in order to remove any parts that are bent, putting them into a straight position allowing for clear breathing. This procedure will improve the way you breathe, and the appearance of your nose can be adjusted as well.

Rhino-tip Surgery

Rhino-tip surgery is done to change the shape of the nose by modifying the structure of the underlying cartilage. Most alterations are done from inside the nose so as to minimize any scarring. Your surgeon can create the perfect tip for your nose structure.

Some common cases that patients come in for are:

- Big tip - this is a rounded appearance at the tip of the nose, possibly due to thick skin.
- Crooked tip - one nostril may appear larger than the other, or the nose might be slanted to one side causing an asymmetrical look.
- Flared nostrils - when the nostrils are larger and spread farther apart creating an upturned or flat nose appearance.
- Hooked tip - this is when the nose juts out and is overly long, particularly noticeable on the profile of the patient.

Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

This is another very common form of rhinoplasty. It is non-surgical and non-invasive and involves an injectable filler being used to correct very minor imperfections. This is a popular choice for clients who need minimal changes to the shape of their nose. Keep in mind that over time the filler will begin to dissolve and you may need further treatments. 

Rhinoplasty, the nose job, is the oldest plastic surgery operation. It is well recorded in ancient Egypt, India and Renaissance Italy. Evolution and refinement have continued through to the present day.

Surgically, one can reconstruct part of or the whole nose after trauma or tumour excision. More commonly we aesthetically refine the size and shape.

There is no limit to what one can do surgically – reduce the size, change the shape, improve breathing, lift or raise the bridge line or reduce the nostril size. First, you'll need to discuss carefully with your surgeon exactly what you are hoping for. They will help you with diagrams, photographs and computer morphing of images.

Once you have decided what you need to achieve the desired result, your surgeon will explain the required procedure. There are some basic options. The augmentation rhinoplasty is where tissue, perhaps your own cartilage, bone or fat, or artificial material from a package is used to raise the bridge line and tip.

More frequently we are reducing the size and shape and access is through the nostrils without a skin incision. This is the Closed Rhinoplasty.

The Open Rhinoplasty requires a small incision across the central strut of the nose (the columella) and is used for certain, more complicated operations.

Whichever surgical procedure you have, it is virtually painless and carried out as a day case, mostly under TIVA (Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia), the Cadogan Clinic form of user-friendly general anaesthesia.

The Medical or Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty is another option which has become popular recently. In fact, surgeons at the Cadogan Clinic have been using this technique for 30 years. It is a quick way of adding injectable material to disguise shape. So, for example, one can add filler either side of a hump, raising the bridge line to level it. The surgical option might be the remove the hump, making the nose slightly smaller.

It is popular because it is quick and avoids even a small operation. It is actually really useful for disguising really terrible deformities, which would involve several complicated procedures.  At the Cadogan Clinic, we have used many different fillers, including some that are permanent. Nowadays we use either your own fat or hyaluronic acid filler. Hyaluronic acid dissolves slowly and will need top-ups every 6-12 months.

We believe that you should know all the options before making your choice of procedure.

There is the pain of one or several very small needle pricks and that is about it. It is, after all, simply just another filler injection, using the same filler type and needle. There is no need for anaesthesia and there is no pain afterwards.

It is of interest to point out that a surgical Rhinoplasty is also virtually pain-free after surgery.

Do not be put off by pain. If you are uncertain about whether you will like the outcome, then the medical or non-surgical procedure could be a good choice for you.

It is important, nevertheless, that your surgeon is experienced and knows the anatomy, as there are risks particularly of skin loss or embolism with the apparently simpler non-surgical procedure.

Non-surgical Rhinoplasty is a temporary procedure. You will need to schedule maintenance appointments to maintain your new look. The benefit of this is that you can make adjustments over time. Perhaps your desired look changes or it takes several sessions to dial in on exactly what you want to see.

To see if a non-surgical rhinoplasty is best for you, book a consultation with our team at the Cadogan Clinic so we can help determine your goals and recommend the best treatment.

Rhinoplasty is carried out with the patient only just asleep under total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA), and depending on your requirements, the surgeon may do any of the following:

Nose reduction - make the nose smaller by removing some cartilage and bone. This often involves rasping down the bridge of the nose and fracturing the nasal bones, where they join the face. The skin of the nostrils does not shrink to the same extent as the rest of the nose and there may be a necessity for reducing the base of the nostrils or the floor of the nose, by removing a wedge of tissue.

Nose reshapingchanging the shape of the nose by rearranging or adding to the cartilaginous and bony skeleton.

Nose proportionschanging the angle between the nose and top lip.

At your initial rhinoplasty consultation, your surgeon will go through any pre-operative advice with you which will include eating well, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and avoiding aspirin and blood-thinning medication.

You will not be allowed food for 6 hours and water for 2 hours prior to your operation. You may choose to take Arnica tablets to reduce any bruising following your nose surgery. If you have any other questions or concerns then you will be able to address them during your consultation.

Contrary to popular expectation, Rhinoplasty involves virtually no pain following surgery. Whilst there may be some level of discomfort immediately following your procedure (and likely some symptoms such as a blocked nose etc.), pain levels will be modest.

Once you arrive at the clinic for your nose reshaping surgery, you will be taken downstairs by our friendly nurses to be prepped for surgery and meet the anaesthetist. You will also have another chat with the surgeon, as this is the final point when the surgeon needs to know exactly what you require. Once you have had your operation, you will recuperate in our recovery room and when you have eaten a few hours later and you are ready, your surgeon will discharge you with some post-operative advice. A friend or relative is able to collect you and take you home. Before leaving the clinic our nursing staff will ensure you have everything you need including a post-operative appointment time and they are likely to give you some spare gauze to keep under the nostrils to catch any drips.

Rhinoplasty is one of our most popular treatments at Cadogan Clinic, and any risks associated with nose reshaping are the same as with any other surgical procedure that involves a general anaesthetic. Any specific risks will be discussed by your surgeon who will explain the nose surgery process in detail and answer your specific concerns.

Some possible risks can include:

+ Anesthesia risks, as with any surgery there are risks with using anesthesia.
+ Infection
+ Poor wound healing or scarring
+ Change in skin sensation; possible numbness or pain
+ Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the nasal septum). However keep in mind that this is very rare. Additional surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the septum but it may be impossible to correct this complication
+ Difficulty breathing
+ Unsatisfactory nasal appearance
+ Skin discoloration and swelling
+ Possibility of revisional surgery

The best way to avoid risks with surgery is to follow the proper aftercare instructions given to you by your surgeon. Many of these risks are rare.

As always with cosmetic surgery, it is essential that the surgeon, not only understands exactly what you are looking for, and can deliver it, but psychologically it is necessary to be as certain as one can be that this desired result actually satisfies the patient.


We usually recommend our rhinoplasty patients to take at least one week off work, as you will be wearing a splint for up to ten days. There is no reason however, why you should not be working from home. There may be some bleeding from the nostrils overnight or for longer if the septum or turbinate's have required treatment. You are likely to have some swelling and bruising below the eyes, if the nasal bones have been fractured. This is completely normal and will subside within the ten days. We also tell patients to avoid strenuous exercise for at least two weeks following the operation.

There are two parts to this answer. How long does it take to resume full normal activities and how long does it take for the nose to reach its final state? There is a huge time difference between the two. There is also individual variation.

Patients are usually surprised that the operation is virtually painless. We use Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia (TIVA) and therefore you wake up quickly from the operation and will not feel sick. You will be ready to go home within an hour or two. Expect some bleeding from the nostrils and you will find a gauze dressing strapped under the nose. This will be changed as necessary by the nurse whilst you are in the hospital and by yourself at home.

The bleeding usually stops by the next morning and be replaced by a clear ooze which tends to coagulate around the nostrils and internal sutures. Just keep this clear on the outside with tap water. The inside is unimportant. The nurse will deal with this when you come back at a week. The internal sutures dissolve on their own, but she will remove any skin sutures at the same time.

There is often bruising around the eyes. It is not painful. It appears quickly after surgery but settles equally quickly. The last remnants under the eyes go by 10 days.

Most patients, where the bones are fractured, will have a plastic or plaster of Paris splint over the nose, which is removed in 7 to 10 days. This is the moment of revelation. However, the nose is not how it will finally end up. It will be swollen and without definition. The tip, in particular, may at this stage appear unchanged. The actual final shape will take 6 to 12 months to settle. You will get some idea when this is, when the skin feels normal and all stiffness has gone. You need to be patient.

You are not ill after surgery, just a little bruised with a splint. You should not exercise for a couple of weeks, but you can do most other things if you don’t mind people seeing you. It is the same splint for a broken nose, and this would be the obvious white lie to explain it.


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