Rhinoplasty (surgery to change the appearance of the nose) techniques have evolved over many years in order to address patient concerns, including reconstructive surgery (rebuilding damage to the nose after trauma or disease) and aesthetic enhancement of nasal deformities (crooked noses, nasal humps or tip droops) present from birth. If you’re considering getting the procedure done, and wondering how to prepare for a nose job, this article will explain exactly what to expect, and how you should prepare.

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure designed to reshape and / or repair the nose, in order to improve both its function and appearance. Depending on the patient’s concern, rhinoplasty may also be accompanied by another procedure called septoplasty, which aims to clear blocked nasal passages (enabling nasal breathing) caused by a deviated septum.

Who is rhinoplasty suited to?

Rhinoplasty aims to correct the patient’s aesthetic or structural nasal concerns. Nasal surgery can re-size, re-shape and re-position the base, tip and centre of the nose, as well as alter the aesthetic harmony of the nose in relation to the face.

Nose surgery aims to achieve the following structural results:

  • Open nasal passages to improve nasal breathing
  • Straighten a crooked or deviated nose
  • Repair damage caused by injury
  • Alter the appearance of a nasal tip
  • Repair damage caused by cancer or an infection
  • Correct birth defects
  • Correct a hump deformity

Nose surgery aims to achieve the following aesthetic results:

  • Make the nose smaller or larger (to balance with other facial features)
  • Make the nose look more symmetrical (to match the midline of the face)
  • Restore the height of the nasal bridge
  • Reduce the size of large nasal openings
  • Improve the look of the nose in relation to the upper lip

How to prepare for rhinoplasty

1. Consult a Specialist Surgeon before making a decision

To understand how to prepare for rhinoplasty, it is important to speak to talk with an experienced Specialist Surgeon, who will assess your needs, general health and create an individualised treatment just for you.

You might consider asking the following questions during your consultation with the specialist:

  • Will I need anaesthesia during my rhinoplasty?
  • What form of nose surgery do you recommend for my specific concerns?
  • How long will it take for the final results to emerge?
  • What will my nose look like once I’ve recovered from surgery?

You should also discuss your expectations for your rhinoplasty surgery, as there are limits to how much you can alter the shape of the nose. It is important to be realistic with the anticipated outcomes from surgery; your Specialist Surgeon will guide you and suggest achievable goals based on the existing bone and cartilage structure of your nose. This is essential to ensure that surgery doesn’t create new problems or interfere with your nasal air flow when breathing.

Once completed, the early results are generally visible with a few days to a few weeks. However, the final fine detailed results may take up to 12 months to emerge. Rarely, revision nasal surgery will become necessary if any complications arise.

The bones in your face need to stop growing before undergoing rhinoplasty, which happens at around 17 years for boys, and 16 years for girls. Rhinoplasty won’t generally be performed on people younger than this.   

2. Find out the potential risks and complications associated with nose surgery

Part of preparing for rhinoplasty is understanding the risks and complications of surgery. While these aren’t common, general risks may include heavy bleeding, infection, allergic reaction, pain, bruising and swelling around the nose and eyes. Specific complications associated with rhinoplasty may include prolonged pain, numb nose or altered sensation around the area, revision surgery, sense of smell being impaired and difficulty breathing through the nasal passage.

3. Provide a full medical history to your surgeon

One of the most important aspects of preparing for rhinoplasty is providing a complete medical history to your Specialist Surgeon. Your medical history must include your current medical status, any health problems, medication, surgeries, allergies and immunisations. It would also be an appropriate time to include your mental health status; any illnesses, issues and treatments you’ve received. You’ll be provided with pre-surgery instructions according to your physical and mental health.

4. Be as fit as possible to aid in the recovery process

When preparing for rhinoplasty it is important that you remain as fit as possible. Remaining fit will aid your recovery process and will leave you feeling healthy after surgery. You may also be advised to avoid medicines that contain aspirin and ibuprofen for up to 2 weeks before and after your surgery.3 It may also be recommended that you stop taking naturopathic substances including garlic, ginkgo and ginseng as they may cause clotting and affect anaesthesia.

Preparing for your recovery is also a major part of how to prepare for rhinoplasty. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing will allow you to make appropriate preparations to ensure an effortless recovery from surgery.

5. Stop smoking at least two weeks before your surgery

When preparing for rhinoplasty, patients must stop smoking for at least two weeks before surgery.2 Not only does smoking increase the risk of complications, it also increases surgical and anaesthetic risks during the procedure. Smoking ultimately makes recovery more difficult after the operation is complete, and delays healing of the surgical site.

Want to know more?

If you’re looking to improve the shape or function of your nose, Gold Coast Implants can help. Give us a call for a chat, or visit our rhinoplasty page to find out more.


  1. 2019, Rhinoplasty (nose surgery), Better Health Channel
  2. 2020, Nose Surgery, Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
  3. 2020, Rhinoplasty, Health Direct