With any form of surgery, it’s important to consider the risks and limitations so you can make an informed decision regarding your rhinoplasty.

If you are considering a cosmetic rhinoplasty or have any questions regarding the rhinoplasty procedure then get in touch with us on: 020 7118 3553 for our Harley Street, London clinic, or 020 7118 3553 for our Guildford clinic.

What are the risks of a rhinoplasty?

  • There is a small risk of suffering a nosebleed, requiring further treatment and a very small risk of a nasal infection
  • Limited swelling in the skin at the time of surgery may hide underlying irregularities or asymmetries that can be seen later
  • 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
  • Very rarely, slight reddening of the skin may occur – this is more likely if you have had a previous rhinoplasty

Mr Rowe-Jones and Emma Rowe-Jones will discuss specific risks further and fully with you at your consultation. It is important to appreciate that surgery cannot guarantee a perfect result, although every effort is made to minimise unpredictability and achieve the best outcome possible.

What are the limitations of a rhinoplasty?

  • Rhinoplasty is a delicate and complex procedure requiring great skill and care. The nose is like a 3D jigsaw and surgery can help to beneficially re-shape, re-size and re-connect the pieces
  • Common misconceptions are to think that the nose can be sculpted as if it was a piece of marble, or that one can choose a perfect nose from a magazine. In reality a surgeon must take account of the underlying nasal structure, which ultimately determines what is available to work with, what is possible and what is right for each patient
  • Great care is taken to ensure that surgery does not weaken the nose by removing too much tissue
  • The rhinoplasty surgeon will need to consider exactly how far the skin is able to fit comfortably over a new nose shape
  • Skin type and age will also need to be taken into account when considering what is possible for you
  • It is not always easy to predict individual levels of healing. Different patients will heal at different rates and in different ways

It is important you understand there are limitations on how any surgeon can change the nose because the anatomy is very complex. For example, the nose is made-up of multiple pieces of cartilage and bone with complex shapes. It has joints and soft-tissue supports between these pieces. These pieces have complex and variable physical properties varying from springy, elastic cartilage to hard, brittle bone. There are also surgical and technological limitations in our ability to reshape these many different pieces.

It’s also worthwhile noting that the skin on your nose cannot infinitely shrink or stretch. For example, a surgeon can move a nasal tip back closer to the face (de-project the tip) by even a centimetre but this will produce a tip that is fatter from the front. This is similar to what happens if you push the tip of your nose back with your thumb. A surgeon is also limited because an intended change on one part of the nose may be associated with an accompanying unwanted change on another part – for example, if you squeeze a balloon to make it smaller in one place it will get bigger in another.

Modern cosmetic rhinoplasty is designed to keep your nose working properly. In some cases, noses which are twisted on the outside may be blocked on the inside. If the septum is twisted, rhinoplasty is combined with septoplasty. This is called septorhinoplasty and is used to straighten the nose on both the outside and inside. This improves both breathing and the appearance of your nose. It is also possible to rebuild noses with ‘pinched’ or weak nasal tips and nostrils or droopy tips. Weak nostrils may suck in with breathing. In order to enhance the look of the nose and relieve blockages rhinoplasty can reshape the tip and nostrils and lift the tip.

Later refinement nasal surgery

Refinement surgery for the nose is considered when unpredicted changes or irregularities occur that Mr Rowe-Jones feels can be corrected, or else, if he thinks your nose can be improved further. Refinement surgery is usually a smaller procedure occurring in about 5% of primary rhinoplasty patients and 10–15% of more complex secondary rhinoplasty patients.


If you’re considering a cosmetic rhinoplasty or have any questions regarding the rhinoplasty procedure then please call for a confidential conversation with one of Mr Rowe-Jones’s team. 020 7118 3553 or info@rhinoplasty.co.uk