Rhinoplasty is usually performed under general anaesthetic and therefore carries a small risk of chest infection, particularly in patients who smoke. As with any operation, there is also a small risk of wound infection. Most infections will resolve with a short course of antibiotics.
Bleeding is a possible complication after rhinoplasty. Mostly this is self limiting and of little consequence but it may occur during the ten days or so after surgery and may require further treatment in hospital. Bruising is local bleeding beneath the skin and this is to be expected after rhinoplasty although hopefully this will be minimal.
You will experience some degree of swelling of your nose immediately after surgery and this may persist for a number of weeks and cause some difficultly with nasal breathing. The swelling will not be obvious to most people and will not prevent you from returning to your normal life a week or two post-operatively. It will, however, disguise the finished result of the operation until it has fully subsided, which normally takes about six months.
During the operation, local anaesthetic is used to minimise your discomfort afterwards. Once you have recovered, however, there may be some residual areas of numbness. These usually recover in time but occasionally may persist.
Scars heal very well in the majority of patients, but some skin types are prone to develop more obvious scarring and this may take longer to settle.
There is a small risk of an unsatisfactory cosmetic result, even after all the swelling has subsided. You may be able to feel or see irregularities on the nose. If this happens, it is possible that a second operation may be needed to correct it. Most surgeons wait for at least a year before considering a second procedure to ensure that the new shape has settled fully.