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Mother whose face was rebuilt after a drunken car crash finally has the nose she always wanted

A nose job – or a rhinoplasty – is an operation to change the size and shape of the nose.

In the UK, the procedure is not usually available on the NHS for cosmetic reasons, but may be if the surgery is to help you breathe.

Costs range from £4,500-to-£7,000.

Figures suggest around 4,000 nose jobs are carried out every year in the UK and 62,000 in the US. 

All independent and hospital clinics that carry out the procedure in England must be registered with the Care Quality Commission, which publishes inspection and performance reports.

The surgery may involve making the nose smaller by removing some of the cartilage and bone, or making it larger by taking cartilage from the ears and bone from the hips, elbow or skull. 

The shape of the nose can also be changed by breaking the bone and rearranging the cartilage. And the angle between the nose and the top lip can be reshaped.

An operation that involves one cut across the skin between the nostrils is known as an open rhinoplasty, while tiny cuts inside the nostrils is a closed rhinoplasty.

A closed rhinoplasty leaves no visible scars and causes less swelling.

Both operations taken between 90 minutes and three hours, with patients being required to spend one or two nights in hospital.

Most leave hospital with dressings in each nostril and a splint held over their nose with tape, which means they can only breathe through their mouths.

You may need to take up to three weeks off work to recover and it may be up to six months before the swelling has gone down enough to see the effects of the operation.

Common side effects after a nose reshaping include a:

  • Blocked nose 
  • Stiffness or numbness of the nose
  • Soreness, swelling and bruising around the eyes
  • Light nosebleeds

Occasionally, the surgery can cause permanent breathing difficulties, damage to the cartilage between the nostrils, an altered sense of smell or heavy nosebleeds. 

As with all operations, it can also cause excessive bleeding, blood clots, infection and allergic reaction to the anaesthetic.