As both a board certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, I often see patients who are interested in improving both the appearance and function of the nose. The patient may be primarily interested in changing the shape of the nose and be unaware of areas inside of the nasal passages which are causing even minor breathing difficulties. Rhinoplasty will not only improve the shape and appearance of the nose but also correct any internal narrowing or obstruction of the breathing passages.
At the consultation I like to have each patient describe what they dislike as well as like about the nose. I ask them to tell me what bothers them the most and tell me the top 3 things they would like to change about it. I like to review their history focusing on prior nasal surgery, nasal trauma, and nasal airway breathing problems.
While the consultation focuses on the nose, it’s also important to evaluate the entire face. Facial asymmetry is the rule versus the exception, and it’s important to show this to patients so they understand how this affects the appearance of the nose. For example, the nose may appear crooked or deviated not only due to intrinsic deviation of the nose but also due to facial asymmetries which will not be corrected by rhinoplasty. Nearly one third of prospective rhinoplasty patients also have a slightly weak or under projected chin which a chin implant can easily correct at the time of rhinoplasty.
I also encourage patients to show me photos of people whose noses they like as it demonstrates their sense of beauty and attractiveness. While it isn’t possible to give a patient someone else’s nose, our dialogue allows patients to show me what specific features on these ideal noses appeal to them. Most importantly, I can communicate how I can try to achieve the outcome from surgery that best incorporates the qualities and features they find aesthetically appealing.
We also perform computer imaging during the consultation which allows a patient to see a simulated version of their before and after images from rhinoplasty. Obviously it’s not possible to guarantee the outcome of surgery based upon a computer simulation. However, the images are another tool used during the consultation to ensure the patient and I have the same aesthetic goals as plastic surgery is all about the outcome!
The consultation is also a time when we discuss the recovery, complications, and costs associated with rhinoplasty. We emphasize patient education and safety as all procedures are performed in a licensed and accredited outpatient surgery setting with board certified anesthesiologists who administer an anesthetic.
I always encourage patients to review our website and photo gallery, where hundreds of patient cases including primary and revision rhinoplasty are displayed and in-depth details about rhinoplasty are presented. Patients are encouraged to know that rhinoplasty is a procedure I have performed regularly over the past 30 years. We are a “go to” practice for physicians and often receive referrals for rhinoplasty from other plastic surgeons in our community.
Listen to this patient testimonial of one of Dr. Chaffoo’s patients Olivia on her positive experience with her Rhinoplasty.
Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
After experiencing trauma to her nose which resulted in a fracture, this 20-year-old woman was left with a very prominent nasal hump. She was unhappy with the look of her nose and wanted to find an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon in San Diego to reconstruct and restore her appearance.
When she met with Dr. Chaffoo, he thoroughly examined her nose to determine exactly what the injury had done. He decided that, rather than performing a simple rhinoplasty, which is usually considered just a cosmetic procedure, he should perform a septorhinoplasty, which is similar to a rhinoplasty but treats the function of the nose as well.
Usually, septorhinoplasty is performed to address the nose’s function when the nasal septum (the internal divider of the nose) has been damaged or obstructs breathing. During the surgery, after the function of the nose is addressed, Dr. Chaffoo moves on to cosmetically enhancing the nose as well. For this patient, Dr. Chaffoo first attended to any internal damage to the septum and then reshaped her nose to create a more appealing slope.
In her postoperative photograph, the change in the patient’s nose is dramatic. Dr. Chaffoo was able to correct both the function and appearance of her nose so that, instead of having an overly-prominent nasal hump, her nose slopes evenly from her brow to the tip. Following her plastic surgery, she was incredibly happy with the results, as can be seen by her large smile in the “after” photo.