One of the most satisfying aspects of being a plastic surgeon is witnessing the smiles on patients’ faces after they see the results of rhinoplasty surgery. Many of the San Diego County residents I’ve treated say cosmetic nose surgery changed the way they saw themselves and boosted their confidence.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular aesthetic procedures performed annually in the U.S., and we get a lot of questions from patients about what to expect. Answering these questions accurately and honestly is important, because it sets appropriate expectations for the men and women considering rhinoplasty.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled some of the most common questions prospective patients have asked on the website RealSelf in recent months and provided answers below:
- “Can rhinoplasty make my nose [bigger/smaller/less this/more that]?”
A skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon sculpts the nose using versatile techniques that can accomplish a wide range of goals. Rhinoplasty is one of the most complicated procedures plastic surgeons perform, and patients should do their homework before selecting a physician. Experience matters, and you should read reviews and look at plenty of before-and-after photos as part of your research.
- “Can rhinoplasty ever be covered by insurance?”
Nose surgery is often divided between two types: cosmetic rhinoplasty and functional rhinoplasty. As you might guess, functional rhinoplasty is for patients who have difficulty breathing through their noses due to a structural problem such as a deviated septum. A septoplasty may be covered by insurance, even when the procedure also includes cosmetic changes to the nose’s shape or size.
- “Can ‘nonsurgical rhinoplasty’ make a difference?”
Yes, injectable fillers can improve the appearance of a nose. For example, they can smooth a nasal hump on the bridge in a way that looks natural. But the results aren’t permanent, and maintenance treatments are needed. Sometimes nonsurgical rhinoplasty is a good way to “test drive” changes to the nose before undergoing rhinoplasty.
- “Can rhinoplasty ever be scar-free?”
Plastic surgeons generally choose 1 of 2 techniques — closed or open — to perform rhinoplasty. Incisions made during closed rhinoplasty are concealed in the nose, but the technique is only appropriate in certain cases. An open rhinoplasty provides surgeons a direct view of the nasal structures and requires only a tiny incision on the small strip of skin that separates the nostrils. In most cases, the resulting scar is barely perceptible after several months.
One issue that’s unique about rhinoplasty is the recovery time. Most patients only need about 7 days before they can return to their normal routines, but the final aesthetic results may not be seen for 6 to 12 months. That’s because residual swelling may distort the appearance of the nose. It’s something to remember when viewing rhinoplasty before-and-after photos. Here are some examples of my patients:
You can see more of my patients’ results in my before-and-after photo gallery. I’ve helped patients of all age ranges and lifestyles, with a variety of aesthetic concerns. I encourage you to find a few you relate to and bring those with you to your consultation.