Consultations offered at our four convenient locations in La Jolla, San Diego, Newport Beach and Beverly Hills

Facial massage, wrinkles prevention. Beautician massaging her face of young handsome man

When your facial features are balanced, your face has an aesthetically pleasing appearance. That harmony can be disrupted if your nose looks larger than other features or if its shape attracts attention. It’s amazing how greatly your appearance can be improved by changing just this one feature. Specialist Dr. Richard Chaffoo performs rhinoplasty in San Diego to help his patients improve facial harmony — and their lives.

Before and After Photos

Ideal Candidate

There are two main concerns that bring men and women in the San Diego area to Dr. Chaffoo for rhinoplasty (informally called a “nose job“):

  • Aesthetic concerns: a desire to improve the nose’s appearance
  • Functional concerns: nasal obstruction makes breathing difficult

In some cases, Dr. Chaffoo combines cosmetic and functional nose surgery. You might be considering a rhinoplasty to:

  • Improve the shape of your nose by smoothing out a hump on the bridge or refining its tip
  • Achieve better proportion with other facial features
  • Repair damage caused by an injury or birth defect
  • Clear your airways that are blocked by internal nasal structures

Dr. Chaffoo appreciates the unique characteristics of each patient and creates a custom surgical plan to meet all your cosmetic goals. The criteria he uses when assessing potential rhinoplasty patients include:

  • Age: The nose continues developing until the middle teen years in most cases. Male noses generally take a couple of years longer to reach full maturity.
  • Physical health: As with any surgical procedure, you should be in good overall health to undergo nose surgery.
  • Emotional health: Having a positive attitude and realistic expectations is important. It’s also critical that you are considering nose surgery because it’s what you want, and not to satisfy someone else’s notion of what an “attractive” nose looks like.

When performed by an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Chaffoo, rhinoplasty can improve your self-image.


Rhinoplasty techniques can differ from one plastic surgeon to another. With years of experience and training, Dr. Chaffoo strives to deliver the best Rhinoplasty San Diego has to offer and is known for his precise techniques and customizing the procedure to meet the needs of each patient. That includes the unique methods used in ethnic rhinoplasty. In most cases, Dr. Chaffoo performs nose surgery by:

  • Making incisions either on the inside of your nostrils (closed rhinoplasty) or on the outside, under the nose (open rhinoplasty)
  • Reducing or rearranging bone and cartilage to mold your nose to its desired size and shape
  • Closing the incision and applying a temporary splint to the nose

Because it’s normally not necessary for Dr. Chaffoo to pack the nose, his rhinoplasty patients can expect less swelling and bruising after the procedure than they might with another surgeon.

The procedure takes one to two hours and is performed under anesthesia, which is monitored by a licensed, board-certified anesthesiologist. Dr. Chaffoo discusses in detail the surgical techniques he’ll use in your case at your consultation, as well as advise you about preparing for your nose surgery.


La Jolla Skin Dr. Chaffoo nose surgery

Immediately after your rhinoplasty surgery, Dr. Chaffoo tapes your nose and uses a splint to temporarily stabilize it. A team of experienced nurses carefully monitors you for any complications. As the anesthesia wears off, you’ll likely feel a dull ache in your nose and head; we prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort. Over the course of the next day, your face is likely to feel bloated. We recommend keeping your head raised as much as possible during this time. You should expect black eyes initially, as well as swelling and bruising, both of which can be reduced by applying cold compresses. Be sure to refrain from any activity that has the potential to either injure your new nose or increase your blood pressure.

Finally, please be sure to arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home from the cosmetic surgery center and stay with you for the following few days, as you will need some help around the house. We provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions to take with you. From time to time throughout your recovery, you will meet with Dr. Chaffoo so that he can evaluate your progress. And even if you do not have a follow-up visit scheduled, you can always contact your patient coordinator whenever you have any questions about your recovery.

As a triple board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Chaffoo offers San Diego Rhinoplasty patients the option of achieving more comprehensive facial enhancement as part of their rhinoplasty operation. By including, for example, eyelid surgery or a brow lift along with rhinoplasty, a patient goes through a single recovery period and saves the cost of certain fees, such as for anesthesia, that would be charged if the procedures were performed separately.


Can Cosmetic and Functional Rhinoplasty Be Combined?

Yes. In some cases, patients who want rhinoplasty to correct a breathing issue also request aesthetic changes. Likewise, a rhinoplasty performed for cosmetic reasons may also bring functional benefits. That’s something Dr. Chaffoo discusses during the consultation. Even though your health insurance may cover the cost of functional rhinoplasty, it may not pay for cosmetic changes performed during the nose surgery.

How Long Does Rhinoplasty Surgery Take?

Most of the rhinoplasty procedures Dr. Chaffoo performs can be completed within one to two hours. In some cases, the surgery is more complex, including revision rhinoplasty, which can take several hours.

Is Rhinoplasty Performed Using General Anesthesia?

In most cases, Dr. Chaffoo uses a general anesthetic for rhinoplasty surgery. A board-certified anesthesiologist is present throughout the surgery to monitor the anesthesia. Local anesthesia with sedation is an option in some less extensive cases.

When Will I See The Results of Rhinoplasty?

Most of our patients can observe changes to their noses about two weeks after surgery, once the initial swelling and bruising subside. But the permanent appearance of your nose emerges gradually in the months following the procedure because residual swelling affects the nose. It might take a year before you fully appreciate the final results.

How Much Does Rhinoplasty Cost?

Thanks to the high concentration of local plastic surgeons, the cost of rhinoplasty in greater San Diego is relatively competitive. However, surgeons typically determine their fees based on their qualifications, so plastic surgery is not typically an occasion to seek the lowest possible price. Dr. Chaffoo determines the price of each rhinoplasty on a case-by-case basis. The extent of surgery plays a role in setting cost. For example, a more invasive surgery that treats respiratory function in addition to nasal aesthetics is likely to cost a bit more than a more straightforward procedure. Our patients receive a specific quote at La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology™ before scheduling the procedure. Dr. Chaffoo believes in making plastic surgery as accessible as possible and offers several financing options for qualified patients.

What Are the Risks of Rhinoplasty?

Complications can occur in any surgical procedure. Numbness, difficulty breathing, postoperative nose bleeds, infection, and holes inside the septal area of the nose are potential risks. Rhinoplasty complications are very rare, and they can be minimized further by adequately preparing for surgery and diligently following the comprehensive post-operative instructions Dr. Chaffoo provides. It’s also essential to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in nose surgery and who is also board-certified in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery), meaning the surgeon has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy. In other words, choosing a plastic surgeon in San Diego such as Dr. Chaffoo goes a long way toward ensuring your health and safety.

Are There Limitations to Who Can Get Rhinoplasty?

Other than making sure a person’s nose is no longer developing, which usually stops in the late teen years, there aren’t many reasons a healthy person who wants rhinoplasty couldn’t get it. The biggest limitation with rhinoplasty is thick skin because this is difficult to shrink and conform to the underlying framework of the procedure. A surgeon can only do so much with a large nose if the skin won’t contract. That being said, if you are in good health and think you may be a candidate, Dr. Chaffoo would be pleased to meet you for a consultation and evaluation.

How Long Will My Rhinoplasty Results Last?

You can expect the results of your rhinoplasty to be long-lasting, as long as your nose isn’t significantly injured or traumatized at any point after surgery. Although the nose naturally changes with time, it doesn’t age the way a neck or other parts of the body do. The appearance of your nose should stay relatively static for the rest of your life.