The TEN most IMPORTANT rhinoplasty questions. MUST READ before your consultation!!


  1. Will a rhinoplasty surgery help me breathe better or just look better?


    Both! One of the real joys in performing rhinoplasty is the challenge and opportunity to not only

    help you look your best but also breathe your best. The very same structures that are important in the appearance of your nose also significantly affect your breathing. Not all surgeons emphasize breathing as much as aesthetics but we won’t compromise on either because we know both are important to you.



  2. What problems does rhinoplasty fix?


    A rhinoplasty surgery does a great job at fixing a hump on the bridge of the nose, changing how much the tip of the nose sticks out, bringing up a droopy tip, or bringing down an upturned tip. We can also narrow a nose or straighten one that is crooked. No two noses are identical which is why no two rhinoplasty surgeries are the same. We tailor the operation, from start to finish, to address those issues that bother you specifically.



  3. If I bring in a picture of my favorite celebrity nose, can you make mine look like that?


    This is one of the most common questions that I am asked and I wish I could always say yes! However, the reality is that pictures that patients bring in of models and celebrities serve more as a guide for me to understand the type of nose that a patient may like rather than an actual surgical goal. The beauty of noses is that they are all different. Unlike clay, which can be molded freely into any shape, the nose has structures within it that hold their form. Each person’s cartilages have a different shape and size and therefore what we can do with a patient’s nose varies from person to person. The best rhinoplasty is one that appears natural, highlights your eyes and facial structure, and looks attractive on you.


  4. Is there a difference between using fillers and having surgery?


    Definitely, and each has its pros and cons. Filler treatment takes about half an hour but it lasts only a year or two. Typically fillers in the nose need to be touched up on an annual basis thereafter. Fillers are great for addressing a small area that bothers you, for example blending a shadow in the nose, softening an area that stands out, filling an indentation, or building up the bridge to improve a profile. Rhinoplasty surgery, on the other hand, is the preferred choice for patients who desire a single treatment with results that last a lifetime. It is also the best treatment for a nose with breathing issues or one that needs to be narrowed or reduced in size.


  5. Is rhinoplasty a painful surgery?


    In the first 24 hours after rhinoplasty, it is completely normal to feel very tired, sore in the nose, and occasionally have a headache. You will have an absorbent pad in the nose for the first night which is removed in the morning to help you begin breathing through your nose again. The nose is never “packed” in the traditional manner. Typically patients discontinue their prescription pain medication after the first 3-4 days and the external splint and sutures are removed by one week.


  6. Will you have to break my nose?


    It depends. I would say that this is required in approximately half of our cases. It is performed when the nose is crooked, excessively wide, or has a hump. The process involves two very precise cuts through the bone that are just 1 millimeter wide. Though this is a source of anxiety for some patients, it is actually one of the most delicate and meticulous parts of the surgery. Our patients do not feel any pain during the procedure and it truly is nothing to fear!


  7. I’ve seen so many unnatural noses. Will people know I’ve had surgery?


    Unfortunately, there are too many patients who have had overly aggressive surgery to achieve a very narrow or chiseled look and the results don’t appear natural. Worse is that the type of nose that looks “operated on” frequently is not functioning well to breathe either. This emphasizes the importance of setting realistic goals. My job is to listen to you and understand what you wish to change and how you would like to change it. From there I can tell you what we can achieve with your nose, taking into consideration your skin thickness, the features of your cartilages, and your nose’s overall shape. I will tell you whether your desired outcome is possible and even advise against certain changes if I feel the result will appear unnatural. As a surgeon, this is my obligation. As the patient, you should expect nothing less.


  8. How long does it take to see my final result?


    The simple answer is one year. That is when the most of the healing has taken place and we shoot our final set of post-operative photographs. However, you don’t have to wait a full year to see changes. Within the first few weeks you will see changes, and if you have had a significant alteration such as a hump reduction, that is visible as soon as your splint comes off at one week. We do advise our patients, however, that it is normal and expected for the nose to be swollen after rhinoplasty. At 3 months, 85% of the swelling will have resolved. The last 15% will be gone by a year.


  9. How soon can I go back to work and resume exercise?


    I advise my patients that they may return to work at one week once the sutures are out and the splint has been removed. Walking is encouraged in the days after surgery but full effort workouts are discouraged until one month in order to keep swelling down and optimize healing. If you play sports, it is best to wait 6 weeks until the nose is strong again.


  10. How do I know which surgeon is right for me?


    Rhinoplasty is the most complex and challenging of all plastic surgery procedures. This means that trusting your nose to a surgeon whose passion and specialization in rhinoplasty is key! If you had an injured hand you would have it fixed by none other than a dedicated hand surgeon. The same goes for rhinoplasty. Secondly, the importance of the rapport you have with your surgeon cannot be overstated. If he makes you feel at ease then you will be better able to communicate your goals and desires. Furthermore, you will feel comfortable during the healing process to reach out to your surgeon with any questions you may have so he can guide you along the way.

Article by
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon