Rhinoplasty is one of the most demanding cosmetic operations for plastic surgeons. It requires a thorough understanding of nasal anatomy, a good eye to visualize what elements need to be addressed, knowledge of various corrective techniques, and an expertise in nasal function. Since Dr. Eric Okamoto is a double-board certified plastic surgeon/otolaryngologist (ear, nose & throat), he has experience from two different disciplines, which you will likely appreciate during your consultation.

What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a “nose job” or nasal surgery, is a procedure designed to improve the appearance and/or function of the nose. In some cases, individuals will opt for this surgery to correct structural issues, like a deviated septum; however, rhinoplasty is also a popular option for patients who would like to address aesthetic concerns. Rhinoplasty can alter the size and shape of the nasal bridge, tip, and nostrils, ultimately working to enhance balance and symmetry to facial features. If this procedure sounds like it is the right option for your needs, please call our office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Okamoto.

What Can Be Achieved with Rhinoplasty?

It would be impractical to describe all the variations that can be altered with a rhinoplasty. Suffice it to say that when a nose is too big, it is made smaller; when it is too small, it is made larger; when it is asymmetrical, balance is restored; and when it lacks definition, more form is imposed.

Limitations exist for change and these details will be discussed during your consultation. You will be given a detailed description explaining the anatomical reasons for your nasal presentation and specifically what measures are deemed necessary for correction. Just as important, Dr. Okamoto will explain why certain desires are sometimes difficult or impossible to achieve, particularly if the ultimate goal is to achieve a natural appearance.

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Am I a Candidate for Rhinoplasty?

Candidates for rhinoplasty include those who are unsatisfied with the size, shape, length, or width of their nose. A variety of cosmetic concerns with the bridge, tip, nostrils and other nasal areas can be addressed through this surgery. The ideal rhinoplasty candidate should be in reasonably good health, be a non-smoker, and have realistic expectations about what this procedure can accomplish. Dr. Okamoto will perform a thorough evaluation before determining your candidacy and answer any questions you may have about whether rhinoplasty is the best option for your needs.

What Happens in a Rhinoplasty Procedure?

Depending on the circumstances, Dr. Okamoto chooses whether to perform a rhinoplasty with a “closed” or an “open” technique. A closed rhinoplasty confines all the incisions inside the nasal chambers where they remain hidden from view. On the other hand, an open technique places one of the incisions across the central nasal column which separates the two nostrils. Although a fine line is visible in this region afterwards, it is generally unnoticeable. Every nose is different, which alters the cosmetic goals from one patient to the next. Therefore, every consultation must be individualized.

Asian Rhinoplasty

Dr. Okamoto also offers a highly specialized rhinoplasty procedure known as Asian Rhinoplasty — a technique designed specifically for individuals of Asian descent. If you are considering this procedure, Dr. Okamoto can review the different approaches available that can meet your needs. He will then craft a customized treatment plan designed to achieve your goals. Dr. Okamoto strives to provide an outcome that is both cosmetically pleasing while still preserving his patients’ unique ethnic features.

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Is Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Possible?

Yes! At our plastic surgery practice, we refer to non-surgical rhinoplasty as “liquid rhinoplasty.” This treatment utilizes dermal fillers to achieve your desired look. Some individuals may wish to improve their nasal contours to create enhanced facial balance and symmetry, and this non-surgical treatment can help. It should be noted that the effects of liquid rhinoplasty are not permanent but can be maintained with touch-up injections on an as-needed basis. Dr. Okamoto can review this option with you during your consultation to see if it can meet your needs.

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Rhinoplasty vs. Chin Implants

The chin and nose are often said to work in tandem to provide a balanced profile. When the chin is disproportionately small, the nose can sometimes appear larger than it really is. As such, patients sometimes opt for chin implants instead of rhinoplasty to make the nose look smaller. In some cases, a combination of both rhinoplasty and a chin implant may be the best way to achieve ideal balance and proportions among facial features.

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What Is Recovery from Rhinoplasty Like?

During the recovery period, patients will experience swelling, as well as some minor bruising. The bruises typically fade after a couple of weeks, but it may take several months for the swelling to completely subside. Although an improved appearance should be noticeable shortly after the procedure, final results can sometimes take up to a year to be completely visualized, due to the prolonged swelling. Strenuous activities, sports, and exercise can affect the recovery process, and should be avoided for the first few weeks after surgery. Diving, contact sports, and any other activities where your nose could potentially be impacted should be avoided for at least six weeks, allowing the bones to restabilize. Any discomfort during the recovery period is typically minimal and can usually be alleviated with oral medication.

What Is Revision Rhinoplasty?

Also referred to as “secondary” rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty can be an option for patients who are experiencing aesthetic problems or dissatisfaction resulting from an initial nose surgery performed by another surgeon. Dr. Okamoto can help correct a variety of cosmetic issues that patients may be experiencing from a previous rhinoplasty.

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How to Select the Best Rhinoplasty Surgeon for You

For any plastic surgery procedure, and particularly for rhinoplasty, the selection of your surgeon is one of the most important steps in the process. Rhinoplasty is a very complex type of surgery, and requires an exceptionally skilled and extensively experienced surgeon to maximize the potential for successful results. When you are going about the process of researching prospective rhinoplasty surgeons, it is very helpful to focus on doctors who have board-certification and who demonstrate a commitment to safety, advanced techniques, and comprehensive care.

The surgeon for whom you are considering should answer any and all questions you may have thoroughly and concisely. In addition: reviewing the surgeon’s biography and credentials can give you insight into their experience; viewing the doctor’s rhinoplasty before-and-after photos can give you an idea of the results he or she is capable of; and determining how many times the surgeon has performed nose surgery procedures can also be very beneficial.

As a surgeon who is certified in both plastic surgery and otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery), Dr. Okamoto is highly qualified to perform rhinoplasty procedures and has an exceptional record of results with this procedure. Dr. Okamoto will thoroughly discuss your needs and goals with you during the initial consultation and address all of your concerns. If this procedure is right for you, he will develop a personalized treatment plan designed to effectively enhance the aesthetics of your nose or improve nasal function with results that meet your expectations.

Please click on the following links to learn more about the importance of board-certification and criteria to consider when choosing the best plastic surgeon.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty

Will I have a scar after rhinoplasty?

One of the major benefits for patients considering rhinoplasty is that the procedure typically results in scars that are virtually unnoticeable. With an “open” rhinoplasty technique, the incision is placed in such a way that the residual scar blends in with the columella’s natural crease and is practically undetectable. For a “closed” rhinoplasty procedure, there will be no visible scarring whatsoever because the incisions are inside the nose.

How can I reduce swelling after rhinoplasty?

All patients will experience swelling following the rhinoplasty procedure. The highest level of swelling will occur during the first six weeks, and should become much less noticeable after that; however, some degree of mild swelling will likely be present for a minimum of six months to one year after surgery. Patients can often reduce swelling after rhinoplasty by taking a few helpful steps in the weeks and months that follow the procedure. During the recovery process, it’s important to strictly adhere to the instructions provided by Dr. Okamoto. These will include recommendations to keep the head elevated, and may also advise you to periodically place ice packs on the treated area. Other ways you can control swelling include the avoidance of foods that are high in salt (salt can exacerbate swelling), and the addition of foods into your diet that are rich in proteins and antioxidants. Fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, eggs, and healthy fats are often good options to reduce the potential for inflammation and fluid retention.

When can I blow my nose after rhinoplasty?

It is crucial that you refrain from blowing your nose for a minimum of two to four weeks following rhinoplasty surgery. Dr. Okamoto will be able to provide more specific recommendations in your post-operative instruction packet. The reason you must avoid blowing your nose during this time is that it could significantly impact the healing process and cause internal nasal damage—it may also even affect the cosmetic results. While feeling congested or stuffy after rhinoplasty is a normal part of the recovery process, Dr. Okamoto can advise you on ways to alleviate these effects without blowing your nose and potentially causing serious complications.

How do I clean my nose after rhinoplasty?

A saline rinse or a nasal spray is often all that is necessary to adequately clean your nose after rhinoplasty surgery. These options can help diminish dryness while reducing the chance that the healing nasal tissue will be negatively affected. In some cases, Dr. Okamoto may recommend the gentle use of a cotton swab to address any blockages that may have developed; however, it is important that you first talk with Dr. Okamoto or a member of our team about the best ways to clean your nose during recovery. We will provide you with recommendations based on your individual needs and the type of rhinoplasty you have had performed.

How long after rhinoplasty can I wear glasses?

It’s usually about four to six weeks before eyeglasses can be safely placed on the bridge of the nose following rhinoplasty. Even something as light as glasses may exert too much pressure on the nose while it is healing, so it’s best to be on the safe side. Dr. Okamoto can give you a better idea about how long you may need to refrain from wearing eyeglasses once you have been evaluated and the personalized treatment plan is in place.

How long does it take to heal after rhinoplasty?

While the exact timeline of recovery often varies among patients, optimal healing following rhinoplasty generally takes at least six weeks. With that in mind, most individuals are able to resume work and other daily routines about one week after surgery. As mentioned above, it can take as much as a full year for all residual swelling to fade; however, the most noticeable swelling should dissipate within the first few months. In the weeks and months after rhinoplasty, it is imperative that you follow Dr. Okamoto’s aftercare instructions and attend any follow-up appointments as scheduled in order to keep swelling under control, prevent infection, and ensure that your progress is moving along smoothly.

Is rhinoplasty different for men than it is for women?

The techniques used in rhinoplasty are not contingent upon the sex of the patient; however, males and females typically desire different aesthetic facial qualities, some of which apply to the nose. For instance, females tend to seek softer features and a more narrow bridge, whereas males often prefer a sharper, more masculine look and a more defined bridge. Dr. Okamoto customizes rhinoplasty treatment plans to the unique anatomical characteristics and preferences of each patient.

What is the difference between rhinoplasty and septoplasty?

Rhinoplasty often references a surgical procedure that focuses on the aesthetics of the nose, with its purpose being to contour and improve the nasal appearance. Meanwhile, septoplasty is generally performed to clear the nasal passages and correct issues with breathing, such as a deviated septum.

Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?

As cosmetic rhinoplasty is considered an elective surgery, the majority of insurance plans will not cover this treatment. Fortunately, our practice accepts several convenient payment methods, including financing arrangements through CareCredit®, a trusted third-party lender with flexible plastic surgery financing options for eligible applicants.

If you would like more information about rhinoplasty or other procedures available at our practice, please contact us today. We will be happy to answer your questions or to assist you with scheduling a consultation.

*Individual results may vary