The best candidates for cosmetic rhinoplasty are patients who are unhappy about the appearance of their nose and have realistic goals in terms of desired changes. Some of the more common complaints include: a poorly defined or 'bulbous' tip, a hump deformity (bump on the bridge), a crooked bridge, an excessively wide nose, and noses that are simply 'too big' or 'too small' for the patient's face. In most cases of cosmetic rhinoplasty, these undesirable characteristics are present in combination.
The best candidates for functional rhinoplasty in San Diego (for a medical indication) are those patients with a fixed nasal obstruction (difficulty breathing thru the nose). By 'fixed' we mean that the obstruction does not necessarily improve with medication use. The fact the obstruction does not improve with medication usually indicates there is an anatomic, or structural, abnormality with the nasal passage that requires repair. In some cases, this may be due to what is termed a deviated septum.
The septum is the middle wall of the internal nose that divides the left and right nasal passages. If the septum is significantly deviated, or poorly aligned, it can contribute to difficulty breathing thru the nose. A deviated septum can be present from birth or can arise after an injury to the nose. Either way, septoplasty can be performed to help straighten the septum and improve nasal breathing. In most cases of septoplasty the external appearance of the nose is unchanged, as the surgery predominantly involves internal work.
By definition, the term rhinoplasty involves reshaping the appearance of the nose. In terms of functional rhinoplasty (or septorhinoplasty) this implies having to restructure the external framework of the nose for the sake of improving nasal breathing. Although the reason for such functional rhinoplasty is not cosmetic in nature, there are inevitably esthetic changes that will occur as a byproduct of the surgery.
Why Rhinoplasty is unique from other plastic surgery procedures
Rhinoplasty is unique amongst plastic surgery procedures in San Diego. One of the most important distinctions is based on the combined cosmetic and functional implications of rhinoplasty. Perhaps in no other plastic surgery procedure is there such an inextricable link between cosmetic and functional changes. For this reason, it is critical to choose a plastic surgeon that has thorough training and experience in rhinoplasty.
Another feature is the fact the nose is located in the center of the face. As such, it is very difficult to hide any imperfections, particularly asymmetric results. Whereas in procedures such as breast augmentation and abdominoplasty patients can camouflage or hide potential surgical imperfections, this is not possible with rhinoplasty outcomes.
Most desired San Diego Rhinoplasty outcomes
Because of the subjective nature of interpreting cosmetic results, it is actually quite difficult to describe the ideal nose. However, there are certain characteristics that can be considered more desirable. The ideal nose is one that simply does not draw unwanted attention. It may sound odd, but the ultimate goal of rhinoplasty is so that people look directly into your eyes at first glance, not even noticing your nose. This translates into a nose that is proportional in size with the surround facial structure. Symmetry is also a key characteristic of the ideal nose. In addition, patients with an ethnic background should have a nose that maintains consistency with their underlying ethnic facial features. In short, the final outcome should look like a nose the patient would have been born with.
Potential Rhinoplasty risks and complications, and how you can avoid them
One of the main risks of rhinoplasty is an undesirable cosmetic outcome. In many cases, this can be quite difficult to determine given the largely subjective nature of interpreting rhinoplasty results. Undesirable changes may include anything ranging from over-correction to under-correction of the nose. This can manifest as contour irregularities (bumps or depressions), asymmetry of the nose, and imbalance with the surrounding facial features. The incidence of these problems increases with more reductive rhinoplasty techniques, where the cartilage and bony framework is cut or reduced in size to reshape the nose. Rhinoplasty is widely considered the most challenging of all facial plastic surgery procedures.
Avoiding these potential cosmetic and functional risks requires extensive knowledge and training in the principles of rhinoplasty. It also demands more than average experience in performing rhinoplasty. For instance, the more seasoned and knowledgeable rhinoplasty surgeon will more often opt to add structure to the nose (termed structural rhinoplasty) to make it stronger rather than attempting to reshape the nose by reductive techniques. San Diego plastic surgeons whose practice has a sub-specialty focus on rhinoplasty have much higher success rates and much lower than average incidence of unsatisfactory outcomes.
What you should consider when choosing a San Diego plastic surgeon for Rhinoplasty
Patients seeking to undergo cosmetic and/or functional rhinoplasty should choose a surgeon who is truly experienced in the concepts and techniques of this most challenging procedure. By this, we mean a plastic surgeon in San Diego who performs at least 1-2 rhinoplasty procedures per week. The best case scenario is a double board certified surgeon with background training conducive to performing rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty, and expert training in the internal and external dynamic workings of the nose. This is a critical fund of knowledge when it comes to performing nose jobs in San Diego to preserve or improve nasal breathing.
Average cost of Rhinoplasty in San Diego
The average cost of rhinoplasty ranges from approximately $4500-7000 for a primary surgery. This price typically includes the surgical fees, anesthesia, and facility costs for a 2-2.5 hour-long operation.
Average recovery time for San Diego Rhinoplasty
The initial recovery time for a nose job in San Diego is about 5-7 days. During this period, the nose is bandaged and daily care is recommended to clean the incision and sutures (or stitches). If patients follow the recommended rhinoplasty recovery regimen as directed, bruising and swelling is normally quite minimal. Around 5-7 days, bandages and sutures are removed in the office. The nose will typically appear mildly puffy and swollen at this unveiling, however, significant improvements are seen over the following week. Most patients will look 'supermarket' presentable by 10-14 days following rhinoplasty.
Patients are recommended to avoid any salt supplementation in their diet, as this can cause unwanted soft tissue swelling. Aerobic exercise can sometimes be resumed as early as 3-4 weeks after surgery. More strenuous physical activity may have to wait 6-10 weeks following surgery.
Ultimately, it takes upwards of a year and beyond for the nose to stabilize in terms of healing. This is typically a very gradual process. A majority of the swelling (70-80%) will have resolved by 2-3 months, but continued changes will be appreciated well beyond that point. Patients should understand that these findings are simply part of a very dynamic healing process that is inherently involved in rhinoplasty recovery.