Rhinoplasty in San Diego: Questions and Considerations
What to consider when planning cosmetic or functional rhinoplasty in San Diego
Dr. Paul E. Chasan is a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego, California, this page was last updated January 22, 2019
Dr. Paul E. Chasan, a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego covers common questions that his patients often ask before having a rhinoplasty.
Achieving mastery of a rhinoplasty procedure involves an intimate understanding of the numerous structures and maneuvers among different skin, bone, and cartilage characteristics while also learning to understand and achieve the goals of each individual patient. Having the skill set to consistently produce great patient outcomes is rare, and when you are looking for your rhinoplasty surgeon, you want to make sure you found one who has the commitment and experience to ensure you get your rhinoplasty right the first time.
Dr. Chasan has performed over a thousand rhinoplasties – he sees his work as a lifelong commitment to the art. The experience he brings to the table puts the quality of his work at the top of the list among surgeons, and as a result, he receives many patients for both new rhinoplasties and revision rhinoplasties alike.
If you are looking into getting a rhinoplasty in San Diego, make sure you get it done right the first time. Dr. Chasan has seen many revision rhinoplasty cases where the outcome was completely avoidable – some patients come in with unfinished work or not enough structure, which is the mark of a surgeon that doesn’t have the confidence to go all the way to give you the outcome you are looking for. That’s why working with a master surgeon is essential for both peace of mind and assurance of your best potential outcome.
Now that you know why patients come to Dr. Chasan for their nose surgery, take a moment to learn about the procedure itself:
WHAT IS A RHINOPLASTY?
Before we take a deep dive into the finer points of rhinoplasty, let’s start with some basics: Rhinoplasty is essentially nose reshaping. A rhinoplasty may involve modification of the external or internal nasal structures to achieve an improved aesthetic or function of the nose. This is a relatively common procedure that has been performed for over a century.
Rhinoplasty has been around since the 6th century. The first modern procedure was in 1887, and in 2017, 44,676 people in the United States reported having a rhinoplasty while 877,254 people worldwide had rhinoplasties performed according to a statistical report published in the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
There are three main structures in the nose that might be modified in a rhinoplasty operation:
- Alar – cartilages from the tip of the nose
- Bony Dorsum
- Septum – cartilage that separates the nostrils and forms the bridge of the nose, it supports the alar cartilages
Rhinoplasty usually refers to modification of the external nose and may involve adjustments to all three structures. When talking about nose operations you might also hear the term “septoplasty” or “turbinoplasty”. This refers to modification of internal structures of the nose that are often adjusted in conjunction with external structures.
WHAT DOES A RHINOPLASTY SURGERY INVOLVE?
Rhinoplasty operations are very goal-oriented. An experienced plastic surgeon will take the time to look at your face, talk to you about what you are hoping to get from a rhinoplasty operation, and plan out your expected outcome from the procedure.
People can seek out a rhinoplasty for functional reasons (breathing difficulties) aesthetic reasons (easily corrected defects like a dorsal hump, bulbous tip, drooping tip, prominent nostril, or hanging columella). Most patients will find they have a combination of functional and cosmetic effects from a rhinoplasty surgery.
Cosmetic rhinoplasties usually include modification of both the nasal septum and the nasal tip. Your surgeon will likely have to detach the tip of the nose to change the shape of the bridge of the nose (dorsal hump). And if a surgeon only wanted to improve airflow they have to adjust the tip of the nose to accommodate for more room through the nostrils.
The bottom line is you really want an experienced surgeon to do your procedure, one who sees the nose as a comprehensive system of intimately connected parts and understands how the structures interrelate. Dr. Chasan has this understanding, and it is exactly this kind of experience that can save you from having a secondary procedure and make your outcomes more predictable.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COSMETIC OR FUNCTIONAL RHINOPLASTY?
A “cosmetic rhinoplasty” is an operation to achieve aesthetic outcomes, while “functional rhinoplasty” is an operation for restoring nasal airflow.
The truth is, the structures that shape the nose, also affect breathing. So it’s not always easy to differentiate between the two operations. Someone who is having a broken nose repaired for breathing reasons will also have a secondary aesthetic benefit.
About 70% of people who have a second operation after a cosmetic rhinoplasty do so because of breathing difficulties.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A RHINOPLASTY?
It’s very important to weigh risks and benefits before undergoing any surgical procedure, and even more so for cosmetic or elective procedures. Your surgeon will likely put a lot of time into explaining your procedure to you, and clearly state the possible risks so that you can make an informed decision. It is always okay to think about the decision before committing, consult more than one surgeon before making a selection, and bring a friend with you to help you remember what you wanted to ask.
If you ever want a second opinion on your surgery we are happy to help. Dr. Paul E. Chasan is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has helped over a thousand patients in the San Diego area to have successful rhinoplasty procedures.
All surgical procedures have risks, so before discussing the risks, know that experienced surgeons like Dr. Chasan expect great patient outcomes and have higher success rates than less experienced surgeons. With that being said, all surgeries have the risk of scar formation, infection, and body fluids collecting at the operative site. Risks more specific to rhinoplasty include reoperation and blocked airflow. Again, when it comes to risks, you can minimize your chances of anything by working with experienced surgeons, and Dr. Chasan has an extensive body of rhinoplasty work.
It is always a good idea to ask about risks in a surgical consultation and a good surgeon will take these questions seriously and respond with well thought out answers.
Whether you ultimately decide to proceed with a rhinoplasty operation or not it’s important to remember that everyone is allowed to make decisions about their own body and rhinoplasty surgery is a deeply personal decision. We’re here to support you and your loved ones through the journey!
If you have any questions in consideration for your rhinoplasty, we invite you to request a consult and come learn more about what Dr. Chasan can do to give you the look you want.
Aesthetic Surgery Journal: Rhinoplasty: Surface Aesthetics and Surgical Techniques
JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery: Analysis of outcomes after functional rhinoplasty using a disease-specific quality-of-life instrument.
GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery: Risks and complications in rhinoplasty
The Atlantic: Sculpting Identity: A History of the Nose Job
International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: ISAPS International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures Performed In 2017
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