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What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is the name of the operation that improves the form (shape) and function (breathing) of the nose. It is one of the most common facial plastic surgery procedures, and it is popular among both men and women. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of the nose, reshape the tip of the nose, move it up or down, and narrow or straighten the bridge. Some patients want their nose smaller, some want it straightened, some want the hump reduced, and others yet want it narrower. To achieve a satisfying outcome, the patient’s desired result should be the goal of the surgical plan. Therefore, it is essential for your plastic surgeon to take the time to listen to you and get a clear understanding of what you would like.

What Concerns Can Rhinoplasty Address?

When performed by a skilled facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Sepehr, rhinoplasty can improve a number of aesthetic and functional issues. In addition to removing humps, improving symmetry, and narrowing or widening the nasal bridge, this procedure can be used to change the angle of the nasal tip, enlarge or reduce the size of the opening of the nostrils, enhance breathing, and alter the length of the nose. If you have a specific concern in mind, you can share this objective with Dr. Sepehr, and he will determine if your desired outcome is possible.


  • Overprojected Tip

  • Underprojected Tip

  • Bulbous Tip

  • Long Nose

  • Dorsal Hump

Who is a Good Rhinoplasty Candidate?

Rhinoplasty requires not only exceptional skill but also the highest sense of artistry to create a natural-looking nose, which is in harmony with the rest of the facial features. Just as every patient’s nose is different, their faces are also different, and the new shape has to fit the face.  This ideal new shape will be determined by many factors, including one’s height, age, skin thickness, and ethnic background. Rhinoplasty will also help with the configuration of other features, such as the forehead, eyes and chin, to make a more natural look. You may be a candidate for rhinoplasty if:

  • You desire to improve the appearance of your nose
  • You desire to improve nasal breathing*
  • You have had previous nasal surgery and are dissatisfied with the outcome

* The reconstructive or functional portion of a septorhinoplasty is covered under most insurance policies

The amount of change that can be expected depends on many factors, including skin type, ethnicity, and age. At your initial consultation, an overall evaluation of the underlying structure and overlying skin will help determine what outcome is a realistic expectation.

They are really professional, and have a friendly staff. I was very happy with my results. I love my nose now!

average matt

January 06, 2016

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How is the Rhinoplasty Procedure Performed?

Technically, rhinoplasty is performed by placing well-hidden incisions in and around the nostrils.  These incisions allow the surgeon to lift the skin to obtain excellent exposure of the underlying bone and cartilage. The underlying bone and cartilage is then contoured to make the nose more harmonious and balanced to the rest of the face. The procedure lasts approximately two to three hours; however, it depends on the complexity of the case.
Many patients are referred to us for revision rhinoplasty. These cases are of higher complexity because of the corrections that need to be made as a result of the initial surgery. We take all the time that is needed to get the best possible result. You can expect to be at the surgical center for approximately half a day.

Did You Know?

Dr. Sepehr has authored numerous scientific articles on rhinoplasty and continues to actively teach fellows, residents, and medical students from University of California, Irvine Medical Center on the subject.

Open Rhinoplasty vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty can be performed as an open or closed surgery. A closed (endonasal) rhinoplasty uses incisions that are located within the nose, so there are no visible scars; however, not all types of concerns can be addressed using this method. An open rhinoplasty requires an incision on the underside of the nostril, called the columella, which allows Dr. Sepehr to access the internal structures of the nose. Once healed, the scar is often barely noticeable. During your initial consultation, Dr. Sepehr will let you know which technique can provide the optimal outcome for your customized treatment plan.

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What is Recovery From Rhinoplasty Like?

Following your rhinoplasty procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. Your nose will be congested but will gradually improve. We do not ordinarily “pack” the nose after surgery. A special dissolvable suture is used to stabilize the changes and eliminates the need for nasal packing. Patients, therefore, are more comfortable and generally less swollen. With the elimination of nasal packing, pain, swelling, bleeding, and discoloration are dramatically reduced making the recovery period much more pleasant for the patient.

There is usually very little pain after the operation. Most patients experience pressure from the swelling inside the nose. The discomfort is easily controlled with pain medication. The majority of patients take something strong the first night, about half take it the second night, and a few take it the third night. After that the majority only need Tylenol® if anything.

You will experience variable degrees of swelling and bruising for the first 7-14 days. Sleep with your head above the level of your heart to minimize the swelling and bruising.  Most swelling should be gone after about six weeks; however, there may be a small, virtually unnoticeable degree of swelling present for several months after treatment.

Most patients can return to work and social events after 7-14 days with makeup as needed.

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Will I Have Scars From Rhinoplasty?

If you have an open rhinoplasty, you may have a small scar on the underside of your nose. Most patients report that this mark is virtually invisible once fully healed. Dr. Sepehr can explain more precisely what to expect from the final result, including what the scars, if any, may look like. He strives to provide a very natural-looking outcome without discernible signs of surgery.

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Cost of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty can enhance the appearance and function of the nose, as well as harmonize facial features. Our board certified facial plastic surgeon utilizes some of the most advanced techniques available to achieve beautiful, natural-looking results. When you arrive for your initial consultation, Dr. Sepehr will review the particulars of your customized treatment plan, including the fees, so you can make a well-informed decision. As with all cosmetic surgery procedures, the cost will depend on several factors, including:

  • Technique used and complexity of treatment
  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Anesthesiologist’s fee
  • Hospital fee
  • Post-operative medications

Broadly speaking, rhinoplasty can cost anywhere from a few thousand to several thousand dollars. We understand that you may wish to compare treatment plans with other surgeons as part of your research. When making a comparison, it’s important to ask what is included in the quote you receive.

Prices can vary significantly, in part because some practices mention only the surgeon’s fee while others refer to the full cost of treatment. We believe having a comprehensive understanding of rhinoplasty, fees, and recovery can enhance the patient experience and improve long-term satisfaction. We strive to provide thorough and straightforward information to allow you to make the best decision for your needs and goals.

Nose surgery for cosmetic reasons will not be covered by medical insurance; however, if you have functional concerns, such as a deviated septum or fracture, your policy may offer partial coverage. Additionally, our practice offers a number of payment and financing options to help bring the cost of treatment into your budget.

Patient Results

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Asian and Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Dr. Sepehr treats individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and recognizes that patients of different ethnicities have distinctions in their facial characteristics. This can especially be true with regard to the bones, cartilage, and overall framework of the nasal structure. In achieving a natural-looking result from rhinoplasty, it is often essential to consider the anatomical differences that make up a patient’s features. Dr. Sepehr tailors each rhinoplasty procedure to achieve an outcome that is harmonious to the ethnic character of a patient’s facial appearance, complementing their natural beauty within the context of their aesthetic goals. With this approach, individuals of every descent can attain optimal enhancement from the rhinoplasty procedure that looks beautiful and natural.

Can I Get a Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty?

Since rhinoplasty is a procedure that involves altering the underlying nasal structure as well as the overlying tissue, there is currently no minimally invasive treatment that can create the same degree of improvement as a surgical rhinoplasty. However, in some cases, our medical-grade dermal fillers can be utilized to aesthetically enhance the dimensions of the nose without the need for extensive downtime. Depending on your concerns, fillers like JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® may be able to camouflage a bump in the nasal bridge or recontour the size and shape of certain parts of the nose. While the results from this non-surgical procedure will be temporary, touch-up treatments can be pursued to maintain your aesthetic. If you are interested in non-surgical alternatives to a rhinoplasty, Dr. Sepehr can evaluate your concerns and let you know your treatment options during a consultation.

What is Revision Rhinoplasty?

Revision rhinoplasty is designed to improve upon the results of a previous nose surgery. The procedure can address concerns that may exist with the nose’s aesthetic appearance and/or issues related to breathing function. While rhinoplasty typically has very high satisfaction rates, some patients who have undergone an initial procedure with a previous plastic surgeon may be dissatisfied with the final outcome. This may be due to poor healing from the original procedure, or results that simply fell short of an individual’s expectations. In any case, Dr. Sepehr offers revision rhinoplasty to enhance the form and function of the nose and achieve a patient’s original goals for surgery. The procedure can also be used to repair nose injuries that may have occurred after rhinoplasty.

If you have received rhinoplasty from another surgeon and are unhappy with the result, revision rhinoplasty from Dr. Sepehr may be able to help achieve the desired outcome. While often a more complicated surgery, Dr. Sepehr’s extensive experience and skill allows him to effectively address concerns in many cases, regardless of whether the issue is cosmetic or functional in nature. We encourage you to come in for a consultation if you have questions about revision rhinoplasty; every patient’s needs and goals are unique, and we will develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual characteristics.

Choosing the Best Rhinoplasty Surgeon For You

Rhinoplasty is widely regarded as one of the most challenging facial plastic surgery procedures to perform, making it essential to select a rhinoplasty surgeon who is well-equipped to achieve a proportional, natural-looking result within the context of your needs and cosmetic goals. In researching whether a given surgeon is the right choice for you, the following suggestions may help you narrow down your options:

  • Enlist a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty. Accreditation from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery signifies that a plastic surgeon has met stringent requirements for certification, as well as passed the necessary exams to demonstrate their competence in operating on the complex facial anatomy. This credential can demonstrate a higher level of training and understanding in facial plastic surgery.
  • Select a facial plastic surgeon who performs rhinoplasty often. It is typically true that a plastic surgeon who performs rhinoplasty frequently—as opposed to sparsely—may have a more thorough understanding of how to tailor the procedure according to your goals and how to react in the rare event of complication.
  • Choose a surgeon with advanced levels of training and experience. In addition to researching a plastic surgeon’s educational background, you can gain an idea of their experience by learning how long they have been in private practice, whether they participate in ongoing education courses, and which professional organizations they belong to. If you still have questions about a surgeon’s credentials, you’ll have an opportunity to ask them about their training during a consultation.
  • Make sure your surgeon answers your questions thoroughly, listens to your concerns, and makes you feel comfortable. The biggest determinant when selecting your facial plastic surgeon is your ability to trust them with your safety, health, and appearance. Your rhinoplasty surgeon should give you enough information to help you make a well-informed decision while not pressuring you to pursue treatment.

To learn more about what you should look for in a facial plastic surgeon, or to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice.

Additional Rhinoplasty FAQs

If you’re considering nose reshaping surgery and want to learn more, Dr. Sepehr has provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this procedure. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please reach out to our team online or by phone.

What if I have a deviated septum?

A deviated septum can make breathing more difficult, and this concern may or may not be visible externally. This issue can usually be corrected during a rhinoplasty, as part of a plan to enhance both the aesthetics and the function of the nose. If you just want to address the deviated septum, a technique called septoplasty can be performed. It is designed to modify the placement of the bone and cartilage that separates the nostrils from one another. By changing the structure to enhance breathing, the appearance of the nose may also be affected. Dr. Sepehr takes great care in providing a cosmetically appealing result that best suits the proportion of your face and features.

How long does it take to recover after rhinoplasty?

Swelling, bruising, and tenderness are common for the first few weeks, and you should expect to take at least a week off from your job, classes, and other responsibilities. You should also avoid strenuous exertion for at least four to six weeks, as this can cause additional swelling and may affect the length of the recovery process or your result. Dr. Sepehr will provide more specific instructions for you based on your treatment plan. While some residual swelling may still be present, most patients have a good idea of the final outcome after two to three months.

Can rhinoplasty be combined with other procedures?

Absolutely. We will tailor your treatment to best suit your anatomic needs and expressed goals. If you would also like to rejuvenate other areas of your face, both surgical and non-surgical options are available. Many patients like to enhance other features while improving the look of the nose. We offer a comprehensive range of cosmetic options for the face, including dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing, and surgical techniques. Rhinoplasty should be performed by a qualified surgeon. If you would like more information on the rhinoplasty procedure, or you believe you are a good candidate for the cosmetic surgery, please contact Dr. Sepehr to schedule a consultation for rhinoplasty at our practice. He will be happy to address any concerns you may have about the surgery as well as answer any questions regarding other facial procedures during a one-on-one session.

How can I reduce swelling after rhinoplasty?

Swelling after rhinoplasty is completely normal and can last for months after surgery. While inflammation should subside as your recovery progresses, you can help decrease swelling by keeping the head elevated while sleeping (ensuring the nose is above the level of the heart), and avoiding alcohol and tobacco consumption.

When can I blow my nose after rhinoplasty?

Due to the fragility of the nasal bones and soft tissues after rhinoplasty, it’s necessary to avoid blowing your nose for at least one to two weeks after surgery. The exact amount of time you should exercise caution will depend on the technique used during surgery and whether a deviated septum was addressed. Not only can blowing the nose with excess force cause bleeding, but it may also affect the way the nose heals and alter the final outcome. To address any congestion in the nasal passages, you can carefully clean your nose with saline nasal spray.

How long should I wait after rhinoplasty before wearing glasses?

While the nose is healing, it’s very important to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the nasal bridge. If you wear glasses, Dr. Sepehr recommends switching to contacts for approximately four to eight weeks after surgery. Wearing sunglasses should also be avoided until the nose is fully healed, or until Dr. Sepehr gives you clearance to do so.

Does male rhinoplasty differ from female rhinoplasty?

While rhinoplasty is a procedure unique to each patient, the general technique used to access the nasal framework is the same for both men and women. That said, the goals of nose surgery are typically informed by the aesthetic ideals and characteristics of a male nose versus a female nose respectively.

For all patients, a closed rhinoplasty (or scarless rhinoplasty) will use incisions on the inside of the nose, while an open rhinoplasty utilizes an incision at the base of the columella (the undersurface of the nose) to access the nasal structure. This approach is universal, but each rhinoplasty is also performed with consideration to the unique features that define a male and female nose. In general, men usually have broader noses with a more prominent bridge and little to no elevation in the tip. The nostrils are typically wider, and the skin of the nostrils and nasal tip is also thicker when compared to women. In contrast, the nose of a female patient is typically more diminutive with a comparatively narrower bridge and slightly elevated tip. While these characteristics will influence each respective procedure, both rhinoplasties will be performed with the objective of creating more proportion and harmony between the surrounding facial features. Rhinoplasty should ultimately consider each patient’s cosmetic desires and anatomical indicators, and Dr. Sepehr will develop an optimal treatment plan to achieve a balanced, natural-looking result.

Are there any recovery tips after rhinoplasty?

In the days and weeks following your rhinoplasty procedure, a fair amount of swelling can be expected and may last for the next few months. Until the healing process is complete, these recovery tips may help you experience a smoother period of downtime:

  • If discomfort from the nose starts to radiate to the mouth and jaw, sticking to a soft-food diet can alleviate any soreness brought on by chewing.
  • Sleep often encourages healing, so resting for the first 24 hours after surgery (with light ambulation) is usually recommended.
  • Excessive salt intake can increase fluid retention and prolong swelling, therefore healthy meals consisting of fruits, veggies, protein, leafy greens, and antioxidant-rich foods can facilitate a more comfortable recovery period.
  • Try to avoid hot showers, hot foods, and humid environments. Heat can aggravate swelling of the facial tissues, so staying cool and eating cold or room-temperature foods are generally the best approaches while your nose is in the initial stages of healing.

Should I get a rhinoplasty or facial implants?

Both the nose and chin can heavily influence the balance and profile of the rest of the face, leading many patients to consider adding chin augmentation to their rhinoplasty, or simply opting for a chin implant alone. In general, a weak or recessed chin can make the nose seem larger; the lack of a defined chin profile can also make the face look asymmetrical. Depending on the shape and size of your nose, a custom-designed chin implant may be enough to achieve balance in your facial features. Dr. Sepehr will discuss all of your options with you and recommend the most ideal treatment plan based on your concerns and aesthetic goals.