The Virginia Mason Hospital & Seattle Medical Center offers rhinoplasty services by Michael Nuara, MD, a top facial plastic surgeon.

Rhinoplasty can correct both medical and aesthetic nose problems. Sometimes the procedure addresses only deformities of the external nose; other times it is used to reconstruct the septum inside the nose, as well. The result is a nose that functions normally and enhances the appearance of the entire face.

Before Your Rhinoplasty

Professional Advice You Can Trust
The first step when considering nose surgery is to have a frank discussion with your Virginia Mason physician. The doctor will ask about injuries, surgical history, medical issues and what changes you would most like to experience from your surgery. The surgeon also will examine your skin and nasal anatomy, looking for swelling, septal deviations, enlarged turbinates or evidence of allergies. Together, you will determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure.

Often, photographs are taken before the procedure, so your surgeon can analyze and plan for the operation. You'll enjoy comparing these "before" photos to similar ones taken afterward, documenting the improvement in your appearance.

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common of all plastic surgery procedures. It can be used to:

  • Reduce or increase the size of the nose
  • Change the shape of the tip or the nasal bridge
  • Narrow the opening of the nostrils
  • Change the angle between the nose and the upper lip
  • Correct a birth defect or injury
  • Help relieve some breathing problems

During rhinoplasty incisions are made just inside the rim of the nostrils. A short incision also may be made between the nostrils. The soft tissues are gently lifted and the underlying cartilage and bone are reshaped. The procedure lasts only an hour or two and is performed using a general anesthetic. General anesthesia allows the patient to sleep through the operation.

Rhinoplasty patient before photo Rhinoplasty patient after photo
Rhinoplasty patient "before"   Rhinoplasty patient "after"

What happens after Rhinoplasty?

After the rhinoplasty is complete, a splint is applied to protect the nose for several days.

Normally, patients go home to rest, although some return to work immediately. Recovery from rhinoplasty takes about five days to seven days. Medications are provided to minimize discomfort during this period. Most of the swelling is usually gone within three weeks.

A well-shaped and well-functioning nose generally falls within four visual "ideal triangles." Your surgeon will remove or reposition existing bone and cartilage to create these triangles, giving your face an appealing symmetry.

Read these rhinoplasty patient instructions to get a better idea of what to expect before and after rhinoplasty surgery.

Realistic Expectations from your Rhinoplasty

Your expectations are a key element in a successful nose surgery. For example: Is your general emotional state good? Do you have a positive mental outlook? Both of these will help you recover from your rhinoplasty.

Most patients comment, however, that it's a big relief to be able to breathe regularly or have a normal-looking facial profile. They often notice a related boost in self-esteem and confidence.

How do I get started with my Rhinoplasty?

Schedule an appointment with Facial Plastic Surgery by calling us at (206) 341-0158. Dr. Nuara will help you determine if you are good candidate for this procedure.