Rhinoplasty FAQs


1) How can I know what I will look like after rhinoplasty?

We will take photos of your nose, which will then be morphed using our Mirror imaging software. Dr. Mackenzie will usually morph your images after your consultation and go over these with you on your second consult. These images will give you a reasonable expectation of what rhinoplasty can achieve for you, and will give you the opportunity to discuss with Dr. Mackenzie what you want your surgery to achieve.

2) When will I look normal?

As with any surgery, there will be swelling and possibly bruising. Like any bruising, this can last 2 weeks or more. You will have a splint on your nose for a week. If you’re planning on being discreet during your recovery, give yourself two weeks at least.  The final result will take much longer than that.

3) Do I have to get my nose broken?

Many patients will need an infracture as part of their rhinoplasty. This means breaking the nasal bones on the side to bring the bones in to refine or narrow the nose or complete the process of bringing a hump down. Swelling and bruising will likely be more when infractures are done than when they are not necessary.

4) Will my breathing improve after rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is usually a cosmetic surgery procedure, or perhaps done to correct a traumatic deformity of the nose. Breathing problems are not addressed by rhinoplasty, although other procedures may be done at the same time to address breathing problems. Depending on the problem, these could include septoplasty, turbinectomy, or placement of internal cartilage grafts.

5) I have been told I have a deviated septum.  What is that?

Many people have been told that their septum is deviated. This is common, and often means nothing from a cosmetic or functional standpoint. However, a deviated septum can cause breathing problems, and it is also a component of a crooked nose. A septoplasty is commonly done to fix these problems.

6) Will insurance pay for my nose surgery?

For a cosmetic rhinoplasty, no. If you have legitimate breathing issues that can be improved with septal or turbinate surgery, then you may get reimbursed by your insurance for those parts of the surgery. Insurance will not cover the cosmetic portion of the surgery. If your nasal appearance is the result of an injury or birth deformity, then restorative surgery is considered reconstructive, not cosmetic, and insurance should help.

7) Will I need packing in my nose?

Most people will have small sponge packs in each nostril.  These will come out within two days.

8) How much pain can I expect?

The pain is usually tolerable. If you have infractures, then the pain will be more. Most people are bothered more by the annoyance of the packing than by the actual pain.

See our webpage on rhinoplasty HERE.

See rhinoplasty before and after photos HERE.

Pacific Plastic Surgery
1722 State St., Ste. #102
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-214-6923
Fax: 805-898-0600
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