Rhinoplasty FAQ

At our Washington, D.C. practice, rhinoplasty is consistently popular all year long. But today’s rhinoplasty looks a lot different from the nose reshaping surgery of yesterday. The meticulous techniques used by Dr. Paul G. Ruff IV ensure a beautiful, natural-looking result that can permanently improve the look of your entire face. If you’re thinking of rhinoplasty, read on to find the answers to some of our patients’ most common questions.

Dr. Paul G. Ruff IV and the rest of the staff at West End Plastic Surgery know what it takes to give you the results you really want. To get started, request a consultation online to meet with Dr. Ruff, or call our office at (202) 785-4187 to schedule an appointment.

Before & After Rhinoplasty

BeforeRhinoplasty Before | Washington D.C.

AfterRhinoplasty After | Washington D.C.

For more photos of our patients, please view our photo gallery.

I want to improve my breathing without changing the look of my nose. Is that possible?

Yes. “Functional rhinoplasty” refers to a version of the surgery that improves the function of the nose without affecting its appearance. This is often performed to remedy a deviated septum and other irregularities that can affect breathing. Although your doctor may need to make very small alterations to the appearance of your nose, its overall size and shape can be preserved. Or, if you have both functional and aesthetic concerns, your doctor can change the look of your nose while improving your ability to breathe. During your consultation, you’ll talk more about the likely outcome you can expect.

Is rhinoplasty a painful procedure?

Most patients are surprised to learn that recuperating after rhinoplasty is actually much more comfortable than they’d imagined. Of course, some soreness and discomfort is to be expected, but your doctor provides you with prescription pain medicine to keep you comfortable. You may also experience a dull headache and a swollen sensation, both of which are normal. A cold compress can help. In general, after the first 48 hours, discomfort should fade rapidly and you’ll likely notice a significant improvement in how you feel.

How long should I wait before returning to work?

It depends on your job. If you work a relatively sedentary job in an office, you can plan to get back to work within a week. However, if your job is more physically demanding, you may need more time at home or lighter duties at work. Dr. Ruff understands that your time in and out of the office is valuable. During your consultation, you’ll discuss the type of work you do and the specifics of your surgery so you can get a better sense of how long you’ll need to stay home in order to ensure the best possible results.

What can I do to minimize scarring?

Rhinoplasty isn’t known for creating excessive scarring. “Closed” procedures, which are made through the inside of the nostrils, don’t produce any visible scarring at all, while “open” procedures require only a small incision across the strip of skin that separates the nostrils. Although this incision won’t be noticeable to most people once fully healed, closely following your doctor’s instructions can ensure an even more discreet result. It’s also important to protect the incision from the sun in the days, weeks, and months following surgery. Unprotected sun exposure can cause pigmentation irregularities and a more noticeable result.

What’s the difference between a primary rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty?

A primary rhinoplasty is the first rhinoplasty that a patient undergoes. In most cases, primary rhinoplasty yields ideal, permanent results and is the only surgery necessary. However, occasionally unfavorable results or future trauma can necessitate an additional surgery. This is called a revision rhinoplasty. Although both procedures are performed similarly, revision rhinoplasty does require extra care around scar tissue. It’s also vitally important to choose a surgeon who fully understands your desires and offers you realistic expectations about your potential results. Our doctors are skilled at both primary and revision rhinoplasty techniques to give each of their patients the results they envision.

I’ve heard that it can take up to a year for my nose to reach its final shape. Why is this process so lengthy?

The nose is an extraordinarily complex body part, and internal swelling after surgery can be quite extensive. Although your nose won’t look swollen and bruised for long, it does take quite a bit of time for the supportive structures of the nose to “settle” into their ultimate positions. This is a gradual process, so it won’t be noticeable to anyone else, and it’s not painful.

How much does rhinoplasty cost?

Because it is such a customized procedure, the cost of rhinoplasty at our Washington, D.C. practice varies between patients. If you are seeking rhinoplasty for functional reasons, your insurance may cover part or all of the procedure. We strive to keep our costs competitive within the region, so that all our deserving patients can fit their cosmetic goals into their lifestyles. We will provide a detailed cost breakdown during your consultation.

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