HomePlastic SurgeryFace ProceduresRhinoplasty


Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to improve the shape and symmetry of a patient’s nose. Known informally as a “nose job,” this surgery reshapes the structures of the nose to correct functional or aesthetic deformities.

Best Rhinoplasty Del Mar, La Jolla and La Mesa, CA | Prime Plastic Surgery

In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that it was the most performed cosmetic surgery in 2020, with over 350,000 procedures. (1) This popularity is no doubt due to the versatility of this procedure: rhinoplasties can be performed to correct a wide variety of cosmetic concerns, breathing problems, or both! But regardless of the reason for this surgery, a successful procedure results in a nose that is well-balanced in proportion to the other features of the face for a natural-looking effect. 

And, because of the central location and visibility of this facial feature, it’s vital to select a surgeon with the talent and experience to create customized results: rhinoplasty is also considered one of the most technically challenging cosmetic surgeries. (2) At Prime Plastic Surgery, our team of surgeons has performed over 2,000 rhinoplasties, and our dream team of plastic surgeons includes Dr. Robert Singer, who’s renowned among his colleagues for his precise artistry with facial plastic surgery.

If you’re considering a rhinoplasty, the first step is to schedule a personal consultation at our offices in La Jolla by calling (858) 455-0290, or in San Diego at (619) 466-8851

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About the Nose

The human nose is a fascinating part of our anatomy. It allows us to fulfill a basic need for survival, breathing, as well as enjoy the aromas and tastes that make life enjoyable. And as such, it is a complex structure that scientists are still exploring. For example, at least 8 muscles have been identified in the nose, and recent scientific papers argue that there may in fact be more!(3) 

But for those who are unhappy with their nose, it can be more difficult to appreciate the nuances of this feature. Rhinoplasty is a way to address this.

The nose contains multiple delicate structures that can be reduced, repositioned or augmented to affect the overall shape. Varying dimensions of bone, cartilage and soft tissue form a patient’s unique nasal anatomy, and as such, each rhinoplasty must be undertaken with considerations specific to the patient and their desires. Unfortunately, not every nasal aesthetic is attainable for every patient. Regardless of the patient’s desired results, a surgeon must proceed with caution. The essential structures of the nose must be preserved during manipulation to ensure the integrity of this facial feature. (4)

Benefits of a Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasties are performed for both corrective and cosmetic purposes, and in some patients, both aims can be successfully acheived. 

Corrective Rhinoplasties

Corrective rhinoplasties can restore symmetry compromised by congenital deformities or injury. For those with a deviated septum, septoplasties can resolve breathing problems. The septum is a narrow piece of cartilage that runs between the nostrils. Having a misshapen septum is common, but misshapen septums can cause the nose to be crooked, as well as obstructing airways, leading to breathing difficulties. Surgeons can shorten and reposition this integral part of the nasal structure to restore balance and airflow.

Cosmetic Rhinoplasties

  • Wide noses and nostrils can be narrowed
  • Noses with a dorsal hump can be refined for a smoother, more linear profile contour 
  • Tipplasties can correct drooping noses and overly large or bulbous tips can be reduced


There is a great deal of scientific research that points to the physical and emotional benefits of rhinoplasty. Studies have shown that those who have undergone rhinoplasties were rated as being more attractive, healthier, and more successful. Additional studies have pointed to how a perceived level of attractiveness can affect a person’s everyday life, from job opportunities to lighter court sentences! (5) But for many, it’s not so much about what others think: it’s the boost in self-confidence that comes from knowing you’ve made a personal decision to look and feel your very best. Ideal candidates for rhinoplasty are in good health and are committed to doing their part to ensure a responsible recovery. They understand that the outcome of this delicate procedure is determined by their unique anatomy. Rhinoplasty patients will have made a well-informed decision based on the advice of an expert surgeon, and have realistic expectations about what the procedure can accomplish.

Additional Requirements for Rhinoplasty Candidates

  • Looking for a permanent solution to a cosmetic or functional nasal issue
  • Being a non-smoker or prepared to quit leading up to surgery and for the duration of their recovery
  • Be in their mid-teens or older to ensure that they’ve finished growing
  • Can dedicate adequate time for recovery and diligent attention to aftercare instructions

Personal Consultation at Prime Plastic Surgery

Rhinoplasties are individualized procedures by nature, and a personal consultation is an opportunity for you and your surgeon to discuss the potential results that this procedure offers you. After learning more about your desires, he will examine your nasal features in relation to the rest of your facial features to determine whether you will be a good candidate for this procedure and the best approach to achieve your aesthetic wishes, functional goals, or both. 

Patients at Prime Plastic Surgery can take advantage of our computer imaging technology to get a better idea of what their rhinoplasty can accomplish. And while this can offer a close approximation of their desired appearance, it is only a communication tool, not a guarantee of the final result and it is important to keep in mind that the healing process can affect the outcome. The procedure should be individualized based on your desired outcome and unique anatomy. Rhinoplasty patients will be given detailed instructions on how to prepare for their procedure and ensure the best results possible. To get started, schedule your personal consultation at Prime Plastic Surgery’s offices in San Diego or La Jolla

perfect nose in La Jolla


Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed using general anesthesia. Your nose surgery will last from 1-3 hours, depending on the complexity of your case. The length of your procedure will depend on the issues being addressed, and the techniques that your surgeon employs to do so. In an open rhinoplasty, a small incision is made across the columella (the skin that separates the nostrils). Once the skin is lifted, the surgeon has optimal access and visibility to adjust the internal structures of the nose. In other cases, a closed rhinoplasty is performed, in which the surgeon is able to make the necessary incisions and adjustments inside the nose. Regardless of the techniques used, the surgeon will then sculpt and reposition the cartilage and bone to give the nose the desired appearance. If a functional rhinoplasty is being performed, the obstruction, caused by a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, or inadequate internal nasal valve, will be corrected to restore symmetry and improve breathing. The incisions are then stitched closed.

Subtle variations from patient to patient will include techniques that emphasize a stronger male appearance, a more delicate female appearance, or to preserve ethnic traits.

A successful rhinoplasty harmonizes with the other facial features for a balanced, and natural-looking result.


We recommend taking at least a week off from work, school, and social activities to rest and recover. You’ll be given prescription pain medication to manage any discomfort in the first few days of your recovery. Bruising and swelling around the eyes are to be expected, but the extent of these symptoms will depend on the details of the procedure and your body’s unique reaction. Bruising and swelling will usually start to subside in 48-72 hours following the surgery. Sleeping with an extra pillow to keep your head elevated when resting will also help to alleviate the swelling. For 10-14 days after your procedure, you’ll wear a splint to protect your results and to help your nose hold its new shape. After this period, the splint will be removed during a follow-up appointment, and you’ll be able to conceal any remaining bruising with makeup. As the weeks pass, the swelling will improve, and most people won’t be able to tell that you’ve just had a rhinoplasty. That being said you’ll still need to follow your post-operative instructions faithfully.

After Your Rhinoplasty

  • Avoid strenuous activity and aerobic exercise, including sex, for at least 3 weeks
  • Avoid contact sports for 4-6 weeks
  • Avoid wearing glasses and tight clothing that needs to be pulled on over your head.
  • Don’t blow your nose. If you must sneeze, make sure your mouth is open. 
  • Congestion is normal and can be alleviated with nasal sprays, as directed.
Once exercise is resumed, you may experience temporary throbbing of the nose and slight additional swelling for a few hours. Additionally, the tip of the nose may feel numb for 4-12 months. It also may take up to one year for your nose to achieve its ultimate appearance.

About Revision Rhinoplasty

Our noses are naturally slightly asymmetrical. Patients who are dismayed at lingering asymmetry after their rhinoplasty may benefit from a revision rhinoplasty. Many factors can affect the healing process and the final outcome, and not all of them are controllable. Some patients will require additional procedures. The surgeons at Prime Plastic Surgery frequently perform reconstructive or secondary nasal surgeries to improve the results achieved by other surgeons.

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

Nose surgery can be performed at the same time as a facelift, eyelid surgery, chin augmentation, or another facial plastic surgery procedure. This can ensure facial features are balanced, comprehensive rejuvenation, and a single recovery period.

How Much Does a Nose Job Cost in San Diego?

Your rhinoplasty will be tailored to your needs and individual anatomy, and so the cost will vary based on the many details of your treatment plan. You’ll be given an accurate estimate for the cost of your procedure following your personal consultation. Cosmetic and functional rhinoplasties, such as septoplasties, are frequently combined. Although every insurance company’s approach to reimbursement is different, many will cover the septal surgery, but not the cosmetic aspect of a rhinoplasty. 

A full consultation with an experienced expert rhinoplasty surgeon is the first place to start and a prior authorization letter can help delineate what may or may not be covered. That can minimize the number of surprises you get with regard to reimbursement.

Prime Plastic Surgery has several financing options available to patients that qualify.


Can I have a “non-surgical nose job” if I’m thinking of getting a rhinoplasty later?

“Non-surgical nose jobs” or “liquid nose jobs” are essentially injections of filler, Dysport or Botox, or both. While they can make a slight temporary improvement of minor defects, they are not a replacement for a rhinoplasty. You should avoid any non-surgical rhinoplasty before undergoing traditional cosmetic nasal surgery. Nasal injections may have complications or side effects that may interfere with and compromise future nasal surgery. Scar tissue may form and nasal cartilage may be altered with any procedure, even a “non-surgical nose-job.” Some residual injected material may still be present in the nasal tissue long after the initial treatment, which may interfere with rhinoplasty surgery and cause problems with healing.

What are the potential complications and risks of a nose job?

Rhinoplasty, like any surgery, has potential risks: bleeding which may require packing, infection, asymmetric healing, and partial restriction of nasal breathing which are infrequent and treatable. Other less frequent complications that may occur in any surgery should be discussed at the consultation with your surgeon. 

How do I pick the best rhinoplasty surgeon for me?

There are several factors you want in a rhinoplasty surgeon:
• Training: Since rhinoplasties are among the most difficult cosmetic procedure, they require the greatest amount of formal training as well as finesse.
• Experience: The procedure requires a significant amount of anatomical knowledge and expertise.
• Artistry: A good natural-appearing rhinoplasty depends on artistry.
• Safe surgical facility: Surgery should be performed only in a surgical facility accredited by a national organization like the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) or a state-licensed facility with anesthesia provided by an appropriate anesthesia provided, preferably a board-certified anesthesiologist or CRNA.
• A fully trained plastic surgeon, board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the Aesthetic Society, or a facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngologist): A straightforward surgeon that meets with you and discusses what is realistic – not only the benefits, but also the potential problems and the fact that even in the best of hands, the nose is rarely absolutely symmetrical and may require secondary revision procedures.


  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (2021). 2020 National Plastic Surgery Statistics. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2020/plastic-surgery-statistics-report-2020.pdf
  2. Dayan, E., & Rohrich, R. J. (2020). Developing Consistency in Rhinoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open, 8(4), e2679. https://doi.org/10.1097/gox.0000000000002679
  3. Anderson, K. J., Henneberg, M., & Norris, R. M. (2008). Anatomy of the nasal profile. Journal of Anatomy, 213(2), 210–216. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00924.x
  4. Rezaei, F., Rezaei, F., Abbasi, H., & Moradi, H. (2019). A Comparison of Doctor/Patient Satisfaction with Aesthetic Outcomes of Rhinoplasty: a Prospective Study. Journal of Medicine and Life, 12(4), 374–380. https://doi.org/10.25122/jml-2019-0061
  5. Nellis, J. C., Ishii, M., Bater, K. L., Papel, I. D., Kontis, T. C., Byrne, P. J., Boahene, K. D. O., & Ishii, L. E. (2018). Association of Rhinoplasty With Perceived Attractiveness, Success, and Overall Health. JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, 20(2), 97. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamafacial.2017.1453

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