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Frequently Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty Surgery

  1. Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty and/or nose reshaping surgery?
  2. Is nose reshaping covered by insurance?
  3. Will my nose be broken?
  4. Do I need general anesthesia?
  5. How do I prepare for surgery?
  6. How long will I be off work?
  7. When can I drive and exercise?
  8. How long will there be swelling?
  9. Is a rhinoplasty risky?
  10. What is the cost of nose reshaping rhinoplasty surgery?
  11. What happens if I do not like my nose?

1. Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty and/or nose reshaping surgery?
Any person who has difficulty breathing through their nasal passages is a good candidate for a septoplasty rhinoplasty and anyone who is dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose is a good candidate for nose reshaping rhinoplasty.

The most common cause of breathing difficulties is a deviated nasal septum. This can occur at birth or can be the result of a traumatic injury.

The most common aesthetic concerns are an enlarged nasal dorsum (nasal hump on the profile) or a wide or bulbous nasal tip.

Dr. Delgado utilizes computer imaging to aid himself and the patient in visualizing the patientís goals. From that mutual agreement and understanding, Dr. Delgado constructs a surgical plan.

2. Is nasal reshaping covered by insurance?
If a breathing problem is significant, surgical correction is very likely to be covered by insurance. If a traumatic injury is the cause of a crooked or broken nose, the cost of a nose reshaping rhinoplasty may also be covered.

Insurance does not cover nose reshaping rhinoplasty that is purely for cosmetic reasons.

In some cases, a person may have both a breathing problem and a cosmetic issue. In this situation, insurance will cover the portion of the surgery that repairs the breathing problem, and the patient will be responsible for the cosmetic part of the operation.

3. Will my nose be broken?
The nose will be broken if there is a bump or prominence on the top of the nose, as seen on profile. This is an important procedure to narrow the dorsum of the nose. This causes temporary bruising around the eyes.

4. Do I need general anesthesia?
Most nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Delgado prefers to perform nasal surgery requiring bone reshaping and deep nasal septal work with the patient still and completely comfortable. This requires the services of a board certified anesthesiologist who is experienced the particular challenges and risks associated with rhinoplasty procedures.

If a nasal tip surgery, or a nasal tip-plasty, is the procedure required, then local anesthesia can be sufficient and appropriate.

5. How do I prepare for surgery?
Dr. Delgado provides a comprehensive, informative booklet on how to prepare for nasal surgery. You will be advised as to which drugs to avoid before surgery and how to prepare for your postoperative period.

6. How long will I be off work?
Nose reshaping surgery that requires fracturing of the nasal bones usually causes bruising around the eyes. The bruising will be present for 10-14 days. A nasal splint, much like a cast, will be worn for one week. When the cast is removed, mild swelling and bruising will still be present. You will feel able to go to work within a week, but may not be entirely comfortable for a full two weeks, when bruising has completely resolved.

7. When can I drive and exercise?
You can drive within days, or as soon as you have stopped taking pain medications. Exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks, as increased blood pressure will aggravate nasal swelling. Easy walks are permissible.

8. How long will there be swelling?
Eighty percent of the swelling is gone in four weeks, but the remaining 20% gradually resolves over the next five to eight months after that. You will notice slight changes in swelling from day to day, depending on your activity.

9. Is a rhinoplasty risky?
Rhinoplasty surgery has the same serious risks that all surgeries carry. These risks are minimized to the fullest extent possible when a patient chooses a surgeon and an anesthesiologist who are both American Board certified and a state-of-the-art, accredited outpatient surgery center, particularly one that has the advantage of being contiguously located to a full-service hospital. Add these qualifications to the fact that both Dr. Delgado, and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Randy Gaynor, each have more than 20 years experience in their specialties. As an accredited outpatient surgery center, Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center is fully staffed with state licensed and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified Registered Nurses, state certified Operating Room Technicians, and other specially trained support personnel. These are the types of qualifications for which you should look when choosing where to have your rhinoplasty performed.

10. What is the cost of nose reshaping rhinoplasty surgery?
The cost of a rhinoplasty varies depending on the complexity of the case. The cost ranges from $6,000-$7,000. This includes the professional services of Dr. Delgado and the anesthesiologist, and use of Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, located in Marin County. If insurance is covering a portion of the surgery, the cost to the patient will be reduced accordingly. If the surgery is performed due to a breathing problem, then the patientís insurance may cover all costs.

11. What happens if I do not like the results of my rhinoplasty?
Through the process of discussion and computer imaging, we develop a clear understanding of your goals. A 15% revision rate is to be expected, regardless of a surgeonís skill and experience. If you are not satisfied with your results, Dr. Delgado will waive his professional fee for a revision surgery. The cost of anesthesia and use of the surgery center for revision surgery would still be the responsibility of the patient or their insurance. Sometimes, minor revisions can be done in the office at no further cost to the patient.

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