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Answers to Common Questions

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a technical term for surgery that reshapes the nose. Dr. Rival performs rhinoplasty, also called nose surgery, in Toronto to address aesthetic concerns, for breathing correction or to correct a deformity following facial trauma. A septoplasty is a term used to describe the procedure where the midline partition between the 2 sides of the nose is straightened. This is usually done to improve nasal breathing but may also be necessary to straighten the external appearance of the nose.

What is a revision rhinoplasty?

Revision rhinoplasty, or secondary rhinoplasty, describes the procedure performed to correct problems arising from previous nose surgery.

How old do I have to be to have rhinoplasty?

The minimum age for rhinoplasty depends on both physical and emotional maturity. It's important to wait until your facial growth is complete, which is approximately at age 14 or 15 for women and in the late teens for men. There is no upper age limit for rhinoplasty, as long as you are in good general health. Many women and men come to Dr. Rival for nose surgery in their 40s and 50s.

Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

You are a good candidate for rhinoplasty if you are in good general health. You have been bothered by the appearance of your nose for some time (years). You are generally happy with yourself but just don't like your nose. You are doing the procedure for yourself, not because of outside pressure from friends or family. You expect significant improvement but not perfection.

How do I choose a rhinoplasty surgeon?

Surgeons who are qualified to perform rhinoplasty in Canada are usually board certified in either:

  • Facial plastic surgery, which focuses specifically on the face
  • Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery), which focuses on treatment of the ears, nose, and throat

Dr. Richard Rival, a rhinoplasty surgeon in Toronto, has both certifications. While board certification is an essential prerequisite, make sure your surgeon has extensive experience performing the procedure and does so on a regular basis. Ask to see photos of previous patients. While these photos will likely show only the "best results," you will able to determine whether the surgeon is able to produce the improvements you want by paying attention to cases in the photo gallery that are similar to yours.

Make sure the surgeon you choose carefully analyzes both the outside and inside of your nose and presents you with a clear plan for how he intends to approach your surgery. Also, consider the quality of your communication and rapport with your surgeon. These qualities will help you choose a surgeon who truly listens and who takes your concerns seriously.

Richard Rival, MD, FRCS

Board-certified in Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology, Dr. Rival devotes his practice exclusively to enhancement of the face and neck, with a focused specialty in rhinoplasty.

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Is digital imaging important?

While digital imaging is not a guarantee of your result, it is likely the best way for you and your surgeon to communicate what the ultimate goal should be.

What is the cost of rhinoplasty?

The cost of rhinoplasty depends on several factors including the complexity of the case, surgical fees, and facility costs. The cost of a primary rhinoplasty surgery varies from $3,000 to $12,000, and revision procedures generally cost more. The average cost of rhinoplasty at our clinic is $6500 + hst.

Will the Ministry of Health (OHIP) or my insurance cover all or part of the procedure?

The Ministry of Health will usually cover the portion of the procedure that is done to correct a breathing problem (septoplasty or turbinate reduction). Sometimes the Ministry of Health will cover septorhinoplasty to straighten a deviated nose when this occurs as the result of trauma or congenital birth anomaly. This requires prior approval from the ministry. Private insurance plans generally do not cover cosmetic surgery.

What type of anesthetic is used during the procedure?

Dr. Rival performs rhinoplasty using a light general anesthetic or in some cases, local anesthetic with deep sedation. Patient comfort is a priority in every case.

How long is the procedure?

The length of time it takes Dr. Rival to perform a rhinoplasty procedure typically ranges from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

Will I have nasal packing?

If you don't know what nasal packing is, consider yourself lucky. Nasal packing is gauze placed deep inside the nose, usually to prevent or stop bleeding. Dr Rival uses nasal packing in only about 5% of all his rhinoplasty surgeries. Sometimes in very deviated noses he may place plastic splints inside the nose to maintain a straight septum for 5 to 7 days.

How long do I have to take off work/school?

In general if you don't have a physical job you may be able to get back to work within 1 week. There will still be some swelling and perhaps some bruises visible that can be covered up with makeup. At 2 weeks it's likely all visible signs of surgery will be gone and most people feel comfortable returning to work at this time.

What will I look like at two weeks after surgery when I return to work?

Although everyone heals at a different rate, most people will have very few signs of surgery at two weeks after rhinoplasty and feel comfortable returning to work. At this time most of the bruising has gone but there may be still some dark circles under the eyes that can be covered up with make up. There is usually some swelling on the tip of the nose and along the sides of the bridge. This will mostly be obvious to you and your surgeon but not the average person in the public.

What about exercise and sports after rhinoplasty?

You may start back on most exercise programs 2 weeks after rhinoplasty. You may have to do a lower intensity level for the first few weeks. Any sport where you risk getting hit in the face is best delayed for 6 weeks after rhinoplasty.

When will I see the results?

The swelling in the nose can take some time to go away to reveal the final results. You will see a major change at 2 weeks after surgery and at 2 months 80% of the swelling is gone. It can take up to a year to see the ultimate outcome.

Can I have another plastic surgery procedure at the same time as my rhinoplasty?

It is sometimes possible to have additional plastic surgery done at the same time while you are already asleep. It is not uncommon for Dr. Rival to perform lip enhancement, blepharoplasty (eyelift), otoplasty (ear setback) or even a facelift if the rhinoplasty is a limited procedure. Combined body plastic surgery procedures can sometimes also be arranged simultaneously. Overall each case must be assessed individually in this regard. For information on other facial plastic surgery procedures performed by Dr. Rival please see our main site .

What is the consultation process like?

The consultation is your chance to get acquainted with the doctor and find out if you two see eye to eye. It is also your opportunity to explain why you want to have rhinoplasty and what your particular goals are. You will sit down with the doctor and tell him or her about your nose and what you would like to change. If you've had any previous nasal surgery or have broken your nose in the past, the doctor will want to know about that, too. If you have pictures of noses you like, bring them along so the doctor can get an even clearer idea of what you're hoping for. The doctor will examine your nose and explain what changes can be achieved and how the procedure will be performed.

If you would like to know more about the steps involved in preparing for rhinoplasty, watch an online video featuring a recent rhinoplasty patient answering questions about her experience.

What is the scariest part of the procedure?

It's the anticipation. We all tend to worry about new things we are unfamiliar with, and rhinoplasty surgery is one of those things. If you've never had surgery before, it's not unusual to be nervous and worry about every little detail. Will it hurt? Will I be in pain? When rhinoplasty is performed using a general anesthetic, you won't remember the procedure and you won't feel a thing. Most patients wake up after surgery realizing there was nothing to be scared about – and feeling silly for having worried at all.

If you do have worries or doubts, it may be helpful to watch an online video in which an actual rhinoplasty patient answers frequently asked questions and talks about her experience.

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