Rhinoplasty Surgery: San Francisco Bay Area

Rhinoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient surgery and the procedure normally takes two to three hours. Most incisions are made on the inside of the nose. Dr. Rajagopal understands that an ideal nose should be in harmony with the rest of the face. She takes particular care to refine and reshape the nose according to patient’s ethnic background, age and skin type. Often chin enhancement will be recommended in conjunction with rhinoplasty, since a chin implant will improve facial balance and projection.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

The rhinoplasty procedure is determined by the type of correction to be made. In most cases involving a reduction in size or shape of the nose, the removal of a hump or the improvement of an angle, incisions are made inside the nose. Working through these incisions, Dr. Rajagopal is able to cut bone and cartilage (the soft, movable tissue inside the nose) to reshape it.

To remove a nasal hump, a special file or chisel is used. A narrower nasal bridge is then formed by bringing together the bones on either side of the face. In patients in whom the size of the nasal tip is too large, cartilage is removed through the inside incision. The angle between the nose and the upper lip can be improved by elevating and trimming the septum, the dividing wall between the two chambers of the nose.

In some cases, it is necessary to narrow the base of the nose. This procedure involves removal of skin from both sides of the nostrils at the center, in order to improve the contour of the noses of some patients. It is sometimes necessary to add tissue. These procedures can last from one and a half to two hours or more, depending upon the extent of surgery.

After Your Rhinoplasty Surgery

A lightweight splint is applied to maintain the new shape of the nose. The splint is usually removed within a week. Nasal pads may be inserted at the time of surgery to protect the septum. This packing is removed within two to three days. Before and even after the packing is removed, there is frequently some stuffiness of the nose.

Pain connected with the surgery is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication. Bruising around the eyes occurs but begins to fade within a few days. Discoloration usually disappears in two to three weeks. Swelling can be reduced by keeping the head in a slightly elevated position when reclining. Cold compresses may be recommended. Some slight swelling may be present for as long as four months to a year.

Getting Back to Normal After Rhinoplasty Surgery

Although patients are usually up and around a day or two after the rhinoplasty procedure, strenuous exercises, particularly those which might elevate blood pressure, should be avoided for several weeks.

If you have any questions regarding rhinoplasty, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rajagopal in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Laser Center at 415-392-3333.
Surgeries for Obstructed Nasal Breathing

Blocked nasal breathing can make a person suffer greatly, as it can limit one’s ability to sleep, exercise and even have a vigorous conversation. Anyone who has experienced nasal obstruction (e.g. when you catch a cold) can appreciate the value of normal nasal breathing.

There are many causes of nasal blockage, some medically treatable and some surgically treatable.

Medical causes of blockage include allergy, exposure to smoke and chemical irritants, as well as the common cold and simple bacterial nasal or sinus infections. These can be treated with supportive care (fluids and rest), nasal saline irrigation, nasal sprays (steroid, antihistamines), and oral antihistamines, antibiotics or other medications.

Anatomic causes of blockage include septal deviation, large turbinates, native or traumatic nasal deformity, and sinonasal disease including nasal polyps and cysts. Previous surgery in the nose can also produce scarring that causes nasal airway obstruction. These anatomic causes of nasal blockage require surgical treatment for correction.

Surgical Procedures by Dr. Lynn Chiu-Collins for Obstructed Nasal Breathing

Each surgical patient is considered a unique case and not all procedures are necessary or appropriate for any given patient. It is possible that only one of the following procedures is needed. Alternatively, any combination or all of the procedures may be needed to optimize the nasal airway.


A crooked or deviated nasal septum (middle wall of the nose composed of both cartilage and bone) can very frequently cause a blockage in nasal breathing. Surgical straightening of a deviated septum can dramatically improve nasal airflow.

Turbinate reduction

Natural bulges or ridges on the sidewalls of the nose called “turbinates” may be large in some individuals. Surgical reduction of the turbinates can improve nasal breathing.


Native patient anatomy or prior trauma may cause structural weaknesses of the nose that manifest in collapse of the nostrils or sidewalls of the nose, or other parts of the nose. These areas of traumatic deformity, asymmetry, or inherent structural weakness may be surgically improved, further improving nasal breathing.

Sinus surgery

Internally, the nose is surrounded by sinuses, four sinuses on each side. Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed to flush the sinuses of chronic infection and to expand the drainage pathways from the sinuses into the nose in order to prevent further infection. This procedure can also be used to remove sinonasal polyps and cysts as well.

Rhinoplasty Cost

Our affordable pricing: Cost of Rhinoplasty

Usha Rajagopal, MD
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