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Rhinoplasty Overview

Dr. Leong understands that a successful rhinoplasty procedure is one that can address a patient’s functional issues while also helping them to achieve their cosmetic goals. No one has to forgo proper nasal function to achieve their desired look.

The combination of Dr. Leong’s world-class training, his years of experience with performing Rhinoplasty procedures, and his precise attention to detail enable him to achieve some truly outstanding results.

The following provides some additional information on Rhinoplasty surgery. Patients who are interested in scheduling a consultation to learn more about this procedure should reach out to Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery.

Rhinoplasty in Pittsburgh Before & After

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How is rhinoplasty performed?

The bone, cartilage, and overlying skin of the nose ultimately determine its shape. The challenge of rhinoplasty lies in the configuration of these parts to create a nose that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Plastic surgeons must have a good amount of experience and skill to achieve this for their patients.

In decades past, most surgeons adhered to a specific nasal look that they would apply to all patients. Over time, technology and attitudes have changed, allowing skilled surgeons such as Dr. Leong to take a more customized approach to rhinoplasty. During the private consultation, patients’ current status and medical histories are both evaluated to determine the best course of action for them.

Both a highly revered otolaryngologist and facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Leong has extensive training and specialized expertise in nasal surgery. When carrying out the surgery, Dr. Leong follows his principle of preserving as much of the patient’s natural bone and cartilage as possible. This is to ensure that the patient walks away with beautiful results that don’t leave any obvious signs of surgery.

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Who is a candidate for Rhinoplasty?

Essentially all patients of adult age with fully developed noses can undergo rhinoplasty to help achieve a more symmetrical and proportional nasal shape and size. As with any surgical procedure, ideal candidates for rhinoplasty in Pittsburgh are non-smokers who are of both sound body and mind. Individuals who have issues such as hypertension may not make for good candidates, as it might cause complications during the operation or recovery process.

Having realistic expectations

A guideline of most surgical procedures is that patients have realistic expectations for the outcome of the treatment. While Dr. Leong’s work can elicit some incredible results, he cannot make them look like entirely different people. Being of sound mind and having a good understanding of what the procedure can and can’t do are the best way to proceed.

What steps should I take to prepare for rhinoplasty?

  • Before your rhinoplasty surgery, we will provide a list of medications to avoid, including aspirin and other anti-inflammatory (blood-thinning) supplements or medications, such as vitamin E or fish oil. Because of their blood-thinning effect, these types of supplements or medications can cause bleeding during and after the surgery and interfere with the healing process.
  • If you smoke, quit at least two weeks before your rhinoplasty. Smoking constricts blood vessels and inhibits proper circulation, increasing chances of bleeding, infection, and reaction to anesthesia. Smoking may result in a poor healing process and could mean a greater risk of scarring.
  • Drink extra water to get hydrated. This helps to prepare your body for surgery and recovery.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you and is bad for the immune system, which can set you up for a poor recovery after surgery.
  • Stock your fridge with prepared meals and healthy foods and snacks, and be sure you have a water bottle you can keep with you in bed to help stay hydrated. Eating well and drinking plenty of water helps your body heal faster. Having nutritious meals prepared ahead of time means you’ll be able to rest instead of making food–the more you can rest, the better.
  • Keep your face clean and exfoliate every other day with gentle products to keep your skin clean and clear before your procedure. Do not use salicylic acid, Retin-A, or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Get your prescriptions filled ahead of time. We will recommend other medications to help with your recovery process in addition to those we prescribe. Get these medications as well so that you have them ready before your surgery takes place.
  • Arrange for a family member or close friend to drive you home and help you during your initial recovery period.
  • Avoid exposing your skin to direct sun, and do not visit a tanning bed. UV light damages the skin and can impede your healing process.
  • From midnight forward on the day before your surgery, do not drink or eat anything. This is important–we will need to reschedule your surgery if you eat or drink anything at all during this period.
  • Arrive to surgery with a completely clean face–no makeup, creams, or anything else should be on your skin. Wear a comfortable button-up shirt.


Dr. Leong photoshopped next to a before and after image

Did You Do Your Rhinoplasty Exercises?

Close-up of a woman's face with a green overlay

Dr. Leong explains this remarkable rhinoplasty case and includes before and afters.

Dr. Leong photoshopped next to a before and after image

A detailed look at Dr. Leong's approach to Rhinoplasty.

Photo of a patient 1 year after rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty - 1 Year Post-Op

Dr. Leong next to a patient in his office

Patient Rhinoplasty Journey

Dr. Leong next to a patient in an office chair

A Nose Job That KEEPS My Ethnic Identity

I after many years of wanting to have a “nose job” finally took the plunge and did what I wanted to do. I did my research and scheduled consultations with a few qualified surgeons and when I met Dr. Leong for the first time I knew that he would be the physician performing Rhinoplasty on me. I was 100% confident with my decision and I couldn’t have made a better choice.

Review from Vitals.com

What is the cost of Rhinoplasty surgery?

The cost of a rhinoplasty procedure in Pittsburgh can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the surgery and the expertise of the surgeon. Each patient's unique anatomical features and desired outcomes will influence the specific techniques employed, such as cartilage reconstruction or tissue removal. During a private consultation for rhinoplasty, patients will receive detailed information regarding the overall fees associated with their individualized treatment plan. For further inquiries, please contact our Patient Care Coordinator at 412-621-FACE (3223).


Rhinoplasty Pittsburgh

Patient testimonial after a Rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty Pittsburgh

Patient testimonial after Rhinoplasty surgery.

Rhinoplasty Patient Testimonial

Rhinoplasty Patient Testimonial

Paul Leong MD FACS

The Facial Specialist

Dr. Leong received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He then honed his skills in head, face, and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, which is consistently ranked among the top five otolaryngology programs in the US, for the following seven years. Subsequently, he advanced his surgical abilities through a fellowship in Advanced Oncologic Surgery of the Head and Neck at the Pittsburgh Medical Center, followed by another fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Types of Rhinoplasty

Tip Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty surgery will look different for each patient based on their cosmetic issues and goals. Under the guiding hands of Pittsburgh facial plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Leong, patients can choose between either a full Rhinoplasty or a tip Rhinoplasty. As the name suggests, patients who opt for tip rhinoplasty are those who are primarily concerned with the look of their nasal tip and not other areas of the nose.

There are many potential issues with the nasal tip that can be disconcerting for patients. For example, some patients may feel that their nasal tip has an overly sharp decline. In these cases, the nasal tip can be ‘rotated’ to improve it aesthetically. This procedure focuses entirely on the size, shape, or rotation of a patient’s bulbous tip. During the consultation, Dr. Leong performs a full assessment of the patient’s nose to determine whether a full or tip Rhinoplasty will better suit their needs.

Revision rhinoplasty

Many patients reach out to Dr. Leong looking to undergo a revision rhinoplasty in Pittsburgh. In these cases, the patient has usually had too much bone or cartilage removed from their nose. In order to address this, he typically utilizes cartilage from the ribs, ears, or septum to put back what was lost and reconstruct the nose. This approach can improve both aesthetic and functional issues.

Closed and open rhinoplasty

Many surgeons have strong feelings regarding whether a rhinoplasty should be performed with a closed technique (all incisions made within the nose) or an open one ( a small incision across the columella – the skin between the nostrils). Fortunately, Dr. Leong has been trained in both techniques and is well-versed in performing them. Only upon conducting a thorough assessment of the patient’s current situation and medical history can a decision be made on which technique to employ.

The obvious benefit of the closed approach is that there are no external excisions, meaning no external scars. However, the small surgical scar that comes with the open technique is usually not noticeable.

During the private consultation with Dr. Leong, patients will get a chance to learn about all the details of the procedure. They will also be given the opportunity to review many before and after pictures to get a better idea of what the results will look like. If desired, patients can also be put in touch with former clients so that they can discuss their experiences, helping them make a better-informed decision for themselves. Dr. Leong strives to make sure that all of his patients are well-informed before going forward.

Rhinoplasty Pittsburgh

What will my recovery entail?

Following rhinoplasty in Pittsburgh, it is normal for patients to experience some swelling, which will take a bit of time to completely dissipate. By the 2-week mark, most of the swelling will have dissipated. Essentially only the patient and close friends and family will be able to notice any swelling. Pain medication can be employed to mitigate any soreness, although it is common for patients to notice persistent tenderness or pressure throughout the healing process.

Taking precautions with the nose after surgery

While patients should be mindful of their noses during the recovery process, things like minor taps, bumps, scratches, or pressures to the nasal area usually do not cause harm to the nose or alter the results. However, major impacts to the nose following a nose job should be looked at by a specialist right away. Make sure to reach out to Dr. Leong if such an event occurs.

While the nose is not at its full strength for up to a year after a rhinoplasty procedure, Dr. Leong believes it is vital for patients to get active again as soon as it is safe to do so. Patients can learn more about these recommendations during the private consultation.

Is Rhinoplasty safe?

While the vast majority of rhinoplasty procedures are carried out safely without any complications, there are always risks. Some of these include:

  • Bruising and swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Infections
  • Problems with the nasal airways
  • Issues with the septum
  • Scarring
  • Mental health problems (for patients who are dissatisfied with the outcome)

There are also some potential side effects, such as:

  • Breathing problems
  • Poor wound healing
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Temporary loss of sense of smell
  • Sporadic painful sensations
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How painful is Rhinoplasty?

Every patient has their own pain threshold, meaning that the experience will vary for everyone. However, most patients seem to feel only minor discomfort following rhinoplasty in Pittsburgh. More than pain, patients find themselves bothered by the sensation of being ‘plugged up’ in the nostrils. This swelling of the nose ultimately forces patients to breathe through the mouth for at least a few days. As a result, patients may develop an overly dry throat and lips.

Before & After

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What is the scarring like after a rhinoplasty procedure?

As with any procedure, patients who are gearing up to undergo Rhinoplasty have questions regarding scarring and what it will look like for them. This ultimately depends on whether patients opt for the open or closed approach for their treatment. With the closed approach, all incisions are made within the nose, meaning that patients are left with no perceivable scars. The trade-off when taking this approach is that the surgeon has a reduced ability to visualize the inner anatomy of the nose. With the open approach, a small incision is made along the columella, or the small strip of flesh between the nostrils. When performed by an experienced surgeon, this scar is hardly noticeable.

Ultimately, each surgeon chooses which approach to take based on their experience with each one and the patient’s particular goals. Dr. Leong has years of experience with both techniques and will help patients decide which one is best for them during the consultation.


Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?

Cosmetic rhinoplasty procedures are not usually covered by insurance as they are considered elective surgery. However, if your rhinoplasty is being performed to address a function concern, such as a breathing problem, a portion of the procedure could be covered by insurance.

What are the risks with rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty carries the same risks as most surgical procedures, such as bleeding, infection, unfavorable outcome, adverse reaction to anesthesia, numbness, and others.

How long does rhinoplasty last?

The results of rhinoplasty are so long-lasting that they are considered permanent.

How long does the surgery last?

Rhinoplasty surgery takes between 2-3 hours, depending on the extent and complexity of the procedure.

How do you sleep after rhinoplasty?

Sleep in an elevated position to reduce swelling and post-surgical congestion. Do not sleep on your side, as this can cause congestion which will lead to discomfort during your healing process.

What does Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery represent?

At Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery, we represent transparency and integrity in everything we do. Dr. Leong truly tells his patients the truth about their upcoming treatment—even if it’s something they don’t want to hear. He is dedicated to his patients’ well-being, and that means ensuring they are fully informed about all factors before undergoing treatment. Additionally, Dr. Leong’s focus is to create natural results, never fake or overdone. Rest assured, when you come to Sistine for treatment, you are walking into an environment of technical excellence and high integrity.

It’s your face. Trust it to a specialist.

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