Rhinoplasty is a specialized surgical procedure designed for patients who are unhappy with the size, shape and/or function of their nose. In these cases, Dr. Ridgway will make subtle changes to your nose that dramatically improve your facial appearance, giving you the balanced, natural and beautiful look you desire with some of the best rhinoplasty Seattle and Bellevue areas have available.

An Overview of the Rhinoplasty Procedure

To begin your Bellevue nose job, Dr. Ridgway will administer either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety. During your initial consultation, he will discuss each of these options with you and help you determine which one is in your best interest.

For your actual procedure, Dr. Ridgway will make an incision inside the nostrils to conceal future scarring. He will then expertly reshape the underlying bone and cartilage to create the perfect nose for your face. Once your cosmetic issues have been addressed, he will also correct structural issues that are contributing to difficulty breathing, such as a deviated septum. Once he has sculpted your ideal nose, Dr. Ridgway will redrape the nasal skin and tissue before expertly closing the incisions.

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Rhinoplasty Before & After

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Are You an Ideal Candidate for Rhinoplasty?

Dr. Ridgway determines candidacy for all of his patients on an individual basis, after carefully evaluating the cosmetic and functional issues that concern them most. With that said, rhinoplasty is generally a safe surgery for any healthy adult patient who wishes to improve the appearance and/or function of their nose. Younger patients can be considered for this procedure, but only if their teenage growth period is complete, which typically occurs at around age fifteen or sixteen.

Though these guidelines should give you an idea of who can benefit from rhinoplasty, the only way to know for sure if you are an ideal candidate is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ridgway today so he can walk you through the entire procedure and determine if it is in your best interest.

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What to Expect During Recovery

Immediately after your Bellevue rhinoplasty procedure, Dr. Ridgway will place a splint and bandages to support your nose as it heals. Before you are sent home to begin the recovery process, you will be given detailed instructions regarding post-operative care and medications. A surgeon who is deeply committed to his patients, Dr. Ridgway will also call you at home the evening after your surgery to check in on your progress and ensure you are feeling okay.

During the initial phase of your recovery, you can expect to experience some bruising and swelling, though it will fade on its own within two weeks. To promote healing and minimize any discomfort, it’s important to keep your head elevated and relatively still during this time. Though the length of your recovery will vary depending on your unique circumstances, most patients are able to return to work within ten days. Click here to learn more about rhinoplasty recovery.

Open and Closed Rhinoplasty

Open and closed rhinoplasties are two techniques in facial plastic surgery to reshape the internal and external structures of the nose, and commonly performed at our private plastic surgery clinic in Bellevue. These two approaches allow access to the inner structure to reshape bone, tissue, and cartilage to create a more appealing, balanced look. Every person is unique, and this is a customized procedure in every case.


In open rhinoplasty, a small incision is made on the columella (the tissue strip between the nostrils). This gives our facial plastic surgeon full access to the nasal structures, allowing for more extensive reshaping to be performed – an appropriate surgical approach for patients who have a droopy or bulbous nose tip, too much nose projection, and other flaws. The tiny scar is hidden beneath the nose, and once healed, is usually virtually invisible.


In closed rhinoplasty, all he incisions are made within the nostrils. With closed rhinoplasty no part of the incision can be seen externally, leaving no visible scars. This technique may be used to correct less extreme nose reshaping procedures, such as nose bridge refinement or augmentation for those who want to build up a flat nose bridge to create more facial balance.

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What Can Rhinoplasty Accomplish?

There are countless reasons why an individual may be interested in undergoing rhinoplasty. When the procedure is performed by a leading facial plastic specialist, such as Dr. James Ridgway, it can successfully address a wide range of potential issues, including:

Cosmetic Issues

  • A nose that is too large or too small.
  • A large bump or hump on the bridge of the nose.
  • A crooked nose.
  • A drooping nasal tip.
  • A bulbous tip.
  • A nose that is too wide or too narrow.
  • Nostrils that are too wide or too narrow.

Functional issues

  • Injury and distortion of the nose.
  • Birth defects, such as a cleft lip rhinoplasty.
  • A deviated septum.
  • Obstruction of the nasal airways.

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A Brief History of Rhinoplasty

The word "rhinoplasty" comes from the Greek words rhinos (nose) and plassein (to shape). It is generally performed either to change the appearance of an aesthetically unappealing nose, or to improve the function of the nose as a part of the upper respiratory system.

Rhinoplasty, as a procedure, dates to ancient Egypt and ancient India, developed in India by the ayurvedic physician Sushruta around 800 BC who sought to restore the noses of criminals who had their noses removed as a form of public ostracization. In the late 1800s, Michigan Otolaryngologist John Orlando Roe is credited with performing the first rhinoplasty.

Plastic Surgery Advances: Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

When the idea that surgery could be performed strictly for cosmetic purposes grew in popularity, Dr. Jacques Joseph, a noted orthopedic surgeon, opened what was the first hospital specifically for facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, used to treat soldiers injured during combat in World War I. Many of the techniques Dr. Joseph employed in rhinoplasty are still in use today, along with more advanced surgical procedures to promote faster healing.

As one of the oldest procedures in plastic surgery, attempts to repair noses has been ongoing for literally thousands of years. As surgical techniques have evolved, so has rhinoplasty itself allowing for more gentle surgery, speedier recovery, and the use of advanced surgical techniques to correct an array of nasal issues both for aesthetic enhancement and to restore free, healthy breathing.

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Ethnic Rhinoplasty

One of the biggest concerns of patients of ethnic origin is that they will end up with a nose that does not fit the rest of their unique facial features. At Newvue Plastic Surgery, Dr. Ridgway is well aware of this legitimate concern since many patients in the area have descended from the diverse people who settled Bellevue and the Pacific Northwest.

The goal of any rhinoplasty procedure is to bring all facial features into harmony and balance preserving the qualities that define the patient. In ethnic rhinoplasty this not only demands exceptional surgical skill but also requires the surgeon to have a keen sense of the unique differences between different ethnic groups. Dr. Ridgeway strives to subtly refine the features of the nose so that the nose is not the first thing people notice.

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Ethnic Rhinoplasty Consultation

At Dr. Ridgway’s Bellevue clinic, ethnic patients are consulted on the basis of what they are trying to achieve overall and how a nose job will affect their ethnic identity. Dr. Ridgeway encourages his ethnic patients to ask many questions so he can enlighten them on what his ethnic nose job can do for their appearance, as well the function of their nose.

Ethnic noses have differences in internal structure, skin thickness and texture, as well as the more obvious differences in size and shape. Achieving refinement and softening is much different between an Asian nose which is rounder and wider and a Middle Eastern nose which is generally larger with a downward facing tip. Hispanics and African Americans present different challenges when planning ethnic rhinoplasty surgery.

Restoring Function as Part of a Nose Job

Internal structures must be carefully handled in any nose job surgery. In the case of ethnic patients, Dr. Ridgway is well aware of their unique differences both inside and on the surface. Some ethnicities have very delicate structures while others may need substantial reduction, all while maintaining the function and integrity of a three dimensional structure.

Bellevue residents considering this procedure are thoroughly screened for airflow problems as part of Dr. Ridgway’s initial examinations. He often finds that many patients are unaware of structural problems as they have learned to compensate for restricted airflow over time. These patients are doubly delighted with their results when they find their ability to play sports or exercise or enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep are one of the many benefits from their rhinoplasty surgery.

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Alarplasty is a type of facial plastic surgery used to narrow nostrils that are overlarge or overlong. As part of this procedure, a wedge of tissue is removed from each nostril near the point where it connects to the cheek. This procedure can be performed without the necessity of a full rhinoplasty and addresses only the width of the nostrils.

Your nose can be instrumental in the overall balanced beauty of your face. A well-shaped nose, in harmony with your other features, can be a dramatic improvement in facial appeal, leaving you looking and feeling more confident and attractive.

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Revision Rhinoplasty by a Board-Certified Specialist

As a board certified reconstructive and facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, Dr. Ridgway has thousands of facial procedures to his credit, including difficult revision rhinoplasty surgery. He provides the residents of Bellevue with world class surgical skill honed, to perfection since his entire focus is on surgery of the head and neck.

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Schedule Your Consultation

If you are unhappy with the appearance and/or function of your nose, and you are ready to do something about it, we encourage you to schedule a consultation for arguably the best rhinoplasty Bellevue has to offer. During your private meeting, Dr. Ridgway will carefully evaluate the imperfections that concern you most, before composing a custom treatment plan designed to create the balanced, beautiful and natural-looking nose you desire.

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Schedule A Consultation

If you are ready to refresh and rejuvenate your look today, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of the best plastic surgeons Seattle has to offer: Dr. James M. Ridgway. During your private consultation Dr. Ridgway will carefully evaluate your face and the subtle imperfections that concern you most before providing you with a personalized blend of Bellevue cosmetic surgery procedures that will help you achieve your ideal facial appearance.

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