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Rhinoplasty Salt Lake City & Riverton, Utah

Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job or nose reshaping, is a procedure that enhances the nose by correcting its proportions and improving the overall appearance all while enhancing your face’s natural harmony. Since your nose is in the very center of your face, when it is brought into proportion it will help optimize and improve your best features. A large or malformed nose can distract from the balance provided by your other facial features.  This can diminish the size of your eyes or make your chin look recessed or overall make your face look off balance in different ways. Most patients who receive a cosmetic rhinoplasty also see improvement in other features when it is done with precision and artistry.

Dr. Derrick Gale specializes in both cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty as well as revision rhinoplasty. As a board-certified otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) and fellowship trained facial plastic surgeon, he has the highest level of training available to experts in the complex interplay of the facial skeleton with nasal cartilage and skin.

The nasal bones and cartilages of the nose must be carefully manipulated to achieve ideal underlying shape and function and proper handling of the soft tissues is key in achieving the refined contours and overall shape desired. Dr. Gale has a background in head and neck surgery along with maxillofacial reconstruction which gives him the most advanced training and qualifications available as a rhinoplasty surgeon, and the perfect person to complete your rhinoplasty with precision.

before and after left view rhinoplasty of female patient Riverton, Utah

With experience in surgical precision and a keen, artistic eye, Dr. Derrick Gale authors research and gives national presentations on both rhinoplasty and head and neck surgery based on his own medical research.  Whether your nasal issues are functional, aesthetic or both, Dr. Gale of the Ear Nose and Throat Center of Utah will work closely with you to ensure your nose is everything you want it to be.

This page will give you a thorough background on functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty in Riverton and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you have specific questions about facial plastic surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at  801-506-6344 or schedule a consultation through the contact form.

Meet Dr. Derrick Gale, MD

Customized Consultations, Individualized Results

With a focus on improving both form and function, Dr. Gale applies experienced aesthetic judgment and surgical expertise to achieve each patient’s individual cosmetic and functional goals. While delivering the highest level of care and expertise, Dr. Gale and his team maintain a down-to-earth and comfortable atmosphere to put you at ease. 

Rhinoplasty’s Cosmetic and Medical Goals

With rhinoplasty, Dr. Gale achieves symmetry, balance and facial harmony for patients seeking cosmetic solutions. But a portion of all rhinoplasty patients need surgery due to physical issues like a deviated septum, injuries, deformities and other sinus problems.

Fellowship trained in sleep surgery as well as facial reconstructive surgery, Dr. Gale performs many functional rhinoplasties to improve breathing. These rhinoplasty surgeries may involve skeletofacial and airway reconstruction procedures.

When patients recapture healthy sleep and breathing, their entire lives improve. In addition to feeling better, many patients want to improve the aesthetic appearance of their nose. We find that patients undergoing functional rhinoplasty ask us for a little cosmetic attention since we’re “in there anyway.” We are more than happy to accommodate these cosmetic rhinoplasty requests.


Rhinoplasty helps patients achieve:

  • Clear breathing that facilitates sleep and establishes unlabored breathing 
  • Resolution of nose crookedness leading to more graceful, balanced nose 
  • Correction of the deviated septum, fixing the nose’s unbalanced appearance
  • A more narrow nose base (common in the ethnic rhinoplasty)
  • Contouring of the nose through reduction of the “dorsal hump” or bump on nose bridge
  • Refining the cartilaginous end of the nose, often referred to as a “bulbous” tip
  • Revision of previous rhinoplasty results (secondary rhinoplasty after unsatisfactory initial procedure)
  • A more prominent nasal tip (revision following botched initial rhinoplasty)
  • Resolution of contour irregularities (often using grafts or dermal fillers)
  • Thinning of the wide upper pole of nose

During your consultation, Dr. Gale and his team will use computer-assisted imaging and drawing tools to help you envision both the nasal surgery and its results. We’ll share insights about your nose’s anatomy, incision options, and best surgical strategies so you can understand what your rhinoplasty can achieve. While these images come close, they can’t exactly foretell your nose’s final form.

Am I a Good Candidate For Rhinoplasty in Salt Lake City?

A good candidate for rhinoplasty would be someone who has reached skeletal maturity (usually age 14 for girls, 16 for boys), does not smoke, and is in good physical health. Patients suffering from severe nasal blockage or congenital deformities may need a rhinoplasty at a younger age, however.

The ideal candidate has a clear picture of what they want their nose to look like, combined with realistic expectations about what rhinoplasty surgery can accomplish. When you meet with Dr. Gale during your initial consultation, you should bring a photograph of the types of noses you find attractive. “Filtered selfies” are not as helpful as pictures of real faces. Consider the language you’ll use in the consultation: Are you looking for a narrower nose “bridge” or “base,” a less “bulbous” tip, or an easing of your “dorsal hump.  Make sure to write down a list of questions to ask at your appointment as well.

A deviated septum is another common reason for undergoing rhinoplasty. Contrary to popular belief, fixing a deviated septum alone usually does not affect the appearance of the nose. However, deviated septums are often associated with a bent or crooked nose, and many patients opt to correct the issue by addressing cosmetic and medical rhinoplasty issues concurrently.

Undergoing Rhinoplasty Surgery

There are two primary types of rhinoplasty: closed and open. In a closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes incisions inside the nose. This prevents scarring but can limit the doctor’s ability to manipulate cartilage and create your ideal look. In open rhinoplasty, the surgeon creates the incision at the base of the columella, the tissue that sits between your nostrils. By doing so, he is able to lift the skin off the cartilage and obtain a better view of your nose’s structure. This technique is more time consuming but allows the doctor to add or reduce cartilage with more precision. Because an open rhinoplasty can often produce a better clinical result, Dr. Gale often prefers it over the closed procedure.

Dr. Gale performs his surgeries at the ENT Center of Utah Surgery Center, Salt Lake Regional, Riverton Hospital, and Intermountain Medical Center. These medical facilities are ideally located if you want a Rhinoplasty and live in Riverton, Salt Lake City, or in the surrounding areas.

Before the procedure, you will receive either local anesthetic with sedation or general anesthetic. If you are correcting a previous cosmetic surgery, have had nasal trauma or need significant structural changes made, Dr. Gale may use cartilage from your rib or a donor’s rib for grafting. His goal is to create a structurally sound nose that will last a lifetime. Function, safety, and long-term results are his top priorities.

On the day of your surgery, you will meet with Dr. Gale to answer any last-minute questions and resolve any concerns. Dr. Gale is known for being easy to talk to and will put you and your family or friends at ease. Down to earth and approachable, he enjoys sharing tales of the abundant outdoor activities available in Utah with patients. Fishing, hiking, and skiing are his favorites.

Rhinoplasty surgery itself usually takes between one and a half to three hours when the doctor does not combine it with another procedure. When the operation is complete, you will wake up in the recovery room. Be sure to arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home and stay with you for a day or so while you recover.

before and after right view rhinoplasty of female patient Riverton, Utah

Improving Form & Function

Trust Dr. Derrick Gale to help you achieve your goals, whether they are aesthetic, reconstructive or both. View our before and after gallery to see the surgical skill and technical mastery of one of Utah’s leading facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons.  

Navigating Functional and Cosmetic Rhinoplasty Recovery in Salt Lake City

Dr. Gale often places a cast on the outside and splints inside your nose that may make you feel as though you have a cold.  These are more comfortable than the types of packing that was done in the past.  The cast and splints will remain in place for a week to maintain the new structure of your nose as it heals. Dr. Gale and his team are dedicated to seeing you through your recovery process to ensure that you are happy with the results. You will meet with him to check on your nose after one week, one month, three months, six months, and finally one year following surgery.  Dr. Gale sometimes asks patients to follow up at more frequent intervals to keep a close eye while the nose heals and provide extra care and support as needed.


Quick Tips

  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Limit extreme facial expressions
  • Refrain from anything that might put pressure on your nose for the first month
  • Avoid wearing glasses for the first month without discussing with Dr. Gale 

Most of the swelling from a rhinoplasty procedure will go down within the first few weeks. It may take many months before the final shape of your nose reveals itself. As you recover, you will continue to meet with Doctor Gale. If there are any issues of concern, you can bring them up with him during this time.

Functional and Cosmetic Rhinoplasty in Riverton UT and Salt Lake City, UT

If you want a rhinoplasty that’s both functional and beautiful, consult Dr. Derrick Gale. His Riverton practice is conveniently located 30 minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City. His expertise as an ENT with specialized training in facial plastics and reconstruction as well as sleep surgery makes him the ideal choice for a rhinoplasty. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, you can contact the Ear Nose and Throat Center of Utah here or call us at 801-506-6344. We look forward to meeting you!

Rhinoplasty in Riverton, Utah FAQs

Rhinoplasty, or a “nose job,” can fix both aesthetic and medical concerns regarding the nose and nasal passage. Patients concerned with a large nose, prominent bridge, bulbous nose, nose angle, deviated septum, or nasal blockages can benefit significantly from a rhinoplasty.

The difference between open and closed rhinoplasty surgery arises in the locations of the incisions. In open rhinoplasty, the incisions are made inside the nose with one more just beneath the nose between the nostrils. In closed rhinoplasty, all incisions are made inside the nasal cavity. In more complex cases, such as after trauma or when a significant structural change is to be made, open rhinoplasty is recommended. Open rhinoplasty offers greater access and visibility to the treatment area.

The cost of rhinoplasty in Utah varies greatly depending on the requirements of the specific individual. On average, rhinoplasty performed in Salt Lake City, UT, cost between $2,500 and $7,200.

Revision rhinoplasty is more challenging than primary rhinoplasty because the surgeon is dealing with an unpredictable structure and possible complications from the first procedure. Many surgeons will not offer revision rhinoplasty due to the complications associated with the procedure. Rest assured, Dr. Gale is a specialist in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty surgery.

Many patients like to include non-invasive procedures, such as dermal fillers, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing with their rhinoplasty procedure to provide a comprehensive solution to their facial appearances.

General anesthesia is typically the best option for any invasive nose surgery.

You should expect mild discomfort, minimal bleeding for a day or two, and some discomfort that will be managed with prescribed pain medications.

It would help if you had an idea of what cosmetic concerns you have about your nose. Dr. Gale employs 3-D software to give each patient a good idea of what the procedure can do for them.

Bathe and wash your hair as you may not be able to bathe for a few days to avoid getting your bandages wet. Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your nose surgery, including water and the chewing of gum. Also, it would help if you got a good night’s sleep.

Relax and get plenty of sleep, as this will help minimize swelling and bruising. Also, make sure you have each prescription pain medication readily available.

With any procedure, there are six common risks. These include:

  • Bleeding for a day or two
  • Minimal pain
  • Infection is rare after rhinoplasty
  • Minimal scarring
  • Need for revision surgery
  • Asymmetry

Specific to rhinoplasty risks include the following:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Nasal collapse
  • Decreased sense of smell

You should stop smoking before and after rhinoplasty to ensure proper healing

Recovery takes about a full week after rhinoplasty.

Dr. Gale recommends you wait a few days before returning to work, longer if your job is physically demanding.

You should wait at least two weeks before resuming your workout routine.

Dr. Gale customizes a surgical plan with patient input to deliver desired results in harmony with other facial features. This will enable you to retain your unique facial appearance.

Most patients experience minimal discomfort that is easily managed with prescribed medication. However, there may be some nasal obstruction resulting from swelling that is more troublesome than actual pain.

After nasal deviation or collapse, rhinoplasty can support and open the passages to enhance airflow and breathing.

During your rhinoplasty consultation at Gale Facial Plastics, it will be determined if you need septoplasty. If there is enough deviation to decrease airflow and hinder breathing, a septoplasty could be necessary.

These are two distinct techniques for rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty offers more access to the nasal passages with an incision in the area between the nostrils.

Although there are no rules for what age rhinoplasty is most appropriate, the nose should be fully mature before considering the surgery.

Dr. Gale does not employ nasal packing. Instead, he strategically places stitches and sometimes splints to open the nostrils to airflow.

Revision rhinoplasty requires the skill of a skilled rhinoplasty surgeon because:

  • Scar healing is less predictable
  • Scar tissue can affect rhinoplasty results
  • Many of the nose structures may have been removed during the original surgery

Besides cosmetic and functional improvement, rhinoplasty can boost confidence and self-esteem. 

3D computer software helps guide Dr. Gale and his patients toward nose surgery outcomes. Although the results cannot be guaranteed, this imaging technology provides a realistic preview of the final result for most patients. 

Your insurance may cover the costs when functional issues are addressed, like a deviated septum, physical trauma, and injury.

Dr. Gale performs rhinoplasty in multiple hospitals and surgical centers, including Riverton HospitalSalt Lake Regional Medical CenterIntermountain Medical Center in Murray, and our surgical center in downtown Salt Lake City, UT.