Nose Surgery and Reshaping
Rhinoplasty in Boston

Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston

Helena O. Taylor, MD,PHD,FACS & Stephen R. Sullivan, MD,MPH,FACS

The nose is the centerpiece of the face, contains complex structures and anatomy, and must be properly aligned for normal breathing.

The nose is the most frequently broken facial bone. Many of us can remember being struck in the nose during playtime or activities as a child and suffering some pain as well as a bloody nose.

Although the nose may not have changed much in appearance at the time, it likely suffered a break or disruption of the nasal bones, nasal cartilages or nasal septum. Over time, the result of even small nasal breaks may change your appearance or ability to breathe comfortably.

Sometimes, nasal breaks can be more obvious with cuts or significant changes in appearance. Others, inherit or are born with undesirable nasal appearance. The range of concerns can include a bump, wide nose, bulbous tip, a droopy tip, long nose, short nose, crooked nose, big nose, hooked nose, such as those with cleft lip or cleft palate, may have been born with some nasal deformity which persists despite previous operations.

Regardless of the cause Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can evaluate your nose for both functional (breathing) as well as cosmetic concerns.

Why get Nasal Surgery?

Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, Turbinates) can restore function for a patient with difficulty breathing or improve the appearance of a person's nose.

Nose surgery, with the goal of creating facial harmony or normal breathing, requires meticulous surgical care as well as proper training and experience.

In addition to being board certified plastic surgeons in the Boston area, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan both have fellowship training in Craniofacial Surgery and nose surgery or "nose job" is one of the most common operations they perform.

Improving the shape and function of the nose and septum can be performed through an open technique with a small incision disguised on the under surface of the nose or a closed technique with incisions limited to inside the nostrils. Most nasal operations take between two and three hours with general anesthesia and patients are able to leave the hospital on the same day with limited discomfort. Septoplasty and turbinectomy can also help treat impaired nasal breathing, nasal obstruction, sleep apnea and provide relief from using a CPAP machine.


The nasal septum separates the left and right nostrils. Toward the front of the nose the septum is made of cartilage and in the back it is made of bone.

Ears are also made of cartilage and, like the cartilage in the septum, ear cartilage is flexible yet elastic and returns to a specific shape when twisted or pushed. When cartilage is damaged it can bend, warp or tear and when bone is damaged it can break. Septoplasty or nasal septum surgery is usually performed to restore or improve nasal breathing. When indicated, the procedure is covered by your health insurance company. The procedure can be performed in approximately 1 hour, though often also involves other procedures such as turbinectomy or nose reshaping (rhinoplasty).


Nasal turbinates line the walls of the nose with three on each side. The turbinates are usually responsible for warming and moistening air.

The tubinates have a normal nasal cycle with swelling. This cycle alternates from one side of the nose to the other and is responsible for the annoying cycle of intermittent obstruction that is often made worse when you have a cold and nasal obstruction. This nasal cycle is normal and requires no treatment.

Allergies can also cause inflammed turbinates and inflammed nasal mucosa, which can often be treated non-surgically with nasal steroids, antihistamines, and nasal saline irrigation. Sometimes the turbinates can become persistently enlarged and cause nasal airflow obstruction and in severe cases sleep apnea. This is made worse with nasal septum deviation. If the obstruction is persistent, you may be a candidate for turbinate surgery. Surgical options include turbinate outfracturing, turbinate reduction, and turbinate excision. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can evaluate your turbinates to determine if you are a candidate for surgery.

Turbinate Removal

Turbinate excision for a patient who had previous septoplasty by another surgeon and had persistent nasal airflow obstruction with enlarged turbinates and uncorrected nasal septum deviation.

Secondary operation with septoplasty, internal nasal valve spreader grafts, and inferior turbinate excision by Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Taylor led to relief of nasal obstruction and resolution of sleep apnea.

Call Today 617.492.0620

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.

300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138


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300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge