SLUCare patient Rylee Moody suffered with obstructed breathing for so many years that she had forgotten what it was like to inhale and exhale freely. After consulting with SLUCare facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Collin Chen, however, she realized her problem had a straightforward answer. Chen helped her understand how rhinoplasty surgery could repair her abnormal nasal structures and give her a more comfortable quality of life.

“When I met with Dr. Chen, he explained everything I needed to know,” Moody says. “I wanted to breathe better, and I had always wished to change the shape of my nose a bit as well.” Chen noted that both goals could be accomplished with one operation, and Moody scheduled an outpatient rhinoplasty at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. “Everything went smoothly the day of my surgery,” she says. “I checked in early and was heading home to recover by noon.” Nursing staff gave her post-procedure instructions, and she has had followup care with Chen.

“The results have met my expectations and beyond,” Moody says. “I had no idea how bad my situation was until the dressings came off after surgery and I took my first clear breath in years. My immediate thought was, ‘Wow, so this is what breathing is supposed to be like.’” She says she now feels healthier, sleeps much better at night and is very pleased with the aesthetic results of her surgery.

Chen says rhinoplasty can be performed in cases where the patient has a congenital or injury-related malformation of nasal structures, a desire for cosmetic improvement or both. “People with breathing issues may see their family physician and try medication for allergies, and if that doesn’t help, they can be referred to an otolaryngologist,” he says. “In situations where a less involved procedure like septoplasty won’t solve the problem, rhinoplasty may be needed. It has a high level of safety and effectiveness, and we work closely with insurance providers to see that medically eligible services are covered.”

People with nasal structure and breathing abnormalities may assume it’s something they have to live with, but Chen says that is not the case. “If you suffered a broken nose when you were young and have breathing issues as an adult, it’s not too late to do something about it,” he notes. “We encourage people to come in, discuss their goals and see what can be accomplished with surgery, and we explain what recovery is like. Patients generally take a week off of work or school, then come back in to have dressings removed. Most people see aesthetic results by about three months, and swelling reduces fully over the next six months to a year.” More information on rhinoplasty, including before and after photos, can be found on the practice’s Instagram page, @slufacialplastic.

“Sometimes you don’t realize how serious things are until you get help to solve the problem,” Moody says. “I would encourage people with breathing problems to make an appointment. It might seem a little daunting at first, but Dr. Chen and the SLUCare staff make the process go smoothly and easily. My only regret is that I didn’t have surgery sooner.”

SLUCare physicians offer comprehensive facial plastic and reconstructive surgery services for patients. Pictured on the cover: SLUCare facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Collin Chen works with a patient. For more information, visit or search for @slufacialplastic on Instagram.

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo courtesy of SLUCare Physician Group

Pictured at top: SLUCare facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Collin Chen works with a patient.
Photo courtesy of SLUCare Physician Group