Choosing the Rhinoplasty Surgeon

After deciding that a rhinoplasty is what you desire, choosing the right nasal surgeon is one of the most important steps. What follows are recommendations on important aspects that are important in choosing the surgeon specialist to perform your rhinoplasty.

Do Some Research Before Your Rhinoplasty

The fact that you are reading this information means that you are taking your consideration to undergo nasal surgery serious. Keep in mind that your face is precious and therefore spending a month more researching and finding the right doctor will be worth it to you. For instance, a plastic surgeon who did a great job with your friend’s breast reduction or thigh liposuction may not necessarily be an expert rhinoplasty surgeon. Also, an otolaryngologist ENT-surgeon who performs primarily sinus surgery, tonsillectomies and ear surgery but not nasal surgery for external structural improvements may also not be the right choice for you.

Choose an Experienced Rhinoplasty Surgeon

Of course, a surgeon who performs many procedures of one particular kind will become increasingly proficient with this particular operation; an important quality to look for in your rhinoplasty surgeon. The art and science of nasal surgery is one of constant learning and improvement of the surgeon’s skill. Little adjustments in the technique learnt from prior rhinoplasty and critical evaluation of the results by the surgeon can have a significant impact on the final outcome. In general, a reasonably experienced rhinoplasty surgeon performs at least 20 nasal surgeries per year; a busy doctor performs in excess of 50 rhinoplasties per year. Talk to friends or family members who had rhinoplasty or other external nasal surgeries (i.e., nasal fracture repair) performed in the past. Ask about their experience and whether they would recommend their particular rhinoplasty surgeon. Talk openly with the surgeon about his experience with rhinoplasty and ask if this surgery is a significant part of his practice. In addition, a surgeon who published specialty journal articles about rhinoplasty may take a special interest in this procedure.

Choose a Cutting Edge Rhinoplasty Surgeon

Many important advances in our understanding of the nose as it pertains to structural nasal surgery had a significant impact on rhinoplasty over the last decade. You want to benefit from this progress when you undergo your rhinoplasty procedure! When meeting with a surgeon, you will get an impression whether his/her way of doing things has been the same for the last 25 years or if the rhinoplasty surgeon is up-to-date with advances in the field of facial plastic surgery.

On the other hand, many techniques do not stand the test of time. Be wary of a plastic surgeon that just tries every new craze on his patients.
A sincere surgeon finds a balance between time-proven procedures and modern approaches – he applies the would-I-do-this-to-my-family standard.

How about Board Certification for Rhinoplasty

The most important factor in choosing any surgeon is his experience and skill for the particular procedure you need. Of course, this also applies to such a challenging facial plastic procedure as a rhinoplasty. Nationwide, the vast majority of nasal surgeries (i.e., septoplasty, nasal fracture repair, rhinoplasty, sinus surgery, surgery for nasal tumors) are performed by head & neck surgeons (a.k.a. otolaryngologists or ENT surgeons). Having a thorough understanding of the external and internal nasal anatomy with its complexities and variations is crucial for successful rhinoplasty. Although there are no firm statistics available, the majority of rhinoplasties for cosmetic and functional improvements are performed by facial plastic surgeons with a background in ENT surgery. This said, there are extremely experienced surgeons with a background in general plastic surgery who devote most of their practice to rhinoplasty. Unlike other facial plastic surgeries, rhinoplasty is only rarely performed by surgeons from other specialties.

Rhinoplasties Are Performed by Facial Plastic Surgeons and General Plastic Surgeons

Most rhinoplasties are performed by general plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons. Board certification tells you if a surgeon’s specialty provided him/her with appropriate training during residency. For instance, a board-certified general plastic surgeon who primarily practices hand surgery may not be an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon although it was part of the curriculum during his internship and residency training. Similarly, a facial plastic surgeon that specializes in major head and neck cancer reconstruction may also not be the best surgeon’s choice because of the lack of experience in rhinoplasty. Some ENT surgeons without additional facial plastic surgery training and experience are very capable rhinoplasty surgeons. Although less common, some capable cosmetic surgeons come from other specialties, most frequently from ophthalmology, dermatology and oral surgery but because of the complexity of nasal surgery, these doctors rarely perform rhinoplasty.

Find a Rhinoplasty Surgeon that Matches Your Philosophy

Unlike other surgical procedures, cosmetic rhinoplasty may be considered an art form. Although it is certainly not important that the rhinoplasty surgeon is an accomplished woodworker, painter or musician, his vision for facial aesthetics is relevant. In addition, the nasal specialist’s thorough understanding of the nose as it pertains to the interrelations of form and function is crucial. The nose needs to work and look good after a rhinoplasty procedure. A better looking nose with nasal obstruction cannot be considered a success. In fact, it can be quite difficult to fix breathing issues after rhinoplasty if this was not addressed appropriately at the time of the initial operation. Listen to the doctor’s assessment of your nasal anatomy in relation to aesthetics and breathing. Your rhinoplasty surgeon should also evaluate your overall facial characteristics; at the end the new nose should fit your face. During this discussion you will see whether you and your surgeon have a matching aesthetic understanding ensuring that you and your surgeon are “on the same page”. Also, a plastic surgeon who tries to “talk you into doing something” that you really do not feel comfortable with should make you wary. Your cosmetic surgeon may show you some Before and After photos. This is an opportunity to see if your aesthetic sense matches outcomes of patients that underwent rhinoplasty in the past. For instance, a surgeon who shows you over-done noses with a “ski-slope” appearance may not be what you are looking for.

How Much Should I spend for Rhinoplasty?

Although true financial realities exist for everybody, a rhinoplasty is certainly not the time for bargain shopping. The money you may save for thrifty plastic surgery will mean nothing to you after you had an undesirable experience or suboptimal result requiring revision rhinoplasty. Similarly, a Madison Avenue or Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon will certainly be pricier; not necessarily because he is better than your Massachusetts physician, but because you will have to help him pay for his exuberant overhead. So, your reasonable judgment will be of utmost importance in choosing your rhinoplasty surgeon, financial considerations should come second. For further information on the price of rhinoplasty procedures, click here.

Is it Better to Undergo Rhinoplasty in a Famous Hospitals?

Of course, a hospital does not perform the nasal surgery but your cosmetic doctor does. It is a fact, that most cosmetic surgery in America is performed by plastic surgeons in private practice. That also holds true for rhinoplasty. Although accurate statistics are missing, it is reasonable to assume that the majority of cosmetic nasal surgeries are safely performed in outpatient surgical centers, often in the surgeon’s own surgical suite. In addition, most advances in the field of rhinoplasty originate from busy nasal specialists in private practice. Although there are certainly very capable doctors in full-time positions at large teaching institutions affiliated with Yale, Johns Hopkins or Harvard, this affiliation is no warranty for rhinoplasty expertise. These top teaching hospitals play an important role in acute and emergency medical care and provide a great environment for intern and resident education. Cosmetic surgery is rarely a focus of these large institutions. Therefore, the above guidelines on how to choose your plastic surgeon should be considered as a priority.

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