6 important questions when choosing the best rhinoplasty surgeon
Here are 6 important questions which help in evaluating the technical skill of your facial plastic surgeon and our Inside information about Rhinoplasty to help answer them.
When you meet with facial plastic surgeons to interview them about a potential rhinoplasty, there are 6 questions you may want to ask, since this indirectly will give you an idea of their technical skill and how specialised they are. A facial plastic surgeon who is highly specialised in rhinoplasty will have a higher chance of achieving the cosmetic results you want to have, without affecting your breathing negatively.
1. How many rhinoplasties do you do per year?
The answers can vary highly between doctors depending on how specialised the doctor is and be anything from 5 to 200 per year. And of course, it is not a given that they want to share this number with you if they have a low number.
Inside information: A highly specialised facial plastic surgeon would say that they at least do 8-15 rhinoplasties per month or 100-200 noses per year.
2. Are you specialised in cosmetic rhinoplasty or septorhinoplasty?
Some doctors mainly perform septo-rhinoplasties improving patients’ breathing, and only do the occasional cosmetic nose. For other doctors, the focus may be the opposite, with most cases being cosmetic noses, and the septo-rhinoplasties referred to someone else.
There are no rights and wrongs here, but if breathing already is an underlying issue, you may want to consider someone who has a mixed practise and does both types of procedures.
The inside information is that patients who do not take an underlying breathing issue seriously enough, dreaming of that perfect cosmetic nose, often come back for revision rhinoplasty.
3. How will this rhinoplasty affect my breathing?
If the surgeon is planning to only shave off a bump on your nose, this will not likely affect your breathing. However, if you are having a major reduction of the size of your nose, this may affect your airways. Carefully listen to how the surgeon discusses this aspect with you as a patient. If you are considering a major reduction of size or already have underlying issues with breathing, you want to make sure that there is a plan for your septum and breathing as well.
Inside information: Frequently, patients downplay the potential risk of affecting having their breathing affected. Impaired breathing through the nose can be quite stressful and is a very a common cause of revision rhinoplasty.
4. How long time will the rhinoplasty surgery take?
A quick surgical technique does not automatically mean that you have a better surgeon, but it does reduce the risk associated with anaesthesia.
Inside information: A fast surgeon will take 30-90 minutes hour for a rhinoplasty (the extent of the surgery). A slow one will take more than 3 hours.
5. Do you ever perform revision rhinoplasty of your own nose jobs?
A serious facial plastic surgeon will do computer imaging of your nose and comment on what is possible in terms of cosmetic results. Sometimes the end-result does not match your expectations and make you wish for a revision. You should assess this as a potential scenario and make sure that the surgeon discusses this aspect very carefully with you. If the surgeon does not want to discuss this with you, it could be a warning light.
Inside information: Highly specialised facial plastic surgeons will take their time discussing this aspect with you. Expectations are very important, but so is also the agreement that a revision is a possibility if needed. Common revisions are usually small and could include narrowing of the nose tip. The need for those may not always apparent until you see the end-result.
6. What percentage of the rhinoplasties you perform are revisions of another surgeons’ work?
Primary cosmetic rhinoplasties are easier to perform than revision rhinoplasty, especially when the patient has had more than one rhinoplasty previously.
Inside information: A facial plastic surgeon who reports a high frequency of revision rhinoplasties are usually trusted by his colleagues and has high technical skill.
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