I was very unhappy with the outcome of my primary rhinoplasty surgery. What should I look for in a surgeon so I do not make the same mistake?
December 7th, 2012
If you are unsatisfied with the results of your primary rhinoplasty surgery (the original procedure), what you need to look for this time is a nose specialist. This is very important because revision rhinoplasty is a complex procedure – perhaps the most complex of all cosmetic procedures. But how do you determine who is and isn’t a rhinoplasty specialist?
A good way to narrow your search is to focus on board-certified facial plastic surgeons. Though general plastic surgeons are also qualified to perform rhinoplasty, they rarely specialize in procedures of the face. As a general rule, facial plastic surgeons perform more rhinoplasty procedures on a monthly and yearly basis than general plastic surgeons do. The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) has strict requirements that surgeons must meet to acquire and maintain certification.
Note that not all facial plastic surgeons specialize in rhinoplasty. So, to further winnow down your list, focus on surgeons who perform a large number of rhinoplasty procedures. Your surgeon should have experience using advanced grafting techniques with different types of cartilage (ear cartilage, irradiated rib cartilage, etc.). In addition to having experience with revision rhinoplasty, he or she should also have extensive experience performing rhinoplasty on different types of noses, including different ethnicities and shapes.
Ask your surgeon to see pictures of rhinoplasty patients. This is important because you and your surgeon may not share the same sense of aesthetics. Ask to see examples that are similar to your situation. Also ask to see some that are different, as different nasal characteristics look good on different faces. Some surgeons have a signature look; this isn’t a good thing, because everyone’s face is different.
A good tool for determining if you and your surgeon are on the same page is 3D imaging. This technology can help you understand if your prospective surgeon understands what you’re looking to achieve in your secondary surgery.
Also make sure to read testimonials from other patients, and ask to speak with patients who have undergone revision rhinoplasty with your surgeon.
In the end, trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a particular surgeon, don’t be afraid to walk away.