I see this exact question or some variation of it posed on forums all the time. The answer to this is actually fairly straightforward. The challenge is finding a rhinoplasty surgeon who fulfills all of the desired qualifications. Given the fact that rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, is hands down the most difficult plastic surgery procedure to perform correctly, it is well worth the effort to research this topic carefully and thoroughly.
- The first thing you want to make sure is that your chosen plastic surgeon is board certified in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery). This elite group of is a subset of plastic surgeons who have been deemed specialists in the face and neck region. Within this group, I would suggest finding a select few facial plastic surgeons who have practices that are largely dedicated to rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. For instance, my practice here in San Diego is known as a regional referral center for complex, challenging rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty because a large part of my time is spent studying this one procedure.
- Make sure you review plenty of patient photos representing your chosen rhinoplasty surgeon’s own work. This gives you some level of confidence that he or she has performed rhinoplasty with a high degree of success in terms of aesthetic outcomes. Reviewing previous patients’ rhinoplasty results also gives you an idea of your rhinoplasty surgeon’s aesthetic style. You never want to choose a rhinoplasty surgeon who has a ‘signature nose’ that appears on every face. That is not what I meant by aesthetic style. What I was referring to is how natural and balanced looking are the results being shown in terms of how the nose fits the remainder of the face. Is that particular rhinoplasty surgeon reshaping the nose to achieve consistency with the surrounding facial features or do the outcomes have the stigma of a surgical procedure? Stay away from the latter.
- Hopefully your rhinoplasty surgeon offers digital imaging of the nose. This involves use of a computer software program that can morph your nose to visually demonstrate the proposed changes that would be made to reshape the nose in context of your actual face. It is a wonderful tool for the patient to see what their nose may look like before surgery and the surgeon to determine if you, the patient, are being reasonable in terms of your expectations.
Hopefully these bullet points will serve you well in your decision making process to have rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, surgery. Good luck. Dr. Hilinski