Dr. John Hilinski recently took some time to answer questions about what patients can expect when they visit our San Diego plastic surgery practice for a rhinoplasty consultation. Below are Dr. Hilinski’s answers about his own consultation process and why he encourages his prospective patients to seek out a second opinion if they feel unsure about the procedure.
Question: What does a rhinoplasty consultation entail?
Dr. Hilinski: The consultation entails a thorough dialogue, focusing on the unique ways each patient wishes to shape the nose. I always like to hear the patient’s concerns framed in his or her own words. The consultation also includes a detailed examination of the face as a whole and the nose in particular. It is critical to analyze the nose in context of the face since achieving harmony with the surrounding facial features is the ultimate goal of rhinoplasty.
In addition to assessment of the skin and framework of the nose, it is vital that the internal workings of the nose be evaluated to ensure proper function. Computer morphing technology is a very powerful tool for rhinoplasty surgeons that allows us to use actual photographic images of the patient’s nose to visually demonstrate what the nose might look like after surgery. This process provides valuable insight into the results the patient is truly envisioning, which sometimes differs from what they describe using words alone. I can also determine whether or not the patient is being realistic in terms of what rhinoplasty can really do for them.
Question: How long is the consultation and how many office visits are required?
DH: My office typically reserves upwards of one hour for new rhinoplasty consultations. This provides us with ample time to discuss all of the relevant issues with the patient’s nose. A good percentage of our rhinoplasty patients feel sufficiently comfortable after this one visit to make an educated decision about having the surgery. If patients decide to proceed with the rhinoplasty procedure, they will return to the office again for a formal pre-operative visit. During this second visit, we prepare the patient for the actual date of surgery by reviewing pre-operative instructions and guidelines.
Question: Do you recommend family members or friends attend the consultation?
DH: In some cases it is helpful to have a family member or friend accompany the patient during the rhinoplasty consultation. Family members or friends who are close to the patient will be able to provide insightful comments, especially when it comes to viewing the morphed computer images. We also email the morphed images to the patient for further review, which is very helpful in those instances where family and friends are unable to attend the consultation. Ultimately though, I encourage my rhinoplasty patients to try and make the final decision on their own. After all, rhinoplasty is a very intimate decision that should be largely influenced by personal motivation.
Question: What is the next step?
DH: The next step is contemplation. I think it is very healthy when patients go home and let the recommended changes to their nose truly sink in. In some cases, patients seek out different opinions from other rhinoplasty surgeons, which I encourage. I feel quite confident in my abilities as an expert rhinoplasty surgeon, and in a good majority of cases, patients who seek out other opinions will be even more assured about choosing me as their rhinoplasty surgeon.
To schedule a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Hilinski, please contact our office today. Check back with our blog soon for the second installment of our two-part rhinoplasty series. In the next post, we will detail what patients can expect during the pre-operative, day-of-surgery, and post-operative periods.