Rhinoplasty advice ~ based on my own experience and research
Byon 23 May 2013
Write down all your questions and concerns before each consultation and bring photos or whatever else can aid in communication.
Do not be too nice or afraid to hurt the PS feelings by questioning what he/she tells you or by choosing someone else.
Trust your gut feelings and recognize red flags.
Don’t give your PS or Patient Coordinator the benefit of the doubt when something doesn't make sense to you.
Do your homework - Research, research, research the procedure and Plastic Surgeons.
Contact previous patients, Google, Yelp (make sure to read filtered reviews), and learn as much as you can.
General v Specialist There are some exceptional General PS’s who are capable of performing a successful rhinoplasty but your chances are usually much better going to a very experienced Facial Plastic surgeon or Rhinoplasty Specialist. Do you really want to trust your face to someone who mainly performs breast augmentations and liposuction?
Don’t get a second opinion – Get a 4th, 5th go on as many consultations as you can until you know you’ve found the right surgeon who is a good fit for YOU. There are many good primary surgeons and each with their own style or signature nose….get familiar with them. Before/After photos can be deceiving. Some PS offices practice photography tricks of the trade and use the fishbowl effect on before photos and touch up the after photos. Make sure the before photos were taken in the same lighting and positions as the after photos. After photos that are 2 years post are best. Some people are initially thrilled with their results for a year or so until all swelling subsides to find asymmetry, bumps, etc. Some noses can even twist or collapse over time.
Beware of fake reviews and inaccurate Treatment Ratings I have learned that there are many fake reviews, which of course affect Treatment Ratings. I don’t give any credibility to reviews from one-time posters, no photos, or those that rave about the doctor but fail to mention any specific details about themselves or own experience. Dishonest people love the anonymity the Internet provides.
Make sure you’re not depressed or have other mental/emotional problems such as BDD when looking into plastic surgery. Loss of a loved-one, a divorce/break-up, or other life changing events can lead you to plastic surgery in an attempt to find a quick fix to happiness. Make sure it’s not just a Phase you’re going through…similar to someone who regrets their tattoos because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
You are forever changing your looks, physical family traits, and heritage. …there’s no undo button...you’ll never get your former nose/appearance back.
Don’t fall for good Marketing or Sales tactics – Some plastic surgery or medi-spa offices are very well rehearsed on their sales strategies and gimmicks. A nice website doesn't accurately reflect the quality of work the surgeon is capable of. Be wary if they try to sell you other procedures and products.
If you can’t afford a revision, think long and hard about the primary. Getting yourself in debt could add to the guilt and depression that unsuccessful plastic surgery brings. Many surgeons are good at primaries but not necessarily revisions. Rhinoplasty is often considered the most difficult plastic surgery to perform and a revision is even more difficult because they must harvest grafts from other parts of your body.
Communication is extremely important. This is why digital imaging is a great tool. Don’t make any assumptions. Many bad rhinoplastys are the result of poor communication. Plastic Surgeons are just people so don’t put them on a pedestal and assume they have the same integrity and values as yourself just because they possess the title of “doctor.” Many have learned this the hard way. There are many wonderful surgeons and others that should be jailed.
It is extremely difficult to sue a plastic surgeon. Lawyers do not like to take on plastic surgery cases (unless someone died) because there is not enough money in them. Unless you have a lawyer friend or relative who is willing to help you… most likely you’re on your own.
Swelling last a long, long time. Don’t be too quick to judge one way or another because swelling can drastically change the appearance of your nose. Although most people can see their final results at one year post, some say it took them 2+ years.
Don’t let anyone rush or pressure you into booking surgery or making a decision. Take as much time as you need. I’ve heard it said that people spend more time picking out a new car than choosing a plastic surgeon. This is much more important that buying a car or even a house. The longer you research, the better advocate you’ll be for yourself. Put as much time and effort into this as you would choosing a surgeon for your child. If things go wrong because you didn't do enough research, your loved ones suffer along with you.
Don’t let the cost of consultations or travel hinder your search for the right surgeon. Of course, finding someone nearby would be ideal but you have to live with the results so getting the most desirable result should take priority over convenience. Getting it done right the first time saves the most money.