I have narrowed it down to three. Some are triple board certified, others not. Some do computer morphing (important to me), others don't. I am terrified I'll choose the wring doc. Please help!
What is the Best Way to Verify a Doctor for Rhinoplasty?
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Board Certification and Experience matter for Rhinoplasty Surgeons
The most important aspects of choosing a plastic surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty are whether they are board certified (ABFPRS or ABPS) and whether they have enough experience to perform the surgery. While computerized imaging is helpful, it really only tells you about the doctor's ability to use a computer and not about their surgical skills. Before and after pictures of patients that they have operated previously are helpful with determining skill.
Selecting the best rhinoplasty doctor for you
There are several different parameters to look for when finding a rhinoplasty doctor. Look for a surgeon who has performed thousands of rhinoplasty surgeries. Find a rhinoplasty doctor whose original background is ear, nose, and throat surgery, is board-certified in ear, nose, and throat surgery as well as in facial plastic and reconstruction surgery. Make sure their surgery center is certified, the gold standard being Medicare certification. A board-certified anesthesiologist should be present to oversee your anesthesia. Computer imaging is important as a form of communication, but remember it is not a guarantee of the results. Look for a surgeon you can communicate with, have good rapport and trust. You should find a surgeon who has many, many before and after photos of their patients whose noses are similar to yours.
Selecting a Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Select a board certified surgeon who has extensive experience in rhinoplasty surgery, one of the most challenging procedures we do. Look at multiple results from each surgeon.
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You can see if your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Unfortunately, there are a lot of "boards" that have been made up that are there to confuse the patient. Make sure that your doctor has the experience to do the best job for you. Make sure that you like the photos he shows you.
Choose your Surgeon based on Reputation (Credentials, Board Certification via ABFPRS or ABPS), Referrals (word of mouth), Results (the photographs shown to you of prior patients), and Rapport (do you like the Surgeon ad his staff?). It is not unusual to have several very qualified, reputable Surgeons in a metropolitan area who consistently get great results. I could not agree more with Dr. Mayer's comments about imaging. Computer imaging should be the very least of considerations in your decision making process.
Choosing a Rhinoplasty Surgeon...Not as Easy as "Einie-Meanie-Miney-Mo"
You are to be commended that you are carefully choosing your rhinoplasty surgeon. Don't be terrified.
You can contact me with the names of the rhinoplasty surgeons that you have consulted with, and if I am familiar with their work, I would be happy to let you know my opinion (minimally biased of course if I am one of the rhinoplasty surgeons that you consulted with).
You can do the same with other surgeons in your city. Good luck and be well.
Check objective sources about your doc (and computer imaging has its uses).
Most states have free online access to the state's board of health where you can verify a surgeon's training (and in what field), years in practice, malpractice history, reprimands and sanctions by the board of medicine, etc. This is a good source of objective data. Check that first.
It's very helpful if the doc is board certified in the area you're considering changing. If it's the nose, the boards to look for are: ABFPRS (American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery), ABOto (American Board of Otolaryngology...ear, NOSE, and throat), or the ABPS (American Board of Plastic Surgery).
Computer morphing has become a great way for you to make sure that you and your surgeon share the same goals and are on the same aesthetic wavelength. The morphing is NOT a way to assess his/her surgical skill, since it's just moving pixels after all. However, I've revised patients whose original surgeon did an okay job on the whole, but it was simply not at all what the patient wanted. Computer imaging might have avoided that miscommunication. I use it on all rhinoplasty patients.
All the best,
Choosing the right surgeon
When choosing a surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty, my first recommendation is to talk to friends and family who may have had this surgery and are happy with their outcome. If they are happy with the result and you think it looks good then ask them who did their surgery. Next, I think you have been wise to seek a board certified surgeon. Many patients do not put enough emphasis on selecting a surgeon who is board certified. Having this certification tells you is that this physician has studied extensively (beyond the normal # of years after medical school) and has performed a minimum number of surgeries to gain the clinical experience necessary to obtain this certification. Most surgeons who perform Rhinoplasty are double board certified as an Otolaryngologist and as a Facial Plastic surgeon.
When you visit a surgeon, you should be able to have a video image of how you could look after performing the procedure but keep in mind that the image you are viewing is just a concept and not your actual result. You should also ask for names of patients who have had this procedure and who have given the surgeon permission to use their name and are willing to speak to someone considering the same procedure. You should be able to see numerous examples of before and after pictures of the patients who had their Rhinoplasty performed by this surgeon. Make sure that this surgeon routinely performs Rhinoplasty and it is not just one of the many procedures he performs.
Make sure the surgeon you select is one who you can relate to and who answers your questions. You should feel comfortable with the surgeon and his staff as well since they will be involved in your experience too. I think you will know when you have found the right surgeon.
Choosing the "right doctor" for rhinoplasty.
Patients love computer imaging. My son can make you a great nose on the computer--he knows nothing about rhinoplasty! Go to an experienced rhinoplasty doctor whose noses you like and meet with real patients to see their results. Busy rhinoplasty surgeons have patients in the office often while you are there.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.