What Should I Ask my Doctor During Rhinoplasty Consultation?

Doctor Answers (26)

It is important to ask any plastic surgeon before...

  • It is important to ask any plastic surgeon before rhinoplasty how many procedures he performs a year (usually 50 or more a year).
  • Rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult operations in plastic surgery, and the risk of complications and poor results is less in surgeons who specialize in this area.
    • Doctors who specialize on facial plastic surgery and rhinoplasty are Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructibve Surgery (www.abfprs.org) and members of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (www.aafprs.org).
  • Another question that you should ask a plastic surgeon is the approach he uses.
    • There is a closed approach in rhinoplasty which has all internal incisions and an open approach that involves a small external incision under the nose that requires 3 fine sutures to close.
    • Any good rhinoplasty surgeon should employ both approaches.
    • Certain changes in rhinoplasty require a closed approach and more extensive rhinoplasties, such as revision rhinoplasty or rhinoplasty requiring a lot of nasal tip modification, require an open approach.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon About Rhinoplasty


Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Before Rhinoplasty Surgery
 Credentials and Experience
Are you board certified?  If so, by what board and for how long?
 Have you ever been disciplined by the board or by the state?
 How many rhinoplasties have you performed?
 How many revisions of your own work, on average, do you have to perform?
How many rhinoplasties do you perform on average, annually?
 Can I look at a portfolio of before-and-after photos, and not just your perfect ones?
 May I speak with any of patients who have had rhinoplasty by you?
Preparation and Recovery
Would there be any reason that I would not be a good candidate for a rhinoplasty?
What are the complications for rhinoplasty?
 How far in advance is it necessary to schedule a surgery date?
 How long do you recommend I take off from work, school, etc. to heal properly?
What medications will I be given; which pain medications do you normally prescribe?
What tips do you have for me to ease some discomfort and pain?
 After surgery, will my nose be packed?  With what type of packing?  For how long?
 When should I expect to look "normal" again?
Will I have scarring? If so, how bad will it be?
 Must I follow any special diet, both preoperatively and postoperatively?
 I wear eyeglasses. Will I be able to wear them the day after surgery on top of the cast? When can I wear my glasses normally?
 I take (birth control, diet pills, antidepressants, etc.). Will I have any adverse reactions from the prescribed medications or anesthesia?
 What are your routines and appointments for postoperative care?
 If I will need sutures, when will they be taken out?
 If I need anything after-hours after the surgery, how can I get in touch with you or your staff?
 If I have an emergency the night after surgery, what should I do?
 If such an emergency arises, will you be the attending physician?
 How long after the surgery will I be able to exercise, run, or participate in contact sports?
Technique and Anesthesia
What kind of anesthesia do you use for rhinoplasty? Why?
Do you offer any other anesthesia options?
 Who will administer anesthesia and what are that person's credentials?
What structural changes to my nose will you need to do?
 Will I need a graft?  If so, what kind?
Do you prefer to perform your procedures open or closed? Why?
 Where will the surgery be performed?
If the surgery will not be done in a hospital, is the surgery center or suite accredited?
 Do you have hospital privileges and, if so, at what hospitals?
If you don't have hospital privileges, why not?
  Do you believe my expectations can be met?
What if I have a complication?
 If my results are not what I wanted, what is your policy on a revision?
 What if I change my mind and back out, will my money be refunded?
Are there any other costs for lab work, postoperative check-ups, prescriptions/medications?
 Do you offer financing?
When is payment due?

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty consultation advice


1. Make sure to select a board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience with rhinoplasty.

2. In your initial conslut, describe the tings you want to change about your nose in specific detail. Do not assume that your surgeon will know exactly how you want your nose to look. Noses are a very personal attribute and everybody has a different ‘ideal nose’. You need to be specific when you describe what you want!

Watch my video to learn a few terms that will help you describe exactly what you want to change about your nose during your plastic surgery consultation.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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"Form and Function"


The two main considerations to be addressed in nasal surgery are form and function. Rhinoplasty alone looks principally at form. The elements to be considered when looking at the form of the nose include:
• the shape of the nasal dorsum- correction of a dorsal nasal hump is perhaps the most common goal in Rhinoplasty surgery
• The width and contour – is it straight, symmetric, boxy, or bulbous?
• The distance that the nose protrudes from the face, known as “projection”
• The length of the nose- this commonly contributes to the appearance of a nose that is either too big or too small for the face.
• The angle of the junction between the nose and the upper lip, known as “rotation”.

When both form and function are considered in nasal surgery, the procedure is known as Septorhinoplasty. The Septoplasty portion of the nasal surgery refers to correction of any abnormality of the tissue that divides the left side of the nose from the right side- known as the nasal septum. Functional nasal surgery can also be used to minimize the size of swollen intranasal turbinates (on the outer sides of the nasal wall), or to address collapse of the side walls of the nose during breathing, known as “nasal valve collapse”.

Michael R. Macdonald, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

What to ask the doctor before rhinoplasty


Choosing the right surgeon for rhinoplasty is important. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the doctor and that you feel like you are both communicating well with each other. That way your surgeon will better understand your goals, and you will better understand what's involved. Make sure that he/she is experienced - ask to see before/after photos and even speak to previous patients. Make sure that you like the results. Going to a rhinoplasty surgeon who produces the same results which you don't like won't do you any good. Make sure that the facility is safe and accredited where the surgery is to be done. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Rhinoplasty Consultation


During a consultation, you need to assess his training, experience, expertise, passion for rhinoplasty, philosophy regarding the procedure, and level that the surgeon understands your objectives/needs. As you review the surgeon's work through the photos, ask him/her the purpose for the procedure shown and the level he feels that he/she had accomplished the patient's goals. The photos should demonstrate the surgeon's technical skill and artistic ability. Ask the surgeon about the frequency that his surgeries need to be revised, and his expertise with revision rhinoplasty. Discuss with the surgeon where the surgeries are performed and the level of accreditation of the facilitation. Ask the surgeon who performs the anesthesia and the qualifications/experience of the anesthesiologist. Discuss your health history in detail and ask the surgery if the history or current medications taken would impact the surgical plan. Discuss necessary preoperative preparation, and the expected postoperative care including the duration that you will need to recover. Finances are important and fees/financing should be discussed. Ask him about the scheduling policies including refund policy in the event that the surgery needs to be cancelled for any reason.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

What to ask doctor during consultation


The most important thing is to feel comfortable with your physician. After that is met, these are the things you should know .

1) is he board certified by the American Board of Facial PLastic & Reconstructive Surgery OR the American Board of PLastic Surgery

2) How many rhinoplasties does he perform?

3) What is his policy on revision, if you happen to need one.

4)You must like his aesthetic.

5) Does he perform revision rhinoplasty?

6)Does he have plenty of before & after pictures?

7) Can you speak to some of his patients?

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Things you should ask during a rhinoplasty consultation


1. Are you board-certified?

2. How many rhinoplasties have you done?

3. Do you do a lot of revision rhinoplasty?

4. Do you have computer modeling to discuss what my nose may look like?

5. Do you have pictures of other patients you have done?

6. Do you have references I can get in touch with?

7. Where do you operate? Is it accredited? Who does your anesthesia? Are they board-certified?

8. How long do you think my case will take?

9. Can I have copies of my preoperative and postoperative instructions?

Raghu Athre, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Questions to ask during your rhinoplasty consultation


First & foremost, it is important that you consult with a surgeon who is Board Certified. This ensures that they meet a strict set of criteria which are very important when considering a rhinoplasty, as it takes quite a bit of skill and experience to perform one successfully.

The second question you need to ask is how many rhinoplasty surgeries have they done? You want to make sure the surgeon you choose has a great deal of experiencing in performing a rhinoplasty, and does them on a fairly regular basis.

I’d also recommend asking to see before and after photos of previous patients to ensure that your aesthetic and the surgeon’s are a good match. Digital imaging can also be an extremely helpful tool in helping you and your surgeon set a realistic goal in terms of your final results.

Ultimately you need to feel 100% comfortable with your choice of surgeon. Be sure to give them a detailed medical history, including any issues such as snoring, trauma, allergies, use of nasal sprays, recreational drugs, etc. Schedule a consult and allow them to perform a detailed internal and external exam of your nose and bring in any records of past trauma they can review. This will help them to make an informed decision on just how they can help you achieve a desirable result.

Scott W. Mosser, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon


Rhinoplasty is the most difficult procedure in all of plastic surgery.  The consultation should very much be a two way street.  Patients are trying to find out if their surgeons are the right fit for them and meet minimum competence standards.  While there are lists of standard questions which should be asked, here are a few questions which a competent surgeon will have no difficulty answering:

  • Can you perform a septoplasty?  Rhinoplasty and septoplasty seem like two separate procedures.  However, there The septum is such an integral part to rhinoplasty that not being able to perform one should disqualify a surgeon in my opinion. The septum is analagous to the foundation of a house. This would be similar to being a builder of sky scrapers but not being able to work with steel. It just is not likely that a good result is going to be possible.
  • How many rhinoplasty procedures has the surgeon performed?  A surgeon should perform at least 500 rhinoplastys at a minimum. It is just a fact, that surgeon who performs a procedure with more regularity and over a longer period of time is much more likely to be more facile than a surgeon who performs it occasionally. This is especially the case with such a complex procedure such as a rhinoplasty. 
  • Has the surgeon written an academic paper on rhinoplasty?  Surgeons who are specialists at something and are good at it write about it in academic journals. An academic journal will select a work by having peers review it and accept it if it is worthy of publication. Even surgeons who are not academic types, will write about what they are good at. Why is this important? At minimum, to be considered to be an expert in a field, the surgeon should have written at the very least an academic paper about that topic. Some academic papers are by special invitation by peers. Some academic papers are about an insight about rhinoplasty which that surgeon may have. Either way, an academic paper demonstrates minimum competence. This does not mean having written an academic paper makes a surgeon a good rhinoplasty surgeon. It just states that a surgeon who has not, likely is not a rhinoplasty expert or qualified.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

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.