Best advice for avoiding a bad result in rhinoplasty?

What general advice or tips would you have for someone considering a first time rhinoplasty who really wants to avoid ending up with a bad result (aka looking worse than if you never had the surgery). Is it all about the surgeon's experience? Patient expectations?

Doctor Answers 10

Choose the Right Surgeon

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My best advice for avoiding a bad result is to choose an experienced surgeon. Rhinoplasty has a long learning curve, and it requires a very different skill set and past experience than other types of facial plastic surgery.  With an experienced and skilled surgeon, and an open rhinoplasty approach, the chances of a bad result that completely fails to meet expectations should be approaching zero. That being said, revisional surgery to optimize and improve the nose are sometimes necessary, even in the best and most experienced surgeon's hands.

How to get the best rhinoplasty result.

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Rhinoplasty for the best result is to choose a very experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who can show you photos of noses he has done that you like. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Finding the right surgeon

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Hello and thank you for your question. It is very important that you thoroughly research your surgeon before committing to surgery. It is a good idea to research your surgeon's educational background, online reviews, before & after pictures, and speak with anyone who you may know who has had surgery with that surgeon. During your consultation, make sure that you don't feel rushed and make sure that you have adequate time with your surgeon and not just their patient coordinator or nurses. If the majority of your consultation is spent with someone other than the surgeon, this is usually not a good sign. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified expert surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Best advice for avoiding a bad result in rhinoplasty?

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I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon with extensive rhinoplasty experience who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you can find throughjthe "Smart Beauty Guide" of ASAPS or a facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngologist) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss all of your concerns with that surgeon in person and be realistic about what can be achieved with a rhinoplasty.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California


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Thank you for your question.

It is definitely a combination of the two; you must find a qualified plastic surgeon but at the same time, they aren’t magicians, your expectations have to be realistic or you will be disappointed. I would recommend when looking for a surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty that you choose one who is board certified and specializes in rhinoplasty. You may also want to look on the Rhinoplasty Society website as this lists the top surgeons in the world who specialize in noses. I would also look at the surgeon’s credentials, memberships, educational background, reviews and before and afters. Before and afters are a good indicator of their techniques and outcomes from rhinoplasty surgeries and reading reviews from other patients is a good way to see what their experience with the doctor was like. Best of luck in your endeavors!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

Surgeon selection

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Dear Qanda,

      As you figured it out yourself, not all results are the same, because experience, skills and aesthetic eye are critical for good outcome of any surgery, but especially rhinoplasty, which is quite complex procedure due to the anatomy and interplay of the healing physiology. So, do your due diligence carefully and choose your surgeon wisely to avoid bad result and need for corrective surgery.

   Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who do lots of rhinoplasty surgery in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive with nice slope, well defined tip, nice upturn angle and in harmony with the face.

   Communication with the surgeon are very important to avoid disappointment. There are different way to accomplish it. In my practice I use life size photographs of the patients , which I place tracing paper on them and draw on that paper the surgery plan. The patient can clearly see the new shape of the nose. If they like it , that becomes the surgery plan. If the don't, they can demonstrate on the picture their ideal goal, which if feasible , becomes the new surgery plan. That drawing which is real life size of the face (one to one ratio) allows for measurement , by millimeters , of the different changes in the nose and it is a real working tool unlike the  computer imaging which just give an abstract plan. 

                       Best of luck,

                                           Dr Widder


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Find a good surgeon who does nice conservative work. My goal is to have people look natural and not overdone.  Best of luck.

Tips to optimize your rhinoplasty results

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Great question!  Here are some tips to optimize your rhinoplasty experience and results:

1.  Make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified

2.  Look at some of his/her before and after photos

3.  Ask to talk to a previous patient 

4.  Get a feel for the staff as well since they will be helping out with the experience

5.  Visit several plastic surgeons to see which one is right for you

Thank you for your question!

Dr. Schreiber, Baltimore plastic surgeon

Good results in Rhinoplasty

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The simplest and best answer to your question is "do your homework". It is best to select a rhinoplasty surgeon with experience and a good track record. Look for a doctor who has solid training, years of experience, and happy patients. Ignore the slick marketing programs and self proclaimed greatness and focus on the basics.

Getting a good result in rhinoplasty

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Both factors you mention,  surgeon experience and patient expectations,  are very important.   Preoperative computer imaging is helpful to guide expectations.   There are certainly "vagaries or healing" that can affect the result.   We are dealing with living tissue after all.   Even the world's greatest rhinoplasty surgeons have to do revisions on their own patients at some frequency.   Rhinoplasty can be a very humbling operation for surgeons.   Make sure you pick a surgeon who does rhinoplasty as  a mainstay of the practice. Good luck! 

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.