Is My Expectation Realistic For Primary Surgery? (photo)

I'd like to get rhinoplasty but its such an important facial feature that I can't afford for my doctor to botch it the first time around. The changes I'd like made are very small and if I couldn't find a doctor who's crafted with meticulous details, I don't know that I'd be willing to take the risk. Can it be done? Whose the best doctor for this job?

Doctor Answers 8

Computer simulation imaging in rhinoplasty.

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Based on your simulation imaging it should be possible to come close to your objective but in all likelihood the result will not be exactly like the simulated profile, particularly the exact contour of the nasal tip. 

Computer imaging represents a significant advance in rhinoplasty surgery.  Simulation provides an opportunity to improve the rhinoplasty process at multiple levels:

  • Consultation.  During the consultation it allows the patient and surgeon to set a target to shoot for.  The patient can more accurately convey to the surgeon what she or he desires.  The surgeon can better determine if the patient is being realistic.  When using imaging to set a surgical target the surgeon needs to be realistic in terms of what he or she can deliver.  The patient needs to understand that the objective is to get close to the target but in the vast majority of cases the outcome does not duplicate the simulation image.  
  • Rhinoplasty Planning.  Using computer simulation, the surgeon can form a more detailed and exacting plan to achieve the desired changes.
  • Surgeon Learning & Improvement.  In order to learn and improve each surgeon needs to analyze their outcomes relative to exactly what maneuvers were performed during surgery (rhInoplasty planning) and what they were trying to achieve (surgical goal).  Computer imaging is currently the best available method to best define the surgical goal.

Many surgeons currently advocate for not using computer simulation imaging.  I think that this approach is somewhat narrow-minded and driven primarily by the fear of litigation.  Avoiding the use of computer simulation imaging represents a missed opportunity in the rhinoplasty process, specifically in terms of consultation, surgical planning and surgeon betterment.

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS, FRCSC.


Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Expectation Realistic

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Based on your photos it appears that you would be a good candidate for surgery, and your expectations appear realistic

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews


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I can understand your apprehension as the greatest risk from rhinoplasty is that you end up with a result you are unhappy with.  You should consult with a few plastic surgeons to get a better idea as to whether you are comfortable undergoing the procedure. You should not have  plastic surgery of any kind unless you are absolutely sure about it and have considered the risks fully.  As to your particular case judging by the photos, your rhinoplasty appears pretty straightforward and you have a good idea as to the changes you want in its appearance, so that's a good start.  The next step is to consult with a plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Is My Expectation Realistic For Primary Surgery?

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From the impression of your posted question you need to see the surgeons in person. Over the internet to hard to reply to such specific demands. 

Realistic Expectations and rhinoplasty

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It appears from your computer simulation that it would be possible to achieve the results you are looking for. However, be aware of the risks of the procedure in that even with a perfect plan, technique and initial results, that you still need to rely on your body's ability to heal with those results. It is not often to predict the exact outcome and while you may end up with exactly what you want, healing can alter it slightly. Good luck.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rhinoplasty and computer imaging

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While you may very well achieve the result you want with rhinoplasty, I think you have to remember that computer images do not account for normal healing.  I do not like computer imaging because It implies a specific result which is impossible to accomplish exactly.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Realistic Expectations with Rhinoplasty

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It seems your simulations would produce an attractive nose at least from the side view. See an experienced plastic surgeon who is very comfortable with rhinoplasty surgery and whose "aesthetic" you agree with. Each surgeon may like a particular "type" of nose, and this needs to be something that you agree with when you choose a surgeon.  

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

A subtle rhinoplasty is best

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The simulation you provided is realistic and in experienced hands you should be able to obtain the result you desire. The best rhinoplasty should look natural and not have an "operated look". The nose that aesthetically blends with your other features is the best choice. A slight tip elevation and subtle deprojection creates the best benefit. In rhinoplasty "less is more" is wise adage.

Best way to asses your doctor is to carefully evaluate his or her before and after pictures on numerous patients to determine if their skill is consistent. Anyone can get an occasional good result, it is the doctor that gets consistently natural looking good results and in line with your taste is the one you should select for your surgery.

Julian Henley, MD
Greeley Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.