Plastic surgeon said he's not comfortable enough or feels skilled enough to perform rhinoplasty on me, is this common?

I recently met with a plastic surgeon for a consult on a rhinoplasty. I am 29 years old and have wanted my nose done since I can remember. I have a bump on the bridge of my nose that I would like fixed, that's it. The surgeon told me that I am an excellent candidate and have realistic expectations, but won't do the surgery as he's not confident enough. He's been practicing for 3 years. Is this something that is common, or was he letting me down easy, like he doesn't think anything can be done?

Doctor Answers 12

Is it common to defer performing rhinoplasty?

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I'd take the surgeon's comments at face value and be glad that he was honest. 

You want to make sure that your surgeon is confident in performing your surgery.

You should focus on finding a surgeon who has a lot of experience performing rhinoplasty, is very comfortable in treating your concerns and who has before and after photos of other patient's that you like.

You can read more about nasal bridge bump removal at my web reference link below.

Plastic surgeon said he's not comfortable enough or feels skilled enough to perform rhinoplasty on me, is this common?

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Be glad he is an honest man, and knows his limitations.  Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is very experienced in Rhinoplasty, for your best result.  Best wishes!

Plastic surgeon said he's not comfortable enough or feels skilled enough to perform rhinoplasty on me, is this common?

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Sounds like a smart guy to undersstand his limitations. You would be surprised how many patients we all turn down. Usually it has nothing to do with experience but we are "reading" the patient and feel they are not a good surgical candidate for any number of reasons. 

Actually, yes

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You should respect a surgeon that admits he may not have the experience to perform your surgery.  Rhinoplasties can be exceptionally challenging, especially if asymmetries or deviations are present.  In your case, a dorsal hump may be straight-forward.  However, for large humps, nasal infracture is necessary to avoid a dorsal deformity and this can add to the complexity.  Best wishes!

Rhinoplasty fears

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A rhinoplasty on a nose that has very little wrong with it can be intimidating.  I would say you should thank the surgeon for not being cavilier about operating on you .  The bottom line is you want to find the right match between your personality and the surgeons.  Good luck 

If your surgeon says he's not confident, believe him.

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Many good plastic surgeons feel uncomfortable performing rhinoplasties if they don't of the operation frequently. He should be able to refer you to someone who does feel Comfortable.

Rhinoplasty experience

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 It Is very important to seek out in an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who has performed thousand of rhinoplasty surgeries, since  rhinoplasty is the hardest operation to perform in the entire field of cosmetic surgery. To get an idea what can be accomplished with the procedure, please see link below to our extensive rhinoplasty Photo  Gallery

Plastic surgeon said he's not comfortable enough or feels skilled enough to perform rhinoplasty on me, is this common?

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Rhinoplasty is the hardest of all facial plastic surgery and with 3 years experience, he/she may not feel confident enough to perform this surgery.  Photos would help give you more information on what needs to be done.  Visit other facial plastic surgeons and discuss your concerns. 

Rhinoplasty surgery is complex

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Rhinoplasty surgery is considered one of the most challenging cosmetic surgery procedures. For many surgeons, it is challenging to consistently achieve the desired cosmetic results and in many cases, it is also necessary to improve the functional aspects of the nasal airway (improving breathing through the nose). Despite a surgeon being a board certified plastic surgeon or facialplastic surgeon (ENT), many do not perform cosmetic rhinoplasty as part of their practices. It is good that the surgeon you consulted with was responsible enough to inform you that you would be better served by seeing a surgeon that feels competent to perform rhinoplasty.

You should seek several consultations from board certified plastic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons (ENTs) to see what options are available for you. It can be very challenging to find the right surgeon for you, especially when considering rhinoplasty. Although the internet has a lot of useful information, there can also be a lot of misleading and confusing information. It is hard for patients to sort out quality work from marketing hype. That being said, it is very important that you do a lot of research-on the internet you need to look at multiple sources to find out who may be the appropriate surgeon for you.

Some of the things to consider are:
1. Is the surgeon board certified in plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery (ENT)
2. How much experience do they have (did they do additional training, how many rhinoplasties have they performed, do they perform rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty frequently)
3. Do they have admitting privileges in a hospital and do they have privileges to perform rhinoplasty in a hospital
4. Do they have any scientific publications (peer-reviewed journal articles, medical textbooks) describing their experience performing rhinoplasty
5. Do they teach rhinoplasty to other peer surgeons (do they have a University affiliation/Faculty position, are they invited to lecture for other plastic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons).

Once these questions have been answered, you will have a good idea of who is well qualified to perform your rhinoplasty. Finally, the most important thing is that your goals are in line with your surgeon's goals-the patient and the surgeon need to see eye to eye.

Surgeon Not Comfortable Doing Primary Rhinoplasty

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I cannot speculate re what your surgeon was thinking but he maybe he was just being honest; he was young and didn't have adequate training in this procedure. Get another opinion from an experienced rhinoplasty specialist. I will review any pictures that you can send.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 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.