How to Deal with Psychological Part of Rhinoplasty?

My surgery is scheduled for the middle of July. I have conducted four months of research educating myself on what to expect before, during and after my Rhinoplasty procedure.

I am fairly comfortable with the actual surgical part of this venture. Yet, I can’t seem to get passed the psychological part? How do I field the “did you get a nose job” question without A: getting angry that someone would ask me that question or B: avoiding answering the question altogether.

Any advice on how to get passed my insecurities of admitting I am somewhat vain, hence the nose job?

Doctor Answers 7

Psychological Part of Rhinoplasty

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A rhinoplasty is, first and foremost, something you do for yourself. It is primarily intended to improve your self-image and self-concept, and should be something you are undergoing to make yourself look and feel better. Still, it is understandable that you are worried about how others will respond to your nose job. How you react to the questions that come after your surgery is entirely up to you- you can either admit to having surgery done or can simply state that your decision was personal and need not explain yourself further. Either way, you should feel comfortable with the fact that your surgeon is working to make you a more confident version of yourself and that the opinion of others does not truly matter.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Psychological Impact of Rhinoplasty

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A good rhinoplasty should give a subtle change. Unless you have a very large hump on the nose, nobody should notice much. If you will be in public right away, then obviously it will be noticed. However, once the nasal splint comes off and bruising has resolved, you might go unnoticed.

Feel comfortable about having a rhinoplasty. You do not owe an explanation to anyone. You should answer the way you want to. Usually the easiest way is a plain 'yes'

One thing you have to be careful about. Even the most emotionally balanced person can become obsessed with his or her nose after a rhinoplasty. On a daily basis we do not look at our nose. After a rhinoplasty, you will. Its only natural. The risk is that you might start looking for perfection, and that is not realistic. Remember if your nose looks good from six feet away looking in a mirror, then it is good. Do not look into a magnifying glass and do not feel your nose to find any lumps or bumps.

Start getting excited about your rhinoplasty and then you will feel good. This forum can also help as a support system.

Goodluck and enjoy the journey.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Psychological part of rhinoplasty

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The psychological component of a rhinoplasty can sometimes be difficult to deal with. Most patients feel more self-confident after they have had a rhinoplasty procedure performed. The reason patients come in to the office for a consultation is for some insecurities revolving around how the appearance of the nose fits with the rest of the face. The rhinoplasty operation is designed to address these issues. To field the question “Did you get a nose job”, you can always state that you have had a broken nose that you had fixed and repaired. The nasal bones are the most frequently broken bones in the face, and performing a rhinoplasty to reset them is a very common procedure done today. If the rhinoplasty has been performed correctly and naturally, no one should be able to tell that a rhinoplasty has even been performed. As far as the insecurities of dealing with the rhinoplasty, it is cosmetic surgery, and my advice is to not feel guilty about it, admit that you have had it done for better self-esteem, and move on with your life.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Decide whether to be open about your choice or not.....

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It is rare to recieve rude questions about improved appearance after cosmetic surgery and this becomes even more unusual if the surgery is well done. People may stare at you because human evolution has made us very skilled at picking up minor changes when scanning a persons face. So it probing questions are asked you must decide whether to share your experience with others or to stonewall the intrusions. Do not be overwhelmed by stares as people are trying to decide what is different about you they are not staring because you have obviously had a rhinoplasty..... Don't worry about this for too long. Other people will adjust to your new nose just as you will and forget about the appearance of the old nose.

Richard D. Gentile, MD
Youngstown Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

This is not a problem if you are well motivated.

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This is an unusual concern, so make really sure that you absolutely want to do this. If you feel ashamed having your nose fixed, I would recommend putting it off.

On another note, the good news is people are amazingly unobservant. If your rhinoplasty result looks natural and fits your face, most people won't even notice what you did, and will just comment that you look good. This is generally true even when the change in the nose is substantial. At least, that's been my experience after doing several hundred rhinoplasties in Manhattan.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

How Do I Deal With the Psychological Aspects of Rhinoplasty?

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Hi Pickel,

Valium or Xanax works well; you won't care what they say (just kidding).
The best compliment that you can receive following rhinoplasty is "You look really good, have you changed your hair style, lost weight, have a new boy/girl friend?" That is fine when the nose is sculpted into a natural shape from a pre-operative nose that was not obviously a "honker" (think Cyrano de Bergerac).

If your nose has obviously changed, there are many stories patients tell to protect their vanity. For instance, "I was walking my dog when he took off for a dog in heat; I got caught up in the leash, fell and broke my nose. Since we were there anyway, the doctor said she would take my bump off".

Or you could use the Ashley Tisdale line, "I went in to have my deviated septum fixed to breathe better, and the doc said he would take a little off the top as long as I was already under anesthesia".

In the end, don't worry about what others say or think about your new nose, most likely they will be jealous of your new, good looking nose. It sounds like you have chosen your rhinoplasty surgeon carefully, which is the most important aspect of your rhinoplasty.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Nose surgery is a very personal decision

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Having any surgery is a very personal decision. In this day and age of excessive media exposure about cosmetic surgery, many patients are more open, but others are more inquisitive about other people's personal business.

How to answer that specific question is very difficult to give advice on. What's more important is to demonstrate that you have a good self-image and are comfortable with yourself. Your decision to have surgery is a personal matter and you would hope that good friends and family would support your decision.

As for looking fixed, if you are having surgery by a skilled rhinoplasty surgeon, results are now more subtle than ever. So, if you found a good doctor who is skilled at rhinoplasty, leave yourself in their hands.

Most patients who have rhinoplasty are actually happy with their results.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 141 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.