Rhinoplasty--Seems Like a Lot of People Regret Having This Procedure

do you think thats because more dissatisfied patients review to "warn' others? It makes me wonder how often people are truly happy with the outcome, before reading these boards, I thought more people would be happy they had it done. Any thoughts on the % of patients who have to have revision?

Doctor Answers 18

Rhinoplasty is no small procedure. Do your homework to avoid Regrets

I hear you. I can seem like there are a a lot of regrets with rhinoplasty surgery. Fortunately, this has not been my experience with rhinoplasty.

At it's best, rhinoplasty is a most challenging and rewarding procedure. At it's worst, rhinoplasty is an ill-conceived operation that is unlikely to help a patient reach their goals. The question is, how do you best find a surgeon that is most-likely to give you the results you are seeking?

Please see my RealSelf answer "How to Choose a Good Rhinoplasty Surgeon?" where I list the Top 10 Qualities a Rhinoplasty Surgeon should have [PLEASE INSERT LINK TO THIS POST]

Please take a look.

Hope this helps,

Nick Slenkovich, MD FACS

Pre-Planning a Rhinoplasty

Generally, the patients who consult surgeons about having a nose job have thought about the life-altering procedure for months or even years. It is true that a rhinoplasty has the ability to change the appearance of your entire face, and is thus not a small procedure. Before deciding to commit to surgery, you should be 100% certain that a rhinoplasty is what you want. If you are still unsure, you can try using injectable fillers to alter the look of your nose. This is a temporary solution that can give you a more general idea of how changes to your nose will possibly appear. Though it cannot completely simulate a rhinoplasty, such as making the nose smaller, it can be used to camouflage a bump or make the nose more proportionate. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Rhinoplasty regrets

Rhinoplasty can be one of the most gratifying plastic surgical procedures, but it is also the most risky from the standpoint of getting a good result. Many plastic surgeons are not sufficiently comfortable, trained, or experienced with rhinoplasty. That's why you really need to do your homework ahead of time. Research your surgeon thoroughly. Do not choose a surgeon based on a fancy web site or computer imaging. Find out what kind of reputation the surgeon has in your community. Ask a nurse or others doctors. Check out Yelp. It's not that hard to find out if your surgeon is well regarded in your community, specifically for rhinoplasty work.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Unhappy patients talk more about their experiences than happy patients..


You raise an excellent issue. Unhappy patients after rhinoplasty. Reading all of the horror stories about Rhinoplasties that turned out badly would make one think that it is a bad procedure. That is understandable as people are more vocal about bad experiences than good ones. I think it is very possible to have a great experience with a rhinoplasty surgery. To get that good experience you will need to do your research. Find a good doctor (or really several doctors). Look up what other patients have said about them (realize that some doctors use services to write good reviews about them so you have to carefully read between the lines). Don't be fooled by a fancy website-anyone can spend money to build a great website, I think the best rhinoplasty surgeons are too busy to spend much time creating a beautiful website. Ask people that work with your doctor in the operating room, (nurses and anesthesiologists) they will know what kind of surgeon your doctor is. During your consultation make sure you are being heard and understood. Look at before and after photos of other patients. You will ultimately have to go with your gut and decide based on all the information and feedback who you want to perform your surgery.

The formula we use is:

a. Listen to the patient.

b. Do a careful exam and show the patient on the computer what we can offer them.

c. If we both agree on the plan we do the surgery.

d. Do the surgery that was planned with great care and focus.

This usually results in a good outcome and a happy patient.

Good luck and I hope you find your doctor.


Ivan Wayne, MD
Oklahoma City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Rhinoplasty regrets

The reason many people regret having had this procedure is because they had gone to inexperienced surgeons.  The rhinoplasty procedure is the hardest operation to do in the entire field of cosmetic surgery.  Revision rhinoplasty adds another magnitude of difficulty on top of that.  In very experienced hands the percentage of revisions should be approximately 10%.  It takes thousands of rhinoplasties for a surgeon to become very competent in this operation.   Majority of patients are happy and satisfied with their rhinoplasty results. 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Patient Satisfaction after Rhinoplasty

I, like many physicians responding to your question, have been doing rhinoplasty surgery for many years. We do it because we enjoy the challenge of this difficult operation and the wonderful response we get from the majority of our patients after surgery. If I had a "lot" of patients who were not satisfied, I would not do the operation. In a forum like this, unhappy patients are more likely to share their concerns and seek advice regarding their problems.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Rhinoplasty patients are very satisfied overall

Rhinoplasty in the hands of an experienced surgeon is a highly rewarding and successful procedure for patients and doctors alike. Although admittedly a challenging operation, satisfaction rates in a specialist's practice are 90 % or higher. I also believe that dissatisfied patients are much more likely to post complaints, blog, and perseverate in chat rooms spreading fear. Studies show that only 1 in 20 happy patients will post an on-line review, whereas ~60% of dissatisfied patients will post a negative review. So there will be a perceived "don't do it' factor lurking about on different sites. My point is- do your research, interview the doctors, ask questions about revision rates and make a decision based on good information. I find Rhinoplasty to be a very rewarding procedure in my daily practice.

Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Despite what you may read, most patients are happy with their rhinoplasty results

Rhinoplasty is often considered the most difficult procedure in cosmetic surgery. The nose has many interacting parts and each time one is modified it can affect a number of surrounding structures. The revision rate is quoted from 5% to 15% in the medical literature. However, the people publishing these articles are the ones doing the most rhinoplasties. So the real incidence is likely a little higher for all surgeons. Due to this complexity, I believe that rhinoplasty specialists alter and evolve their techniques more often than any other cosmetic procedure. Then again this number is for all revisions, of which many patients are happy but just need a little tweak. 

Additionally, unhappy patients tend to spend more time researching, blogging and posting than happy patients. So, for a rhinoplasty, seek out a specialist who performs this as a majority of their practice. 

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Rhinoplasty Has High Patient Satisfaction Rates Although Revisions May Be Needed

While rhinoplasty is far from a perfect procedure, it has a fairly high satisfaction rate. You have to realize on a forum such as Real Self that many patients are hear to ask about their specific concerns and problems they are having. Satisfied patients do not come to these forums to discuss how great their results are or how happy they are with their surgical outcomes or their plastic surgeons. The internet is no different than life, the voices of dissatisfied patients and consumers will far outcry those that are satisfied. This can give you an artificial sense of how most people feel. Rhinoplasty is a difficult aesthetic facial operation and the nose undergoes great inspection after surgery by every patient given its prominent location. And the need for a revision of a rhinoplasty is not rare. I tell my rhinoplasty patients that the revision rate is around 15%. But I have yet to see a patient who regretted having had a rhinoplasty even if they needed a revisional surgery.

Rhinoplasty satisfaction

The revision rates vary among Rhinoplasty surgeons but I'd guess including all surgeons, the rate would be about 10-15%.  Many Rhinoplasty patients are happy, you only hear about the unhappy one's.  There's an old saying in plastic and cosmetic surgery.  "A happy patients tells one person...the unhappy one tell 10 people."

In my over 20 years experience performing Rhinoplasty, patients that are unhappy with their Rhinoplasty that are consulting me for revision Rhinoplasty didn't fully understand the aesthetics of what they were trying to achieve with their first Rhinoplasty, used a cheap price as a deciding factor for choosing their Rhinoplasty surgeon or did not do their homework in selecting a well trained, experienced Rhinoplasty surgeon (plastic and cosmetic surgeon) with a good reputation.

Every plastic and cosmetic surgery patient seeking anything from Restylane to Botox to Breast Implants...Face Lift  or Rhinoplasty, should:

  1. learn and understand the aesthetics of the face and body...
  2. select a well trained, experioenced plastic and cosmetic surgeon with a good reputation
  3. pay for consults so they avoid offices set up to sell you surgewry when you arrive
  4. don't select your surgeon based on cheaper costs....the most experienced surgeons with good reputations do not perform discount or bargain surgeries.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.