How Do Rhinoplasty Surgeons Know the Results They Are Achieving?

Whenever I see footage of surgeons at work I can't help thinking to myself to how do they know what they are achieving is what the person wants exactly? I know they pre-discuss the whole thing in depth and the patient says what he want's but How do they know exactly how much to take off on the tip if the nose? or how much to shrink or adjust it? how can they be exact? Is there any pre-set measurement markings or something drawn on the nose of what needs doing before surgery begins? thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Experienced rhinoplasty surgeons know the results there trying to achieve

Experience really matter in the field of rhinoplasty. Mastering the art and science of rhinoplasty surgery is a discipline that requires performing thousands of rhinoplasties to give the best results. Computer imaging can help in the communication process between the patient and the surgeon.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Predicting (and predictable) rhinoplasty results

I think it's critical that the surgeon uses computer imaging to simulate what he/she thinks is possible for a patient so that the patient and surgeon can make sure they're on the same page aesthetically. Otherwise, it's quite possible that what the surgeon has in mind is quite different from what the patient actually wants.

Once a simulation has been agreed upon, a surgeon can plan specifically and precisely what maneuvers and techniques will get the patient's nose as close as possible to the simulation. It will never be EXACTLY like the simulation, but a good surgeon should be able to get very close most of the time. This is where experience, training, skill, and prior planning make all the difference.

I like to write out an actual written "game plan" for each patient's rhinoplasty ahead of time. It really helps me mentally rehearse the case and also helps me identify any potential pitfalls in the plan. Rhinoplasty is NOT the kind of operation where a surgeon can just waltz into the O.R. and knock out a great result. If a surgeon underestimates the nose, the results will usually be terrible.

All the best,


Pearson Facial Plastic Surgery®

David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

The challenge of rhinoplasty

There is no easy answer to this question.  Countless textbooks and journals have been written on this very topic.  Rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult operations to perform and get consistent excellent results in the entire realm of aesthetic surgery.  Surgeons spend their entire life trying to master the art of rhinoplasty.  Each case is different and challenging in it's own way.  Certainly experience plays a major role, but it's not the only factor. As to your question, your surgeons' training and continuing education play a role in how they approach rhinoplasty.  It's not something the surgeon can just "show up for."  Planning is of utmost importance.  There is an incredible amount of detail that goes into planning for rhinoplasty including measurements down to a millimeter or even less.  Even with all that preparation, sometimes mediocre results can occur even in the best of hands because you have to allow for the skin and soft tissue envelope to contract down to the new framework you have built underneath, and every patient heals differently.

A. Joshua Zimm, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews


Rhinoplasty is an art.  The surgeon that has done lots of nasal surgeries has a feel for what will and will not occur with the surgical maneuvers.    That said, even the best rhinoplasty surgeon does not have every case turn out perfect  and not every patient can be pleased.  But experience does hedge your outcomes.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

How Do Rhinoplasty Surgeons Know the Results They Are Achieving?

            Surgeons who are able to create reproducible results can adjust all parameters by millimeters, appreciating how each change alters all nose parameters.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.
Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

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