Would you feel confident having a chief resident perform your Rhinoplasty?

I had a consultation with a chief resident, who would work closely with an attending MD who has practiced for over 30 years. The procedure will cost half as much as other doctors I have seen, but I am nervous because the resident has only done about 25 rhinoplasties. Has anyone had successful surgeries with residents?

Doctor Answers 15

Don't settle for inexperience with rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is the most difficult plastic surgery procedure to master, and requires years of experience. The nose is also the least forgiving to make corrections, should you end up with a bad job. You don't want to find yourself in a position where you have saved a little money and wish you had never done the surgery. Corrective surgery is likely to be more than the initial surgery. It is also unlikely that any resident has done 25 rhinoplasties. This is probably an exaggeration.  Find someone with years of experience, and you won't regret spending the extra.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Experience and expertise is worth it in rhinoplasty; choose wisely the first time

I have respect for residents and training programs, but I would not personally advise it.  Remember that the "Worth It" percentage here at RealSelf is only 75%--lower  than for many other procedures.  That number reflects the difficulty of the procedure--even for experienced practitioners (though not necessarily rhinoplasty experts).

Two thirds of the rhinoplasties I do are on patients who have already had one or more procedures--that alone distinguishes rhinoplasty from other plastic surgical operations--for example, I know if no surgeon who has mostly a revision breast practice or a revision face lift practice.

You cannot assume either that the attending surgeon is a rhinoplasty expert--even at a teaching institution.  I would advise you AT LEAST to ask to see photos of the resident's results with this attending.  Make sure that they represent problems like yours and that you like the results.  Please be very careful.  To save money now and then have to go through a revision operation will not save you any money in the long run.



Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Experience and expertise counts with rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a procedure that you improve with experience. Complications can be plentiful and revision difficult. Therefore, choosing an experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon is the wisest course.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Cost rhinoplasty and Residents

Hey, you get what you pay for sometimes, but then again, you might have a talented resident. You need to find out what is going to be done, and what kind of supervision is available. Is the attending going to be there or be available? Though things can be expensive and not any good, it is more often the opposite that is true.

Srdjan Ostric, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Qualified nasal surgeon


 We were all chief residents once. Most would agree that our skills improve with each nasal surgery performed. Some residents are very talented. Valid questions for any surgeon include:  How many of these surgeries have you performed? Have you operated on noses similar to mine? What are  the risks and possible complications? How long do you plan to follow me post operatively? If there is a short term or long term problem, what are my options?    Once you cover these, your decision may be easier.   Good luck, drc

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Rhinoplasty is all about experience

 I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and performed 100 as a resident, more than that as a fellow and many more than that in the corresponding 20 + years of private practice.  Rhinoplasty, as i have taught it to residents and fellows, is all about experience which is only gained through performing the surgery.  It takes hundreds, if not thousands, IMHO to become an expert.  I'm afraid, you get what you pay for.  You should consult with the most experienced Rhinoplasty surgeons you can find and afford.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Depends on your expectations

Although a resident can make your nose look better than it does now they most likely will not give you the best result possible.  Typically about 1000 rhinoplasty procedures and 10 years of rhinoplasty are needed to achieve a basic level of expertise

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Outcomes are less predictable with residents performing rhinoplasty

When deciding to undergo rhinoplasty surgery through a resident clinic, you take a chance not only on the inexperience of residents, but also on the attending who is going to oversee your surgery. 33 years of practice are meaningless if the assigned attending performs occasional rhinoplasty surgery in his/her practice. I agree with the other comments, go with experienced surgeons, cheap rhinoplasty may end up costing you a lot more if you have to undergo revision surgery.

Grigoriy Mashkevich, MD New York Facial Plastic Surgeon   

Grigoriy Mashkevich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Resident cosmetic surgery

All of us on RS were resident surgeons at one time.  Eager, young, smart and well-intentioned.  But ask anybodty here if they are the same surgeon after 20 years of practice and they will 100% say "No!"  The experience of practice, following your own results, modifying the techniques you were taught is impossible for the resident to match.  It is your only shot at a great result the first time, so don't go to a discount environment if at all possible.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Cheap rhinoplasty

I know of residents who are excellent surgeons, and older surgeons who make me nervous.  In general, rhinoplasty is both a technical and artistic challenge that demands much of your surgeon's ability, experience, and knowledge.  Do not make your choice based on price.  A good rhinoplasty will be expensive, a cheap rhinoplasty will cost more.

Randy Wong, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.