How Much Weight Should I Give to Doctors Recommendations of Other Doctors?

I am getting a nose revision. The first procedure I did no research. This procedure I am doing all research I can possibly do. Including asking my uroligist, my Family doctor, and my dermatologist what they think. 2 of them claim one surgeon to be the best nose Doctor in BC. Should (added to my own research: before and after pics, and my own research of the surgeons) take my doctors opinions into consideration? Or is it a popularity contest among them?

Doctor Answers 16

Your reputation is on the line when you give a recommendation

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I don't think anyone would argue that the more research you do, the better your final decision will likely turn out. Ask friends, family, health care workers, those in other image industries (salon and spa owners, cosmetic dentists, etc all see good and bad results and talk), professional boards while considering who to consult. Trust your gut during the consult so that you connect with the physician. Create a mental contract together that addresses your specific concern. That is all a given, but does not answer your question.

I think of no higher honor than to get a referral from a fellow physician. That means I have gained that reputation from my peers, unlike some of the softer ways to make a statement (society pages, advertising, community service, extravocational pursuits). Like it or not, medicine is a community as well, and it takes more than a likeable personality to get other docs to recommend. I know a lot of docs I like, but would not suggest them as surgeons. And, I know a lot of surgeons that do a great job that I don't particularly like. So it's not just a popularity contest. More importantly, the doc that you have entrusted to make any recommendation at all is also putting their reputation on the line with you. If they did not believe in the rhinoplasty surgeon, they would not want to jeapardize your trust by sending you there. If you heard the same name from two docs, in two unrelated fields, thats a really strong recommendation in my world.

Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Quality versus popularity in rhinoplasty surgeons

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Take your doctors' opinions into consideration, but it should only be given so much weight. While not strictly a popularity contest, sometimes the name your other doctors will give you is simply the name they've heard of, or whose advertisements they've seen most widely, or who's been around the area the longest.

Doctors are frequently called on by patients to recommend other docs and they want to seem like they're in-the-know about their colleagues. Many times, though, they no very little of the other doctor's ability or results. Certainly if they tell you to avoid a certain doc and can give a specific reason, then add some weight to that opinion. Likewise, if they can vouch personally for the work (i.e., "I've been a patient of him/her" or "my relative went to him/her and had a great result" or "I've seen a number of his patients and they've raved about him") then that first-hand knowledge should be given a lot more weight.

Also, excellence in one area (e.g., breast augmentation) may not necessarily translate into excellence in another (e.g., rhinoplasty).

Hope this helps,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Physician Recommendations

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Physician recommendations are one critetia that should be considered when selecting your surgeon. This will be the most difficult decision you will make. In addition, pay attention to your surgeon's experience, his/her position on a local medical school faculty, and his/her results with noses similar to yours. Get multiple consultations and contnue to do your homework.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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Secondary nose surgery

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Re-do nose surgery are challenging and difficult. There are a few Plastic Surgeons who show a special interest in secondary nose surgery.They are well known to us doing nose surgery. We refer patients to them with difficult problems. Usually you have to travel to them and price may be a factor.

Your previous surgeon should have no problems to send you to one of the mentioned surgeons if you and he/her feel it is appropriate.

If not, feel free to contact me for names.

Guido P. Gutter, MD
Evansville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

What to look for in rhinoplasty revision surgeon

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It is always best to do your own research as well as considering other doctors referrals. Look for board certification in plastic surgery, training in astic surgery, before and afters of rhinoplasty revisions from different angles, look for several set of pictures, talk to a few of the surgeon's patients (you can ask the plastic surgeon's office), look for article written by your potential patients, consult with him/ her and see if you like his/ her aproach, office staff, etc. Good luck.

Maybe a nose is different

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Mostly I would say that these other doctors opinions would be valuable. However, revision rhinoplasty is a vey specialized field and they might not really know what consititute the best results. I'd call several local ENT and plastic surgeons and ask who is considered to be the best revision doctor in your area.

Other doctors recommendations should carry a lot of weight

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The local doctors in your community should know who the best Plastic surgeons are. To take it a step further you should find out who the doctors in your community go to when they want cosmetic surgery done on themselves and their family members. That is a sure fire way to know that the Plastic Surgeon that they recommend has a great reputation for doing high quality work.

Be cautious about responding to ads, gimmicks and Google positions because these are all paid for positions and not based on any merit. Usually, the highest level surgeons don't spend any money on these types of things and therefore may not have a strong Internet or advertising presence.

Jason B. Diamond, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Physician's Opinions Carry Weight, Especially That of a Dermatologist

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Making a decision on who to see is predicated on many factors. The basics include Board Certification in Facial Plastic Surgery or Plastic Surgery and the personality/ presentation of the Surgeon. However, equally important is the type of work a Surgeon has done in his/her community and the recognition of other Physicians for the work that he/she does. A very good sign is the recommendation of a Dermatologist. Dermatologists frequently refer to Facial Plastic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons for difficult skin cancers and reconstructive cases and have a good idea about the quality of work performed by an individual Surgeon.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Other Doctors' Recommendations are important - But do NOT stop there

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Plastic surgery is a super-specialty (most of its members have already trained and certified in another surgical specialty) and Nose Revision surgery is becoming a sub-specialization in that specialty.

Plastic Surgery is BARELY taught in Medical School and the vast majority of non-surgical physicians, regardless of how well-meaning they may be, have little understanding of the subtleties of what we do (ask them to tell you the difference between a graft and a flap, for example). They certainly do not understand nose surgery much less the complexity of revision nose surgery. Most communities do NOT have specialists in revision nose surgery. So, although another physician may be able to tell you who is "nice", "personable" and whose patients are happy , they cannot tell you just how versatile they are about revising other people's sub-optimal nose jobs.

I WOULD see several of these recommended surgeons and hear what they have to say. After seeing their pictures and learning their recommendations, I would ask them who would each one of them see if his nose required such surgery. In a short while, you will learn who to go to.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

How to Properly Select a Plastic Surgeon

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Hi there-

Often, physicians in a community will know who has a good reputation in the medical community and among patients (especially your gynecologist).

For the very best advice on how to choose a surgeon though, I suggest you read this:

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.