Rhinoplasty Questions You Must Ask a Doctor in a Consultation

What questions should be asked in a rhinoplasty consultation

Doctor Answers 49

5 questions to ask your doctor about rhinoplasty

Ask about :

1. education

2. experience

3. certifications

4. the facility

5. the Dr’s philosophy

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

What to ask your doctor about rhinoplasty

This is a great question. The difficulty is the health care industry is opaque and lacks transparency. It is particularly important when the services of a surgeon are needed. Quality of surgery is variable and obviously very important to find out ahead of time. In other areas of life there are rating services to help the consumer, like standard and poor, consumer reports, credit rating services or the better business bureau. Furthermore the patient isn't in a position or has the knowledge to accurately make that evaluation.  A rating methodology could be developed and its accuracy could be improved over time, but there's no appetite currently by surgeons for this.

So patients are left with going with their feelings, without any objective data to guide them. Certainly you can ask questions to assess a surgeon's experience, like how many and how often. But the quality of the product (rhinoplasty) remains a guess. There is no independent and objective means to verify the surgeon's assertion he/she is good at the surgery the patient wants. Credentials are a starting point only. Necessary but, not always sufficient.  And feeling good about the surgeon can mean only that he/she is socially skilled, not necessarily surgically so. Looking at before and afters will only show his/her successes. A media quoted surgeon often is thought to be an indication of quality, but may only mean he/she is media savvy and/or has a good publicist. Clearly a shabby office and rude office staff is a red flag, however a posh tony office although suggests confidence, may in fact mean only he/she spends more on overhead. 

So in the end, my advice is direct word of mouth from a former patient as your best indicator.  

Oakley Smith, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Rhinoplasty Questions You Must Ask a Doctor in a Consultation

Before going to a consultation for rhinoplasty patients should have researched the surgeon. With the amount of information available online, the list of surgeons to choose from can be reduced by a wide margin. Look for board certification in an a qualified board listed by American board of medical specialties. Look to see a they are a member of the elite society of their specialties such as American Society of plastic surgery(ASPS) or American society of Aesthetic Surgeons(ASAPS). Then look at number of years in practice. Now go to their website and look at before and after photos to see if the results they obtain are pleasing to you.Only after your research should you go in for the consultation. By this time you should know a lot about the surgeon and it is time to talk about the details of the surgery and if what he recommends is what you are expecting. Imaging can also be very helpful. Talk to their staff on the phone to see how knowledgeable the staff are.
Also ask about the facility used, is it an accredited facility, and does the surgeon use a board certified anesthesiologist or a nurse for anesthesia.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Questions to ask your doctor about rhinoplasty

There are alot of questions to ask and should know prior to the procedure and this serves as a good place to start:

Questions about your surgeon:
--Are you board certified?
--What percentage of your practice is devoted to rhinoplasty?
--Who did you learn rhinoplasty from (mentors)?
--What percentage of your practice is open versus closed rhinoplasty? Can you use both techniques?
--What is your revision rate on your own patients?
--Can you perform a septoplasty or do you have another physician perform this task?
--How many rhinoplasties have you performed?
--When was your last procedure performed?
--On average, how many rhinoplasty procedures do you perform in a year?
--How long do you spend on a rhinoplasty?
--Can I see before and after photographs of similar cases?

Questions about your procedure:
--What do I avoid prior to the procedure, including medications/herbal medications?
--What is recovery time like?
--What are potential complications and risks in a nose like mine?
--What do I need to do preop and postop to maximize my outcome?
--What type of anesthesia and why?

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 163 reviews

Rhinoplasty consultation

There are several important questions to ask during your rhinoplasty consultation:

1) Ask how many rhinoplasty surgeries the surgeon performs per week/month/year. Rhinoplasty is commonly considered the most challenging of plastic surgery procedures and is difficult to master if the surgeon only performs a few nose surgeries per year.

2) Ask to see before/after photos.

3) Ask the surgeon if they perform computer imaging of the nose. I find this to be a critical component of the consultation, as it allows the patients to see an anticipated "sneak preview" of their rhinoplasty results. It is a wonderful opportunity for the patient and surgeon to communicate their aesthetic sense to one another and ensure that you are on the same page going into surgery. 

4) Ask about the type of anesthesia used? General/Deep Sedation, Conscious sedation, Local Anesthesia

5) Ask about the surgeon's training (residency, fellowship) and board certification. 

6) Ask specific questions about the surgical plan: open (external) vs. closed (endonasal) approach, types of grafts used and make sure you understand the purpose of each maneuver

7) If you have any difficulty breathing through your nose, ask about insurance coverage for septoplasty (deviated septum surgery) and how this may affect your financial responsibilities. 

8) Ask about the risks of surgery, the expected recovery time, the followup process, and the pre- and post-operative instructions. 

The consultation is the single most important step in the whole surgical process. It may be worth your time to consult with more than one surgeon and make sure you are completely comfortable and well-informed moving forward. Feel free to ask questions or return for a second consultation after your first visit if you have any additional concerns. 

Best of luck to you!

Umang Mehta, MD

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Before Rhinoplasty Surgery

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Before Rhinoplasty Surgery
 Credentials and Experience
Are you board certified?  If so, by what board and for how long?
 Have you ever been disciplined by the board or by the state?
 How many rhinoplasties have you performed?
 How many revisions of your own work, on average, do you have to perform?
How many rhinoplasties do you perform on average, annually?
 Can I look at a portfolio of before-and-after photos, and not just your perfect ones?
 May I speak with any of patients who have had rhinoplasty by you?
Preparation and Recovery
Would there be any reason that I would not be a good candidate for a rhinoplasty?
What are the complications for rhinoplasty?
 How far in advance is it necessary to schedule a surgery date?
 How long do you recommend I take off from work, school, etc. to heal properly?
What medications will I be given; which pain medications do you normally prescribe?
What tips do you have for me to ease some discomfort and pain?
 After surgery, will my nose be packed?  With what type of packing?  For how long?
 When should I expect to look "normal" again?
Will I have scarring? If so, how bad will it be?
 Must I follow any special diet, both preoperatively and postoperatively?
 I wear eyeglasses. Will I be able to wear them the day after surgery on top of the cast? When can I wear my glasses normally?
 I take (birth control, diet pills, antidepressants, etc.). Will I have any adverse reactions from the prescribed medications or anesthesia?
 What are your routines and appointments for postoperative care?
 If I will need sutures, when will they be taken out?
 If I need anything after-hours after the surgery, how can I get in touch with you or your staff?
 If I have an emergency the night after surgery, what should I do?
 If such an emergency arises, will you be the attending physician?
 How long after the surgery will I be able to exercise, run, or participate in contact sports?
Technique and Anesthesia
What kind of anesthesia do you use for rhinoplasty? Why?
Do you offer any other anesthesia options?
 Who will administer anesthesia and what are that person's credentials?
What structural changes to my nose will you need to do?
 Will I need a graft?  If so, what kind?
Do you prefer to perform your procedures open or closed? Why?
 Where will the surgery be performed?
If the surgery will not be done in a hospital, is the surgery center or suite accredited?
 Do you have hospital privileges and, if so, at what hospitals?
If you don't have hospital privileges, why not?
  Do you believe my expectations can be met?
What if I have a complication?
 If my results are not what I wanted, what is your policy on a revision?
 What if I change my mind and back out, will my money be refunded?
Are there any other costs for lab work, postoperative check-ups, prescriptions/medications?
 Do you offer financing?
When is payment due?

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Questions to ask your Rhinoplasty surgeon

First and foremost, you want to get a sense of the experience level and your surgeon's "eye" on beauty. While some surgeons are experienced in rhinoplasty, many may not be "on the same page" as you with what you are looking for in your nose. Your surgeon should be able to deliver results that match your expectations.

Of course your expectations should also be real. Therefore, you need to be well informed by your surgeon what he/she is thinking in the operative plan. Look at the before after pictures available to you and then choose based on your "gut feelings" after all this has taken place. You should also ask yourself, "can this surgeon do what's right and natural and if revision is necessary, will he care or be interested to make my nose as good as it can possibly be."

Here are some more general questions:

Are you board certified, if so by what board?

What is the extent of your experience in the highly specialized field of rhinoplasty?

Do you give lectures, write about, or teach rhinoplasty techniques to others?

What is your revision policy?

Do you feel that you can create the type of nose that I have talked with you about?

What type of anesthesia do you use and why?

Hope this helps!

Ashkan Ghavami, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Key Questions to Ask Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon

There are several things to consider and questions you should ask your surgeon when considering rhinoplasty.

  • What Percentage of Your Practice is Devoted to Rhinoplasty?
    • Choose an surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery. Not all ENTs or Plastic Surgeons routinely perform rhinoplasty. It is important to find one who does. Rhinoplasty takes considerable experience to get predictable results.
  • Are You Board Certified?
    • Find a qualified surgeon who is Board Certified in either Otolaryngology (ENT) or Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Not all "cosmetic surgeons" have undergone the rigorous training in accredited residency programs that allow them to become Board Certified in either of these two specialties.
  • Ask to See Examples of the Surgeon's Work.
    • It is important to view the surgeon's rhinoplasty before and after photos to see the types of results they get. You can tell alot about the type of result you potentially will get by looking at other patients with a similar shaped nose.
  • What Kind of Result Can I Expect?
    • Ask to see simulated results using your photographs. Many rhinoplasty specialists will use either computer morphing software or tracing paper to demonstrate the proposed changes to your nose.
  • How Will My Breathing Be Affected?
    • Rhinoplasty should produce a nose that both looks good and functions well.
  • Ask Yourself How You Feel About Your Surgeon.
    • Trust your instincts. It is of the utmost importance that you feel comfortable with your surgeon. Your surgeon should understand your goals and desired outcome. Listen to what your gut tells you.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Questions to Ask at Rhinoplasty Consultation

The most important consideration regarding your rhinoplasty is the surgeon who performs your operation.  You should seek out an experienced surgeon that has performed many rhinoplasties (at least 100), and you should like what you see when you view his before and after patient photos.  You should feel comfortable with the surgeon, his bedside manner, and feel in your "gut" that you respect and trust his aesthetic judgement.
Questions you should ask
  • How many rhinoplasties have you performed, how often do you have to revise them, and can I talk to some of your previous patients?
  • Are you Board Certified by either The American Board of Plastic Surgery or Board Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery? 
  • Can I see your Before and After Photos?  You should like what you see.
  • Where is the Surgery performed, who provides the anesthesia?  You should be in a Certified OR and with an anesthesiologist.
  • What are the costs involved, and what are the costs if a revision is necessary?
  • Do you have imaging available of my photos so we can envision what is planned?  These imaging photos are not meant to be exact, but a road map for discussion and to show what you like.  Also bring in photos from magazines of noses that you like.
Hope this helps, and Good Luck!

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Choosing The right Rhinoplasty Surgeon is Very Important...Your Results will Depend on It...

One of your main goals when considering rhinoplasty should be to determine your surgeon's level of experience, skill and comfort with the rhinoplasty procedure.

First, you want to feel that your surgeon is passionate about rhinoplasty. Second, you want to get a good gut feeling about his sense of aesthetics and beauty. Third, make sure that he has had extensive training, exposure, and commitment to excellence in performing this procedure. Fourth, ideally they should belong to ASAPS, Rhinoplasty Society and ASPS. Fifth, your surgeon should spend adequate time evaluating your nose, be attentive and a good listener and give you feedback on your expectations form the rhinoplasty procedure. Last but not least after reviewing his before and after pictures with your surgeon, ask for some previous patients’ contact information so you can talk with them.

Additional Questions to Ask your Rhinoplasty Surgeon:
• What is your most favorite plastic surgery procedure you like to perform?
• How many rhinoplasty procedures you typically do?
• How much experience you have performing rhinoplasty?
• Do you think I will have a good result based on my goals, and expectations?
• Do you teach, write about, and give lectures about rhinoplasty?
• Why do you like doing rhinoplasty procedure?
• What is your revision policy?

In summary, you want to feel that your surgeon cares about you and cares about creating the best  and most natural result you can possibly have.

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 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.