Introduction To Rhinoplasty
Anyone considering rhinoplasty should see a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeon (ENT), or general plastic surgeon for a consultation. The patient should seek out a surgeon who has extensive training and experience with both the cosmetic and functional aspects of this operation. It is advisable to ask to see a portfolio of before-and-after photographs of other rhinoplasties the surgeon has performed.
The consultation is an opportunity for me to listen to patients’ goals, to examine them, and to come up with a surgical plan. I examine the external and internal nose to determine what changes are possible. It is very helpful for patients to be able to clearly express what they do not like about their noses so I can determine if their goals are realistic. I also attempt to explore exactly what a patient’s motivation is for wanting nasal surgery. It is important to make sure that the patient has carefully thought about the decision to have surgery and that the desire is not based on a whim, to please someone else, or because of a recent life-changing event, such as a divorce.
During the consultation, I use computer imaging to show patients the changes that are possible. Computer imaging is a powerful tool that is useful in establishing clear communication between the patient and myself as to what the surgical goal should be. It is important to note, however, that the computer-simulated photographs are only an estimation of the desired outcome. Although the actual result of surgery usually closely approximates the computer-simulated images, no surgeon can guarantee to what extent a complete match will occur.