Your nose is a very prominent feature on your face, and if you are not happy with the way it looks, it can impact your overall self-esteem. In addition, sometimes there are structural issues (whether naturally occurring or the result of trauma or injury) that can affect not just how your nose looks but how it functions as well, in terms of breathing. Rhinoplasty, also commonly referred to as a nose job, is a popular approach to addressing these issues.
Rhinoplasty is a procedure that is used to reshape the nose and correct structural or aesthetic concerns. Many Beverly Hills patients seek nose jobs as a way to enhance their natural beauty and quality of life. However, it is important to maintain realistic expectations and to come to your consultation armed with any questions you may have for your facial plastic surgeon.
If you are not sure where to start or what to ask, Eos Rejuvenation has compiled some key questions to help you get the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue rhinoplasty:
1. Am I a good candidate?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for every plastic surgery procedure. Ask the surgeon what they look for when determining patient eligibility. Are there specific criteria you must meet? Is there anything you can do, such as quitting smoking or getting underlying conditions better managed that will make you a more appropriate candidate? To achieve the best possible outcome, you want to ensure the procedure is right for you before you start.
2. Are there are any reasons not to get surgery?
You may already be set on getting rhinoplasty, but be candid with your surgeon and ask if there are any reasons why they would not recommend the surgery. This is a procedure they frequently do, and they have worked with many different patients with many different backgrounds and goals.
From their professional perspective, there may be a procedure that is a better fit to help you achieve the results you desire. Or, there may be certain risk factors they are concerned about. This can also help you to make certain that you are pursuing surgery for the right reasons.
3. What is your educational background and training?
There is more than one path to become a facial plastic surgeon. Understanding the surgeon’s education, the degrees and licenses they have received, their credentials, and any specialized training they have completed, which can give you a better picture of who they are and what they can do. You want to make sure that they are qualified to perform your rhinoplasty and have the knowledge, training, and experience necessary.
You may also want to ask why they chose to become a facial plastic surgeon. What drew them to the profession, and what do they like most about their job? Working with a surgeon who is passionate about what they do and stays abreast of the latest training and techniques in the field can help you to feel more confident in your decision and their abilities.
4. Are you board certified?
Board certification demonstrates that the surgeon has passed rigorous written and oral exams and participates in continuing education to stay up-to-date in their field. In addition, it confirms that they have completed accredited training and residency programs that meet demanding requirements.
If your surgeon is not board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, ask why. This is a qualification that shows their commitment to the safety and quality of their work.
5. How many rhinoplasty procedures have you performed?
Facial plastic surgeons can perform many different procedures. Just because they offer rhinoplasty does not necessarily mean it is a surgery that they often do. It may not be a focus of their practice or something they specialize in.
Ask approximately how many rhinoplasties they perform a month or a year and how many they have performed throughout their career. You may feel more comfortable with a surgeon who is regularly conducting this surgery rather than one who does it only sporadically.
6. Where do you perform surgery?
Location can make a difference, especially when it comes to safety and cost considerations. Does the surgeon have privileges at a specific hospital or outpatient surgery center? Do they have a certified surgical suite within their practice?
In addition to understanding the medical credentials of your surgeon, ask about the staff that assists them as well. What is the training, experience, and qualifications of the anesthesiologist, nurses, or other providers that will be part of your surgery? You want to feel confident that no matter what happens, they know how to respond, and you are in good hands.
7. What surgical techniques do you use?
There are two common approaches to rhinoplasty: open and closed operations. An open procedure uses incisions both inside and outside of the nose in order to improve access and visualization. Recovery may take longer, but it can also allow for more complex reshaping of the nose to take place. Any sutures are strategically placed to minimize visible scars.
A closed operation uses only intranasal incisions. It requires more precise maneuvering because there is less visualization, and it may be reserved for simpler procedures. However, a skilled surgeon may use it for complex procedures as well. One benefit is that the recovery time is often shorter.
Some surgeons prefer one method over the other or may be more experienced with one. During your consultation, discuss whether an open or closed operation would be better suited for the type of results you want to achieve and how experienced your surgeon is using this technique.
8. How can I prepare for surgery and recovery?
Whenever you are undergoing surgery, you want to know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Proper preparation can make the process less stressful and allow you to feel relaxed because you know that you are ready for what is to come.
Ask about how the surgeon prefers you to prepare for surgery. This could include simple things such as wearing a short-sleeved shirt for easier IV and anesthesia administration or taking off any jewelry. If you are a smoker, you may be asked to stop smoking for several days before and after surgery so that it does not interfere with healing. You will also be asked to refrain from eating and drinking in the hours before surgery.
You will want to prepare for recovery before the surgery even takes place as well. Make sure you have a responsible adult available to drive you home after the procedure since you will still be under the effects of the anesthesia. Find out how long you should expect to be out of work, and if there are specific directions for eating or sleeping post-surgery, and how any potential pain or discomfort will be managed. You may be able to pick up any prescriptions beforehand.
9. What should I expect during recovery?
In addition to the basics, such as how long recovery takes, how to manage pain or swelling, and what complications to be alert for, you will also want to ask questions that are specific to you and your lifestyle. For instance, can you wear glasses or contacts after surgery? What type of activities are restricted, and for how long? When can you return to your job, especially if it is physically demanding or requires travel?
You may also want to talk through how to best set up your recovery space. Are there certain products or items you will want to have nearby? How do they recommend propping yourself up while sleeping? Are there tips for if you normally wear glasses? How long should you have someone else there to help you?
Remember that there are no silly questions. This is your health and your recovery, so you want to gather all the information you need and get answers to any questions or concerns you may have.
10. What are potential complications?
There are risks with any surgery, no matter how minor or major. Although you may not want to think about anything going wrong, you should be aware of warning signs to look for so you can catch any complications early on. Serious problems are uncommon, but you should be completely honest with your surgeon about your medical history and any underlying conditions so they can prepare accordingly.
11. How do you handle questions or concerns following surgery?
Once you have been discharged and go home, you will want to know what you should do if you experience complications or have questions about your recovery. Is there a specific number you should call? What if it is after office hours? Who answers these calls? What is the turnaround time for a response? It is important you feel safe, know how to deal with any concerns you have, and know how to get the help you need.
12. Will this affect future cosmetic procedures?
While a nose job may be combined with other procedures, it can also be performed on its own. If you are considering having additional work done in the future, it is a good idea to understand how your rhinoplasty fits into that. Will it interfere with other procedures? Could fillers, facelifts, or other treatments affect the results of your nose job?
Consider the bigger picture so you can plan more effectively. Let your surgeon know about other concerns you may have and if you are thinking about having other cosmetic procedures done. They can take this into consideration when planning for your surgery and making recommendations.
13. What is your policy on revisions?
Having a detailed discussion with your surgeon that includes 3D renderings of results can help them to tailor surgery to your needs and expectations. However, there is always the chance that the outcome will not be quite what you expected. If you are dissatisfied, what is the surgeon’s policy on revisions? Are they included with the cost of the original surgery, or do they charge extra?
Remember that it can take time for swelling to resolve and any modifications to your nose to settle into its permanent state. Is there a certain length of time you must wait before asking about revisions? Or a cutoff for what is included with your surgery? Minor revisions may be needed to fine-tune results, and they may or may not be part of the original procedure. Do your due diligence and ask so you have a clear understanding of the surgeon’s policies and guidelines.
14. How often do you perform revisions?
Your facial plastic surgeon should be able to tell you their revision rate. Do not be alarmed if it is not zero; you should actually be more concerned if they try to tell you it is, as no one is perfect. It is not unusual to have to go in and make some small changes to enhance results. Find out how often they perform major revisions and how their rate compares to the national average for other surgeons who perform rhinoplasty procedures. It is okay to want to know about the types of revisions they make and whether this may be something you should be prepared for.
15. Do you have before and after photos I can see?
Having actual photos to see can not only show you the quality of the surgeon’s work but also help you to keep your expectations realistic. You can see for yourself the changes that others experienced and may be able to find a patient who has a similar face structure or situation to your own. While no two outcomes will be exactly the same, you can get a better sense of what you want to and can accomplish through rhinoplasty.
16. May I speak to any former patients?
In addition to seeing before and after photos and reading testimonials, ask if there are any former patients you may speak with about their experience. Many times, there are at least one or two people who are open to sharing their journey. You can hear from someone who has gone through surgery themselves and ask questions.
17. Do you have any resources you would recommend?
Your facial plastic surgeon should be well-versed in the services they provide. Find out if they have any handouts, websites, videos, or other resources that they recommend for you to access accurate, up-to-date information about rhinoplasty, what to expect, and how to prepare.
18. Are my expectations realistic?
Many patients come to the consultation with an idea in their head of what they want to look like. A skilled facial plastic surgeon knows the capabilities and limitations of the surgeries they perform. They may have a solution that can get you to a similar outcome or have recommendations that you had not considered. Make sure you are on the same page and working toward the same goals.
19. How much does rhinoplasty cost?
Cost is a contributing factor for many patients when deciding whether or not to undergo rhinoplasty. Prices can vary from one state to the next and one surgeon to the next. Consider not just the cost of the surgery but any additional fees that go along with it, so there are no surprises later. Is there a facility fee if the surgery is performed at a hospital or outpatient center? Are there separate charges from the anesthesiologist? Is there a fee for revision surgery?
Cost may also depend on the complexity of the surgery as well as your insurance. Once your surgeon has a treatment plan in place, they may be able to give you a more specific quote. Some insurance plans may cover more than others, and coverage could also depend on the reason behind having surgery (whether it is purely cosmetic or there are functional aspects as well).
20. What if I need to reschedule?
Emergencies can arise unexpectedly. If something comes up, how much advance notice do you need to give? Are there fees for rescheduling? It is also a good idea to ask what the surgeon’s policies are if you get sick. Whether you have a cold, a sinus infection, or a stomach bug, that can impact surgery. You want to make certain that you are healthy and feeling well before the procedure. Ask about any conditions or illnesses that may require you to postpone your rhinoplasty.
Preparing for Your Rhinoplasty Consultation
In addition to compiling a list of questions for the surgeon, there are a few other things you can do to prepare for your consultation.
Have a goal in mind. It can be easier for the facial plastic surgeon to develop a treatment plan if they have an idea of what you want to achieve. Spend some time thinking about why you want the surgery, what it is you do not like about your nose or want to change, and what you are hoping for in terms of results. This can be a good starting point for conversation and give your surgeon something to work with as they learn more about you and answer your questions.
Know your medical history. While your surgeon may be able to access your records, it is helpful if you have a general knowledge of your own medical history. What medications do you take? What medical conditions do you have? What were the dates of any previous surgeries you have had? These are all important factors when planning for surgery and recovery, so the more information you can provide, the better. The surgeon will also do some assessments of their own.
Be honest. You should feel comfortable having an open and honest dialogue with your surgeon. The surgeon is not there to judge; they need the facts in order to make sure they are able to be as safe as possible and plan your surgery according to your individual situation.
Also, be honest in your feedback. If they show you a mockup of how your nose could look and you do not like it, say so. You want results that you are satisfied with, so by giving truthful responses, they can make adjustments to create a look you love.
Relax. It is just a discussion about your options and what possibilities exist. You are not getting surgery today. It is a chance for you to get to know the surgeon and their skills and experience better and for them to understand what you are looking for so they can decide if it is something they can do. You do not have to make a commitment on the spot, but it gets the process started. If you do like what you hear and feel confident and comfortable with the surgeon, you can move forward with the next steps in planning for rhinoplasty.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Rhinoplasty Options
If you are curious about how rhinoplasty can enhance both the function and aesthetics of your nose and are ready to start a conversation about your options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nima Shemirani at Eos Rejuvenation today. We take a personalized approach to help you achieve the results you desire so you can put your best face forward.