If you’re about to take your first steps toward a rhinoplasty procedure, you should take some time to learn about communicating with your surgeon. Since your surgeon is the one with the technical knowledge of how to make your dream a reality, it is vital you are able to properly communicate your aesthetic vision for your new nose to your doctor. While this might sound simple, it can actually be very difficult to get on the same page with your surgeon if you don’t know how to explain what you want. The consequences of this could be that you are unhappy with the results, and must either live with a nose you don’t like or spend thousands more on another, more difficult surgery: revision rhinoplasty. So how do you communicate your goals for rhinoplasty and prevent these feelings of letdown?
The first step is to select a surgeon who will treat your ideas with respect and listen to what you really want from surgery. Choose a highly experienced and well-regarded board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty and has a high rate of patient satisfaction. Make sure you like the look of his or her before-and-after photos. A surgeon who has successfully worked on a wide variety of nose types will probably be very experienced in customization and will focus on meeting your expectations. Finally, trust is extremely important in the selection process. The trust you must put in your surgeon is enormous, and you should never choose a surgeon you aren’t completely comfortable with. It’s usually a good idea to consult with several surgeons before you make your decision.
Know What You Want
Going into a consultation without knowing what you want is generally a waste of time. You may not have to know exactly what you want, but it’s difficult to communicate your feelings to prospective surgeons if you’re still figuring out what your goals for surgery are. Keep an open mind during your consultations, but come prepared with a vision and realistic expectations for what is possible.
Use Visual Aids
Coming to consultations prepared with visual aids such as before-and-after pictures you find attractive or people with nose types you think would suit you can be helpful. Though you need to be aware that your nose will never look exactly like a reference picture, photos can help get you and your surgeon on the same page about the look you’re going for. Additionally, many surgeons offer imaging during consultations, which involves taking a photo of your current nose and manipulating the image to give you a general idea of how you’ll look following surgery. This is helpful for adding detail to discussions with your surgeon.
Communication involves listening as well as talking, and although your nose is the subject of discussion, you should make sure to listen to what your doctor has to say and consider it carefully. While you may have a very specific vision for your nose, your surgeon has performed a great many rhinoplasty surgeries and has the artistry and experience to advise you on what styles would suit your face. Don’t let anyone talk you into anything you aren’t comfortable with, but listen to the advice that is offered and try to evaluate it objectively. Any reputable surgeon’s goal is to help you get the nose you’ve always dreamed of, and part of that is giving you expert advice and helping you achieve and maintain realistic expectations. For your own safety and well-being, always be honest when answering questions and providing your surgeon with information.
Speak Up & Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to speak up and let your surgeon know about concerns you have or any issues with his or her plan for your surgery. It’s your nose, and what’s most important is that you are happy with the outcome. Don’t be shy about asking questions either, even if they seem trivial. Understanding your procedure and the game plan will help you feel more relaxed and confident about your outcome.
Pre-Op & Follow-Up
Communication shouldn’t stop once you’ve scheduled the surgery and you and your surgeon know what you’re trying to achieve. You will be given pre and post-op instructions, and you must ask for clarification on anything you find confusing or unsettling. Proper healing is vital to the success of your rhinoplasty, and you need to understand and follow all directions to set yourself up for a positive outcome. When in doubt, ask a question, particularly if you are worried about how you are healing, possible infections, safety concerns, etc. You and your surgeon’s top priority should always be your health and safety.
Going to consultations may seem intimidating or overwhelming, but as long as you prepare properly, they will help you decide on your surgeon and allow you to begin forging a trusting relationship and establishing an open line of communication between you and your future rhinoplasty specialist. Remember, consultations do not constitute an obligation. They are intended to be educational and to assist you in your planning efforts. Not sure where to start? Toronto rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Robert Mounsey offers highly skilled facial plastic surgery at Revesse. If you’re interested in meeting with Dr. Mounsey, call 416.438.2499 to set up a consultation.