Rhinoplasty is one of the most challenging facial surgeries to perform. The nose is a complex body part, made up of several different materials and affecting both cosmetic and functional aspects of the body. Because of this, it takes a lot of knowledge, experience, artistry, and skill for a facial surgeon to be able to provide patients with consistently good outcomes.
Adding to the complexity of nasal surgery is the fact that no single nasal shape suits every patient. Because of this, rhinoplasty is a highly customized procedure that requires a great deal of communication and trust between doctor and patient.
With all this in mind, how do plastic surgeons predict their patients’ rhinoplasty outcomes? Here are some of the factors that can go into these predictions.
Individual Nasal Assessment
A rhinoplasty surgeon will perform a complete assessment on each patient prior to making a plan for surgery. He or she will assess factors such as:
- Overall facial balance and proportion
- Skin thickness and elasticity
- Cartilage abundance
- Nostril shape
- Breathing problems, if any
- Overall shape and size
These different factors are all very important in the plan for surgery and eventual outcome. The quality, structure, and abundance of different tissues in the nose will influence technique, and the plan must be entirely customized to the patient.
A talented rhinoplasty surgeon will know the theoretical backgrounds of nasal aesthetics and function like its second nature. Having this theoretical background and knowledge base allows the surgeon to be flexible and adapt to features and situations that are unfamiliar. This knowledge is essential for the patient’s safety and retention of nasal function.
Experience With Many Patients and Diverse Backgrounds
While a surgeon may have skill, theoretical knowledge, and talent, there is no substitute for experience with patients of various backgrounds. A surgeon who has worked with many different patients will have seen the outcomes from rhinoplasty on a wide range of nose types, allowing him or her to more accurately predict outcomes based on nasal features and ethnic trends.
A useful tool that nearly all modern surgeons use, computer imaging software can give the surgeon and patient a customized communication and reference tool for planning the surgery. While the images generated are only a rough preview, they can be helpful in showing the patient what is possible, and can aid the surgeon in creating a plan.
What You Can Do to Help
A surgeon can only do so much to predict the outcome of a rhinoplasty, and it’s the patient’s responsibility to help with the process as much as possible. Plastic surgeons can assess your nose and make a recommendation about the course of action, but your own feelings about the outcome are naturally extremely important. Here’s what you can do to help your surgeon before the operation, to help contribute to the success of the treatment.
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Don’t like the direction your surgical plan is going? Don’t stay silent! It’s your nose, and what is most important is that you are happy with the outcome. Your surgeon has the expertise to recommend a plan for your outcome that he or she thinks will suit you, but it’s you who will have to live with your new nose for the rest of your life. Speak up and communicate clearly with your surgeon. That way, you are fully aware of your options and have a general idea of what to expect from your surgery.
2. Be Honest
Being honest about your medical history and habits is extremely important for both your overall safety and your eventual cosmetic outcome. Some habits (such as smoking) and medical conditions can make surgery and anesthesia dangerous, and may inhibit proper healing, so your surgeon needs to be up to date on all of this information.
3. Be Realistic
Realize that the predictions and previews your surgeon makes are not going to be exactly the same as the actual outcome, nor are these results going to match the image you have in your head. Expect marked improvement and a natural, balanced nose rather than perfection. By being flexible and realistic about your results, you are much more likely to love your new nose following surgery.
When Things Go Wrong
Unfortunately, there are some rhinoplasty cases that don’t work out as planned. Sometimes, this is due to inexperience on the surgeon’s part, but it can also be caused by rare complications or other problems. Rhinoplasty, due to its complexity, has a notable revision rate, which means that some patients will need a second surgery to fix problems caused by the first. The best ways to set yourself up for success and avoid revision surgery are:
- Choose your surgeon carefully. This is the most important factor in the success of your rhinoplasty.
- Follow all of your doctor’s instructions for pre- and post-operative care and restrictions.
- Communicate with your doctor clearly.
- Keep your expectations realistic.
Is It Time to Find Your Surgeon?
If you’re ready to start looking into your options for rhinoplasty, then it’s time to start consulting with rhinoplasty specialists. Your ideal surgeon should be board certified, experienced, and have an excellent track record for safety and great results. Do not choose a surgeon you do not feel completely comfortable with. Rhinoplasty is a big decision to make, and you do not want to regret having the surgery later on.
If you’re looking for a renowned facial plastic surgeon in the Toronto area, then come to Revesse and meet with rhinoplasty expert Dr. Robert A. Mounsey. Dr. Mounsey has a great deal of experience in providing excellent rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty outcomes to a diverse patient base. For more information, call 416-438-2499 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Mounsey.