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10 Questions to Ask your Rhinoplasty Surgeon


For most people, rhinoplasty is a life-changing surgery, that affects all your facial components and gives you a new look. It’s natural that people will have a lot of questions regarding their surgery, but may not have a comprehensive list in mind. In this article, we gathered the top 10 most important questions you must ask your rhinoplasty surgeon during your consultation. 

We based the questions on what patients wished they asked during the consultation, and also what the surgeons expect to answer during the consultation. Having your most important questions answered during the consultation phase can be extremely helpful when it comes to expectations and outcomes. We will carefully explain, why you should ask the following questions, and why it’s crucial to do so.

  1. Are my expectations realistic?
  2. Which one do you prefer:  closed or open approach?
  3. Can I see the before & after results of your previous patients?
  4. Do you use any simulation software to see the possible results?
  5. Can I have my breathing problems fixed while having cosmetic surgery?
  6. What are the risks of the surgery?
  7. What are your revision surgery procedures?
  8. What should I avoid before and after the operation?
  9. Where will the operation take place?
  10. Will there be any deformation in my nose over the years?

Are my expectations realistic?

It’s important to thoroughly discuss with your doctor the things you want to change about your nose shape and structure. In turn, your surgeon can guide you on which changes are necessary, unnecessary, or outright unsafe for your specific nose shape.

With the guidance of your surgeon, you will realize that surgery is complicated and some of the things you asked for might not be possible or suitable for your facial harmony. If some of the specific changes are not suitable or are simply risking your nose functionality, your doctor should suggest you some other options that keep your facial balance and health.

Discussing what’s possible and not possible ahead of time can help you by providing you with explanations on why changing certain aspects is not a good idea, can help you attain a more realistic expectation about the outcome, and can increase your success and satisfaction rate.

Which one do you prefer: closed or open approach?

Sometimes, the approach you prefer might not be compatible with what your surgeon specializes in, or what must be done in order to achieve the result you desire.

Especially with closed rhinoplasty, it’s easy for patients to focus on small details like not having scars, and forget about the fact that a closed technique might not work for your nose shape, or make it impossible to perform the corrections you desire, so it’s important to keep an open mind, and take your doctor’s advice when they say a close approach is not an option.

Carefully go over with your surgeon on which rhinoplasty techniques they specialize in, and if that’s compatible with the results you want to avoid any surprises after the operation is complete.

Can I see the before & after results of your previous patients?

While scouring through your surgeon’s social media, and before & pictures are crucial, and can help you with deciding if you like the results it may not always be enough. Before your consultation, go through your surgeon’s social media and gather the before & after pictures of noses similar to yours. They may have your hump, your tip, your nostrils, etc.

When you’re in the consultation room, ask your doctor which aspects of these noses were the most difficult to deal with, or if they were hard rhinoplasty surgeries in general. Then, ask what aspects of your nose are the most difficult to correct, and if you could get a similar result to the ones you liked.

You have a right to know if your nose operation would be a particularly hard case. It’s best if you had the chance to prepare ahead of time, and work with your doctor to come up with a strategy that will give you your desired result.

Do you use any simulation software to see the possible results?

Due to the complexity of the surgery, some patients might be confused as to what the surgeon is talking about, or how they’re describing the possible results. To avoid any confusion in the first place, ask your surgeon if they can show you what your nose would look like post-surgery.

A 3D simulation not only allows you to see your possible surgery results, but with the visual aid, it will be so much easier to follow along with your surgeon when they’re describing surgical techniques, the anatomy, etc.

Keep in mind that some surgeons think that the 3D image doesn’t give a 100% accurate result, and it’s best to treat it more like a visual aid than a predictor and determinator. 

Can I have my breathing problems fixed while having cosmetic surgery?

If you’re suffering from breathing problems, ask your doctor if it’s possible to also correct them while also getting cosmetic surgery.

Some operations that help with breathing such as septoplasty, nasal reduction, and sinus surgeries are relatively easy and often combined with a rhinoplasty to preserve and correct the functionality of the nose. However, not all surgeons give great importance to nasal functionality with rhinoplasty surgery, so make sure your doctor specializes in these areas, like an ENT surgeon.

Ask your doctor if possible, how much extra you would have to pay for an additional functional procedure. Some doctors can perform these corrective nasal surgeries, even without additional pay.

Can you inform me about the risks?

Rhinoplasty is not a risk-free procedure, requiring incisions on the skin and general anesthesia in most cases. So it’s crucial for you to be fully informed on the risks. 

Besides the general risks that come with invasive surgery and anesthesia, do not forget to ask about any chance of developing allergies, possible side effects from medications, etc. Your medical history has a great influence, not only on the results but also on deciding if you’re eligible for the surgery in the first place. Make sure that the nose shape you want won’t risk your nose functions or your health in general.

Ask your doctor what their protocol is if something goes seriously wrong during the surgery, and if it ever did, how they reacted.

Where will the operation take place?

While the results you will get depend on your surgeon, your satisfaction with the procedure also depends on the facility where your surgery will take place in.

Ask your doctor if your surgery will be conducted in a fully equipped hospital, or a clinical setting. In cases of emergencies, it’s best that you are present in a hospital where emergency staff is available, and various important departments like cardiology and radiology are present to help.

We also recommend researching the hospital itself to see if it has good reviews, as your first 24 hours after the surgery is crucial. Research the hospital and learn what kind of services they provide so you’ll be content with the hospitality. 

What should I avoid before and after the operation?

Some things that you can do or avoid before the surgery can make or break your results. We advise you do what is recommended by your doctor to avoid any health complications down the line.

If you’re a smoker, your doctor will tell you to quit smoking before the surgery to avoid any complications. If you have any other illnesses you’re dealing with, and are on medications, discuss them with your doctor. It might be necessary to quit these medications for a while so they don’t interfere with the surgical process or anesthesia.

For the recovery process, ask your doctor about what you should avoid, such as sleeping positions, taking a bath, wearing glasses, and for how long. And things you should do to improve your results, like massaging or taping, how to clean your nose, when can you go back to your normal activities, etc. It will be better for you to learn what the recovery period will be like way in advance rather than the day before so you can adjust your lifestyle, or get the necessary products.

Will there be any deformation in my nose after the operation?

Right after the operation, it’s expected that the nose will look a little “wonky” due to swelling. The first week after your surgery will be when your nose is the most delicate. But your nose will also be swollen, which hides the actual results underneath.

It takes around a year for rhinoplasty surgery to fully heal. During the year-long healing process, your nose will go through many phases where it can look weird. Even after a year has passed, complications can still occur years later after the surgery.

Ask your doctor if your nose would be prone to deformity. Of course, no surgeon would admit or believe that they would leave the operating room with a less than stellar result, sometimes it’s just too difficult to foresee these things. However, a capable surgeon should be able to tell you if, and why you could have some deformities developing down the line.

What is your revision surgery rate and protocol?

Primary rhinoplasty is hard; revision rhinoplasty is even more difficult, more invasive, and brings more possible complications to the table.

Ask your doctor about their revision surgery rate. They might not know what their actual revision rate is, as their previous patients might have sought out another doctor. But they should be able to give you an honest estimate. Also, ask how often they perform revision surgeries, and how many. Having experience with revision surgeries means that your doctor is familiar with correcting possible complications, and how to avoid them in the first place.

While your doctor may have a 0% revision rate, they should still be able to present you with a protocol on how you would proceed if you needed a revision rhinoplasty. While some doctors avoid their previous patients, some doctors are happy to perform revisions and can even offer a discount, or free in some cases.

Final Word

At Arpanu Medical, we believe an informed patient is a happy patient. That’s why we encourage patients from all over the world to research thoroughly before considering any operation. We gathered these questions to hopefully explain why they are so important to ask, and how they can be beneficial for a rhinoplasty patient. Let’s go over what we have learned one more time:

  • You must discuss with your doctor what your expectations are in detail, in turn, your doctor will inform you about the type of surgery you need, and possible surgical outcomes. Together, you will reach a middle ground where you’ll get your desired nose shape while keeping, or improving the functionality of your nose.
  • To avoid possible complications, you must discuss your medical history with your doctor in advance. To ensure your safety, you must go through the operation in a state-of-the-art facility that can meet your emergency needs and satisfy you with its hospitality. 
  • By discussing the possible complications, challenges specific to your nose, the postoperative period, and if it’s going to be a difficult procedure or not, you can prepare yourself in advance for better outcomes, even if you’re going to have a challenging surgery.
  • Thinking of any negative future outcomes, like possible deformities, and revision surgeries in advance can help you in the future when you need it the most. Knowing that your surgeon would be there with you to correct any deformities can lift some of the weight from your shoulders. 

We hope that the next time you’re in the consultation room, you’ll ask one of these questions, which will make both you and your surgeon happy in the end!

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