When you decide to undergo revision rhinoplasty, it's likely that you'll have a number of questions, such as "what changes will the surgeon make?" and "will this really improve my nose?"
Another question on your mind should be "how will I choose my surgeon?"
You should look for a few characteristics when considering plastic surgeons for a revision rhinoplasty. Experience performing the surgery is important. So is choosing a surgeon you feel comfortable with and who you feel understands what you are looking for.
Go Back to Your Original Surgeon?
Sometimes patients wonder if they should see the surgeon who performed the first surgery on them for the revision. The answer varies based on each patient's particular circumstances. For example, some patients need a secondary procedure because their nose has been injured after the initial surgery.
If you were happy with the results of the primary surgery and are seeking a revision because you were in an accident or suffered another injury to your nose, you may be able to see your first surgeon. But you want to confirm the surgeon's experience. It's not enough for a surgeon to have training and experience performing primary rhinoplasty.
The revision procedure tends to be a lot more complicated, so you want to pick a surgeon with experience performing it. During a revision surgery, the doctor has to work around more scar tissue or may need to work with less bone and cartilage.
Finding a New Surgeon
If you were unhappy with the results of your first surgery or your original surgeon doesn't have experience performing revision surgery, your best option is to find the best rhinoplasty surgeon. As when looking for a rhinoplasty surgeon, you want to pick a surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery or in rhinoplasty. When interviewing or researching potential surgeons, ask how many primary rhinoplasties he or she has performed and how many revision surgeries.
You might also want to ask to see photographs of the surgeon's past work. The surgeon can show you before and after pictures and explain to you what the patient wanted and how he or she made those changes to the nose.
Reviewing the Surgeon
Along with looking at pictures of the surgeon's past work, you might also want to hear what past patients have to say. You can ask the surgeon for references. Some will be able to provide you with testimonials from satisfied patients. Ask for reviews or testimonials for patients who have seen the surgeon for a revision rhinoplasty, as they'll be able to give you the best insight.
If the surgeon doesn't provide references or testimonials, you can do some research online. Look up reviews from patients on review sites. When reading the reviews, remember that no surgeon is perfect. You want to look for a doctor with a solid number of positive reviews, but don't be too alarmed if there is a negative review in the mix. Read each review carefully so that you have a sense of where the surgeon excels and where he or she doesn't.
Talking to the Surgeon
Everyone has different expectations when it comes to revision rhinoplasty and plastic surgery in general. Even if a surgeon is the best in his or her field, it's possible that you won't develop a rapport as patient and doctor. Sitting down with the surgeon for an initial consultation is an important part of the decision process.
During the consultation, you want to feel that you and the surgeon are on the same page. For example, if you explain what you want done, he or she should be able to give you a clear idea of what will be done and how your nose will look at the end. He or she should also make you feel comfortable about the surgery and about your decision.
You and the surgeon don't have to be best friends for the doctor-patient relationship to work. But you do want to pick someone you feel comfortable talking to and someone you trust to give you the nose you want.
Another thing to look for during your consultation with the doctor is the ability to answer your questions in a clear manner. For example, if you ask what to expect after the surgery, your doctor should give you a clear idea of what the recovery will be like and what you should do to make it go smoothly.
Dr. Nathan Nachlas, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon in Boca Raton, Florida, specializes in surgeries of the nose. He's performed several thousand rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty procedures.
For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.