During social interaction we focus about 60% of our attention on a triangle formed by the eyes and chin of the person we’re talking to. In the middle of this triangle is, of course, a nose. It is not surprising then, that the shape of a nose can influence self-esteem during a social encounter. So, changing the shape of your nose has dramatic, life-long consequences.
If you’re thinking of rhinoplasty for this, or any other reason, use the information presented here as a guide to planning your procedure. Ask yourself whether what you want is realistic. Rhinoplasty is three-dimensional visio-spatial art. The nose has 240 anatomical variants. Intellectually and technically, that makes rhinoplasty the most demanding of all forms of plastic surgery. The margin of error, at the most, is a mere 1 millimeter.
What do you want from rhinoplasty? Cosmetic surgeons are not all equally trained or skilled. Yet, for successful and pleasing results, only the best trained and most experienced surgeons can be depended on to perform this kind of complex surgery.
So, ask your surgeon important questions before agreeing to proceed. Evaluate the responses to determine whether the surgeon is qualified to perform a procedure that could change your life in a very visible and public way.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SURGEON
What are your credentials?
What are your credentials?
Medical schools seldom, if ever, equip Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists with advanced cosmetic skills. Consequently, ENT specialists don’t generally, or should not perform plastic surgery.
Neither, usually, do general plastic surgeons undergo ENT training or specialize exclusively in Rhinoplasty. General plastic surgeons — the term ‘plastic’ surgeon is interchangeable with the term ‘cosmetic’ surgeon — perform a variety of procedures that range from lipo-suction, breast, lip and buttock augmentation, blepharoplasty, skin surgery, and neck and face lifts. Some general plastic surgeons may never the less offer and perform plastic surgery of the nose, as one of an array of procedures. So, if you’re planning functional and cosmetic surgery, you may require the services of two surgeons, an ENT surgeon to perform the functional surgery, and a general cosmetic surgeon for the refinement. If confronted with this, inquire which of these surgeons will take ultimate responsibility for the result of this two-step procedure?
A specialist plastic surgeon on the other hand specializes exclusively in one discipline; that means they undergo advanced, specialized training in one aspect of the human anatomy, and thereafter focus their careers on this single discipline.
The Nose Clinic advantage: At the Nose clinic, one surgeon trained and equipped to perform both cosmetic and functional surgery takes sole responsibility for a single, combined procedure.
How long have you been performing rhinoplasty and how frequently do you operate?
Surgery, like any other skill, requires frequent, almost daily practice. A surgeon performing general procedures may only operate on a nose once or twice a month; not frequently enough to sustain an optimum level of skill in rhinoplasty. A surgeon needs to perform several nose procedures a week.
The Nose Clinic advantage: The Nose Clinic team focuses exclusively on Rhinoplasty.
Do you submit to continued medical education (CME) to keep abreast of new developments?
The ‘half-life’ (currency) of most medical disciplines today is 3,5 years. In other words, 50% of your surgeon’s knowledge today could be out of date in 3 to 4 years. Considering that degrees and diplomas reflect past qualifications and that an affiliation to a general cosmetic association is not a measure of current skill, Continued Medical Education (CME) is vital for any rhinoplasty surgeon. So, ask your surgeon for proof of recent CME updates in rhinoplasty (in South Africa the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) – the body that regulates and monitors the medical profession in South Africa – requires a general annual upgrading in certain fields of activity, but does not specify rhinoplasty as one of those skills).
The Nose Clinic advantage: The Nose Clinic is a specialized center for nasal surgery. Our specialist surgeon, and his dedicated team, keep abreast of surgical developments by attending local, and, also international conferences, workshops and seminars. See the ‘THE SURGEON.‘
Can you provide a color print-out of a simulated rhinoplasty preview?
A simulated preview of the proposed changes enable you to evaluate the result before undergoing surgery. A surgeon creates this preview from a set of digital images taken during a consultation. You can take a print-out of the preview home to discuss changes with your partner, family or friends; or just to think about it before proceeding.
The surgeon uses the same program to compare, in an objective and measurable way, the results of surgery with images taken before surgery.
The Nose Clinic advantage: We arrive at an optimum result by inviting you to participate in the planning process. Our simulated previews provide you with clear indication of what to expect from surgery. We also use the images for later before and after comparisons.
Do you offer conscious sedation anesthesia?
Besides hospitalization and additional expense, gaseous general anesthesia carries a risk of bleeding, bruising and swelling which retards healing. The Nose Clinic advantage: We use a safe, painless form of local anesthesia pioneered by our surgeon for rhinoplasty in the 90’s. For more see CONSCIOUS SEDATION.
Can you provide one all-inclusive quote?
A quotation should include all the related medical expenses – the theatre, the surgeon, the anesthetist, theater staff, drugs, and medication. The Nose Clinic advantage: We provide one all-inclusive quotation based on the complexity and duration of the procedure. See ‘COSTS‘
Do you work with a dedicated team?
Most surgeons work with rotating theater staff.
The Nose Clinic advantage: We work with a dedicated team of specialists. The human team factor makes an important difference. See ‘STAFF‘
Do you maintain a record or a website showing recent results of your surgery?
An informative website and a gallery of ‘before and after’ images offer important clues about a surgeon’s qualifications, work and expertise. It also gives you an indication of what to expect. See ‘BEFORE AND AFTER’
VARIOUS TERMS USED TO DESCRIBE RHINOPLASTY
- Cosmetic rhinoplasty
- A nose refinement
- A nose enhancement
- Cosmetic nose or nasal surgery
- A cosmetic nose procedure
- A nose job
- Plastic nose or nasal surgery
- Functional rhinoplasty
- Functional nose surgery
- Functional nasal surgery
- Functional nose surgery also covers septoplasty (to correct septal deviations or repair a hole in the septum).
- Functional surgery can sometimes refer to nasal turbinate surgery to ‘trim’ enlarged turbinates. SEE FUNCTIONAL SURGERY