Summary: You might have questions to ask before your nose job. But how many of those questions are, you know, good questions? Which questions are the most important? The answer to that is going to be different for every single patient. It will depend on what you want to accomplish with your rhinoplasty and what you want to change on your nose. But the only way to find out which questions are the most important is to, well, start asking questions!
Important Questions to Ask Before Your Nose Job
If you have questions to ask before your nose job, it’s important that you’re able to articulate them. Rhinoplasty is an effectively permanent solution (without a revision rhinoplasty to change your results). This means that your nose will be permanently altered by a nose job.
That’s good news if you like your results. One of the single best ways to ensure that you do indeed like those results is to ask a significant number of questions before your procedure gets going. By “significant” I don’t just mean ask many questions—I mean ask important questions. After all, it’s vital that you be able articulate your vision for your nose.
And doing that will often mean asking informed questions, knowing what’s coming, and knowing what’s possible.
Question #1: Am I a Good Candidate for Rhinoplasty?
The first question anyone thinking about a nose job should ask is the most basic one: can a nose job do what I want it to do? In other words, am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty? A nose job is an incredibly powerful procedure, capable of making drastic changes to the nose. But it’s not all powerful. There are limits to what a nose job can do.
Asking whether you’re a good candidate for a nose job will do several things:
- Determine whether your health is good enough to endure a major surgery
- Determine whether your nose can be changed to fit your desired outcome
- Determine whether you are equipped to handle the necessary recovery after the procedure
- Help you figure out which areas of your nose you want to change
- Help your surgeon determine the best technique to use on your nose
If you aren’t a good candidate for a rhinoplasty, its best to find out sooner rather than later. However, it’s important to find a surgeon who will give you straight answers to this particular question.
Question #2: Which Technique Will Be Used for My Nose Job?
There are two basic techniques surgeons use during a rhinoplasty procedure: open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty. Each of these techniques is accompanied by certain advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you want to get out of it.
- During an open rhinoplasty, an incision is made at the base of the nose (that little strip of skin between your nostrils). The tissue of the nose is then pulled up and over the cartilage of the nose, allowing surgeons access to your “open” nose (hence the name). This is a particularly useful approach if you want significant changes made to your nose.
- During a closed rhinoplasty a small incision is made inside the nostrils (in a location convenient for the work that must be performed). The surgeon will then perform all of the necessary work through that small incision. This might seem limiting, and in some ways it is, but modern surgery technology allows your plastic surgeon to accomplish a lot in this little space.
Whether you’re having a lot of work done or getting a little tweak will help determine which approach is best for you. Additionally, whether you want to add volume or remove it will also factor into the decision.
Question #3: Are You a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon?
There are plenty of good surgeons who are not board certified. But one sure way to reassure yourself that your surgeon is both an expert and experienced is to ask about certification. Plastic surgeons are required to be truthful with you about this, so you can rest assured that you’re getting an honest answer, and it’s worth listening to that answer with an open mind. So, once you find a surgeon you like, ask him or her about their board certifications.
You’ll want to know what kind of board certification your surgeon holds. There are, after all, plenty of different boards: there are boards for plastic surgery, for facial plastic surgery, for plastic surgery of the eyes, even for cosmetic surgery of the skin—the list goes on. If you’re getting rhinoplasty, then having a surgeon who is board certified either in facial plastic surgery or general plastic surgery should be an excellent source of reassurance for you.
This is an important question to ask. That’s why it’s in our top five!
Question #4: Can I See Before and After Photos?
Again, once you find a surgeon you like, one important question to ask is about before and after photos. We’ve probably discussed this once or twice before on this blog, but before and after photos are a great way to see the results of any given procedure. However, it’s important that you remember a few things:
- Ask to see before and after photos from various stages of recovery
- Ask to see before and after photos that use the same basic technique that will be used for you
- Ask to see the most recent before and after photos possible
- Ask to see before and after photos from revision procedures as well as initial procedures
Before and after photos are, of course, vital to understanding what will happen in your own situation. It’s up to you whether you’d like to donate your own before and after photos to the surgeon’s collection, but keep in mind that these photos were a huge help to you—and they’ll likely help the next set of patients as well.
Question #5: How Many Nose Jobs Do You Want?
Most people only really want one nose job. But there’s a lot that can happen to the nose, and small imperfections have a tendency to gnaw at patients. In other words, sometimes rhinoplasty results aren’t perfect. Something like 17% of all rhinoplasty patients end up getting a revision rhinoplasty some time down the road.
That’s not a huge percentage by any stretch of the imagination. But it is a big enough statistic that it’s worth thinking about your own opinion on some kind of revision rhinoplasty procedure. How will you feel if your results aren’t completely perfect? (This imperfection is likely—it’s important to have realistic expectations about what a nose job can do.)
Additionally, how will you feel if you need to go back in to correct something? In most cases, your nose job is going to come out flawlessly. But it never hurts to think about how you’ll cope with revision procedures, and it also never hurts to ask your surgeon how often he or she has performed such procedures.
The Important Thing is Getting Your Nose Right
Whatever questions you ask before your nose job, the important thing is to make sure you get the nose right. It’s important that you be clear on what you want and the best way to achieve that. Many of these decisions will be made during the consultation process, in conjunction with your plastic surgeon.
But the more you know ahead of time, the more thought you’ve put into exactly how you’d change your nose, the better position you’ll be in to achieve the results you want. Remember, the nose does not exist in isolation, it’s an integral component of your face. It effects every other part of your face.
That means it’s worth your time to make sure you get things right. Talking to a highly qualified (even board certified) plastic surgeon is one way to make that happen. When you schedule your consultation, you should be able to ask all the questions you want—and get plenty of answers. So if you’re interested in asking more questions before your nose job, contact your trusted plastic surgeon today to get started.
All images courtesy of Dr. Howard Stupak.