wasperformed FacialSurgery.com
Steven M. Denenberg, M.D.
Steven M. Denenberg, M.D.

How to tell if your rhinoplasty consultation was acceptable

Photos.

If a surgeon doesn't show you before and after photographs, scratch him off of your list. Period. No exceptions. Deal-breaker.

You pick a surgeon primarily from his before and after photos. Diplomas, board certifications, hospital affiliations, academic appointment, and even reputation tell you nothing: a surgeon is never tested for his skill, his artistic eye, the quality of his outcomes, or even whether he cares that his patients are happy.

You must see photos of other patients who had some features similar to your nose. For example, if your nose has a wide and drooping tip, don't accept profile-only photos of patients who had a hump carved down. You can't see the width of the tip on a profile photo.

Revision nose operations are much more difficult than first-time operations, so if you are consulting a surgeon about a revision operation, you must see photos of his revision patients.

If you see the surgeon's photos, but you don't love them, scratch him off your list. You want to use a surgeon whose work you like. Don't assume that he'll do great on you when he didn't do great on the other people.

Communication.

If the doctor treats you disrespectfully, scratch him off your list. If he won't patiently listen to what you want for your nose, same thing. How will he know how to make you happy if he won't hear what you want for your nose?

If he conducts the consultation from behind his desk and doesn't examine your nose, deal-breaker. If it's the nurse and not the surgeon who conducts the consultation, run away fastest. All due respect to the nurse, she doesn't know what's possible and what isn't. If the plan is to see the surgeon for the first time on the morning of surgery, deal-breaker. For sure.

Computer morphing.

If the surgeon doesn't do computer morphing of your nose, scratch him off your list. The morphing is crucial, so the surgeon can prove to you that he understands exactly what your goals are. If you don't like the morph he makes, that gives you the opportunity to clarify your goals. Also, if the surgeon recommends some changes that you hadn't thought of, you need to see the morphs, so you can see whether you like those changes.

Your intuition.

If your gut tells you "no," don't use the surgeon. Don't ever use a surgeon only because you know him, or your kids know him, or he lives on your street, or your primary care doctor referred you to him, or he did your breasts, or your tonsils, or your wisdom teeth, or you saw his advertisement, or his awards.

I hear these stories all the time from my revision rhinoplasty patients. You must do your own evaluation of any surgeon you visit. And by "evaluation," again, we're talking mostly about seeing his photos and seeing how well he communicates with you. Don't bother checking the surgeon's licensure and board certification and hospital affiliations and all that; it'll just distract you from what's important.

Conclusion.

The fact is, the great majority of plastic surgeons who perform rhinoplasty shouldn't be doing the operation. It's an incredibly difficult procedure, technically demanding, requiring experience, skill, judgment, an artistic eye, an exceptional level of communication and thoughtfulness, and a rare level of empathy and caring for the patient. No hospital board protects you by judging the quality of a surgeon's rhinoplasties and prohibiting him from operating if he's terrible. It's the wild, wild west out there, and you have to protect yourself by being smart.

If you would like to consider coming to Omaha to have Dr. Denenberg do your surgery, go here.