A nose for beauty
When it comes to rhinoplasty, finding the right surgeon is key. Cosmetic rhinoplasty is surgery performed to enhance the appearance of an otherwise normal nose. This is opposed to functional rhinoplasty, where there is a medical element of correcting nasal problems such as obstruction, snoring or as a result of injury or trauma.
A beauty statement
The nose is the centrepiece of the face, and positioned most anteriorly on the frontmost of the face. It is one part of our body that is difficult to hide from the public view, and hard to disguise with make-up or accessories. There is no running away from a nose that you are not confident of.
Cut to different needs
Rhinoplasty, even cosmetic rhinoplasty, is customised for every patient. Nobody has the same exact nose, hence it makes sense that nobody should get the same surgery. Caucasians commonly request for some form of reduction, be it for a large hump or a tip that is too big. Asians, on the other hand, have noses that are generally too small in some areas and too bulky in others. Usually, this means they want some dorsum (bridge) augmentation, to get a higher and sharper tip. They often also require alar reduction.
Sniffing out the right surgeon
Beauty is subjective. I will suggest to the patient what I think works for them. However, my background and exposure may bias me towards a certain look, which may not be what the patient wants. That is especially so in Singapore, where we get patients from all backgrounds, cultures and nationalities. For example, Korea has such a strong “brand” of look that people from other countries fly in for it. So miscommunication and misdelivery are less of an issue.
Singapore’s market is much more heterogenous compared to Korea in terms of patient demographics and desires. So it is really important for the surgeon to listen.
Secondly, I tend to lay out all the options for my patients. The main aim of the consultation is to educate the patient. Of course, I will have my recommendations (based on the look we agreed upon, and safety). I will weigh the pros and cons together with the patient so we can reach an informed decision.
Judge by real results
Computer simulation used to be a popular tool. Unfortunately, while it is fun to play with, there is no correlation with the actual reproducible results. It is purely an image software that doesn’t care about skin quality, cartilage, bone factors, and ironically, the surgeon’s skills.
My best advice is to ignore all the marketing hype. Look at the doctor’s results, with the caveat that you should be wary of digitally altered images that are heavily used in marketing.
Talk to the surgeon’s patients if possible. Consider his background and training. Does what he says make sense to you? Does he know his stuff? Is he passionate about his work or is it just a job to him? Can he show you results that you like?
The bad news is there is no one easy way to know for sure. You need to do your homework before you can gauge if the doctor knows his stuff. The good news is, rhinoplasty results speak for themselves. They are hard to “disguise” or hide.
DOES YOUR PLASTIC SURGEON KNOWS HIS STUFF?
1. Passion – If you can tell if the doctor is passionate about rhinoplasty, that’s half the battle won.
2. Credentials – Check his credentials and experience. How many rhinoplasties has he done?
3. Results – Look at results of his work on other patients. Do you like what you see?