Your consultation is one of the most critical steps in your path to rhinoplasty surgery. I have always felt that high quality and unrushed communication is the foundation of an outstanding rhinoplasty result.
The reason that good communication during the consultation is so important is that cosmetic rhinoplasty is about appearance, and appearance is a highly subjective goal. This is very different from having your tonsils or gallbladder removed, which are pretty black-and-white outcomes. Given the subjective and subtle nature of rhinoplasty results, great communication leading to shared understanding and goals is important.
During the first visit, I will determine if you are a good candidate for a rhinoplasty – and if so, we will discuss expectations and risks. It is helpful if you can be specific about the areas that bother you about your nose so that we can both achieve clear, common goals. Some patients find it helpful to bring a photo of someone else with a nose they admire so that I can get a clear visual of what they are hoping to achieve.
There are some plastic surgeons who are very enthusiastic about patients bringing in pictures of their “ideal” nose, before-and-after pictures of celebrities, etc. While we should not spend an excessive amount of time on this aspect of the discussion, I actually find that it can be helpful with sorting out the goals and vision of the patient.
Based on that information, I will discuss the surgical procedure necessary in order to achieve the desired result. Your pictures will be taken, and I will either draw directly on your photos or create computer-modified before-and-after pictures so that you can get a sense of what you may look like after surgery. Using computer modification of pictures is also a little controversial with some plastic surgeons. So long as patients understand the limits of this technology, and understand that no specific result can be guaranteed, I think it can be a useful tool.
There are three main areas of the nose that we will focus on when determining your surgical treatment plan: the radix and dorsum; the tip of the nose; and the base. An internal (nasal endoscopy) and external evaluation of the nose will also be performed so that I can properly evaluate the extent of surgery. I often encourage patients to come back for a subsequent consultation to ensure that all questions have been answered and that they feel comfortable and confident before moving forward with surgery.