After patients make the personal decision to undergo facial plastic surgery, they are faced with determining who is the best suited to perform their procedure. Some of the obvious criteria includes the rhinoplasty surgeon’s practice proximity/location and convenience of office access. However, there are several other less obvious aspects of choosing a surgeon to consider when selecting your specialist, including cost, the surgeon’s practice setting, alignment of goals, and the physician-patient connection.
The easiest way to search for a skilled provider in your area is to hop on Google and do a “nearby search” for the type of specialist you’re looking for. Once you’ve gotten a list of local Rhinoplasty Surgeons, narrowing down your list can be tricky. You can start your research by reading online reviews and asking for family and friend referrals. The highest compliment a cosmetic surgeon can receive is getting referrals from happy patients.
Cost can also play a significant role in the selection of your rhinoplasty surgeon. Surgeons typically set the prices for their elective cases based on the area where they practice, their years of experience, and facility/anesthesia costs. The facility and anesthesia costs may vary depending on whether the surgeon perform surgeries in their office versus in a surgery center. My office provides a detailed quote to each patient after we meet to determine the duration and complexity of the case. This includes the surgeon’s fee and my best estimate of the duration of surgery which will determine the anesthesia costs and facility fees.
As a facial plastic surgeon at an academic medical center, a significant portion of my practice is reconstructive surgery. This means that my cosmetic patients get a comprehensive triage when they come to the office, with full vital signs and medical history. A resident physician (medical doctor pursuing specialty training in head and neck surgery) and/or a physician’s assistant are often involved in my patients’ care. These are skilled and knowledgeable physician extenders who do the initial history taking and analysis, which lets me focus more immediately on your concerns and makes our face-to-face time more productive. This exposure to multiple sets of expert eyes is a huge benefit to my patients. Because of my training in head & neck reconstructive surgery as well as facial plastic surgery, I have in-depth knowledge of the internal and external structures of facial anatomy. The operating rooms where I perform cases are associated with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, a world class institution with top-notch staff; patients often feel an additional layer of comfort when undergoing anesthesia in this type of environment.
Goal alignment with your Rhinoplasty surgeon is essential. You want to be sure to select a specialist who routinely performs the surgery you are looking to undergo, and one whose results are similar to the aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. During the initial visit, I recommend patients bring in photos of facial features they either like or dislike to help guide the discussion toward our mutual goals. I take photos of my patients and modify them myself in the visit so we can align our plan for the best surgical outcome. I also recommend patients go home and take time to digest the discussion about surgical technique, post-operative recovery, and images. It’s a big decision and I feel it’s important my patients are all properly educated and informed to make the decision to undergo appearance-altering surgery.
Lastly, rapport with your surgeon may be the most critical component of all. You want to choose someone you genuinely trust will hear you and be there for you. Complications are uncommon but they are always a possibility with any surgery. In the unlikely event of an unanticipated event, you will want to have an open line of communication to ensure you get the care you need. Be sure to do your research before selecting the best surgeon for you.
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