When I think back to the numerous consultations I’ve had with Chicago’s so-called “top rhinoplasty surgeons”, I can’t help but realize that no single consultation session particularly stood out for me. In fact, after going to one consultation after the other, each experience began to take on a similar feel—same waiting rooms with magazines, same spotlessly clean clinics, same framed certificates and credentials hanging on the wall and same surgeons who would tell me practically the same thing. Looking back on that experience, I can’t help but wonder why these surgeons received such excellent reviews online. I simply don’t get it!
It wasn’t until my first rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Shah that I truly learned what a rhinoplasty consultation should be and how a patient should be treated.
Before the examination proper, one of Dr. Shah’s friendly staff members took pictures of my nose from multiple angles. These digital images where then loaded into a computer software program. The same program was used to show me images of what I can expect my nose to look like after the rhinoplasty procedure. And this is where I believe Dr. Shah stood out from all the other rhinoplasty surgeons I’ve talked with. Unlike my previous surgeon, Dr. Shah actually wanted me to work with him in generating the projected result images. With my previous surgeon, I felt like I couldn’t get a word in edgewise while he was describing to me what was “wrong” with my nose, how he intends to fix it and what results I can expect. To put it simply, I felt like my previous surgeon was running a one-man show and did not really care whether we were on the same page or not. So my advice to patients who are going in for a consultation with their rhinoplasty surgeon is: make sure your surgeon listens to what YOU want. It’s your nose after all!
Dr. Shah actually took the time and initiative to morph the images right in front of me so I can ask questions or voice out an opinion any time I want. As a result of our collaboration, we came up with three different morphs. Morph #3 was the ideal nose that I wanted. So why were there other morphs if I already know what nose I wanted, you ask? Well, Dr. Shah clearly explained to me that due to my previous procedure, the structure of my nose, the cartilage and the scar tissue may pose challenges to achieving morph #3. Due to the limitations caused by my first rhinoplasty, chances are high that I could end up with morph #1. Even though we really wouldn’t know what we’re dealing with until I’m actually lying on the operating table, Dr. Shah did not want to sell me any false hope. I truly appreciated how candid Dr. Shah was. And you know what? If I were to end up with morph #1, it would be a vast improvement that would still make me happy.
My consultation with Dr. Shah ended with him summarizing his conclusions and reviewing the technical details of my surgery. He was also very honest when it came to the surgical experience itself, the recovery and my expectations. Best of all, he took the time to patiently answer all my questions and hear out my goals and desires. This level of attention and concern was not evident in the other surgeons I’ve dealt with in the past. I truly felt like I was his only patient! Needless to say, after that consultation, I eagerly booked my pre-op appointment and surgery date.