Undergoing rhinoplasty to change the shape and size of your nose is not only a major decision, but also a big investment. After all, rhinoplasty (just like any other plastic surgery procedure) does not come cheap! Before you can go ahead with the rhinoplasty, you will have to meet with many surgeons to determine two things: whether or not you’re a qualified candidate for rhinoplasty and who will be the surgeon performing your operation. If you’re serious about finding the right rhinoplasty surgeon then chances are you will be doing a lot of research in order gather several options. This means that you won’t only be going to a single consultation, but possibly a lot. Unfortunately, consultations do not only consume time but they also cost money. Some of the surgeons will even charge a consultation fee even before they take you on as a patient. Add to this the cost of every consultation after as well as the price of the surgery itself, and you can easily find yourself in the poor house.
Mine was a particularly unfortunate case since my first rhinoplasty turned out to be a botched operation. So not only did I have to pay for that disappointing primary surgery, but I had to pay again to get my nose fixed. Of course, I thank my stars everyday that I found Dr. Shah who performed my amazing revision rhinoplasty, but I can’t help but think of all the money I would have saved if I found him in time for my first rhinoplasty. As someone who has been a victim of a botched rhinoplasty, it’s my hope to help others avoid the same costly mistakes that I committed. Here are some rhinoplasty tips that will save you time and money.
1. Do your own research.
Research, research, research. This advice cannot be stressed enough! You have to understand that rhinoplasty is a big business, which means rhinoplasty surgeons are also businessmen. This means their primary goal is to earn money and to be able to do this, they need a lot of patients. In order to attract these patients, they resort to marketing and advertising. If you don’t do your research, you can easily fall in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon with a slick marketing campaign. Go online and peruse official websites, online discussion forums and review blogs. Browse through before-and-after pictures and see which surgeons consistently stand out.
Know what to look for online.
2. Doing your research online is useless if you don’t know what to look for. To put it simply, you should be looking for nothing less than a Facial Plastic Surgeon, and not a Cosmetic Surgeon or General Plastic Surgeon. Most surgeons will include rhinoplasty in their list of basic services, but it’s up to you to figure out who is truly an expert. Below are some of the things to keep in mind while browsing the surgeon’s website:
What are the surgeon’s educational background, training and credentials? Are details about the training listed online? How many years of post-residency/fellowship experience does he have? How many rhinoplasty procedures has he performed in the span of his career and how many does he perform each year?
Does the surgeon take the time and effort to educate potential patients about rhinoplasty in his website, or does the content seem more like a sales pitch that brags about the surgeon’s expertise?
Are there before-and-after photos posted online? Not only will these images give you an idea as to what kind of service to expect from the surgeon, but they can also attest to how many of the doctor’s patients are happy with the results. The more successful pictures there are, the more patients are happy and willing enough to allow their images to be posted online.
Has the surgeon written any academic paper on rhinoplasty? Surgeons who specialize in a particular discipline are usually expert enough to write about it in academic journals. An academic journal selects papers to be published through peer review. This means each paper is reviewed by fellow experts before it can be determined if it is worth publishing.
3. Pick up the phone.
Once you have narrowed down your search to a handful of surgeons, the next step would be to place a quick call to the surgeon’s office. How you are treated on the phone can help you decide whether or not you should book a consultation in person. Be sure to ask the following questions as well.
Does the surgeon offer a free service where you can receive preliminary assessment by submitting your photos ahead of time?
What are the tools used by the surgeon to determine the results you can expect from the surgery? Will these tools be used during the consultation?
Will computer imaging be used to show you what your nose will look like after rhinoplasty?
Will you be able to view more before-and-after photos of previous patients (particularly those with noses similar to your own)?
Although it’s not a 100% guarantee of an excellent surgeon, I found that the way staff members treat you can be a good indication of how you can expect to be treated by the surgeon himself. Every time I would go to Dr. Anil Shah’s office, the staff members always made me feel welcome and at home. So if the staff member who entertained your call was accommodating, friendly and helpful, you might want to move on to the next step of booking a consultation in the office.
Make Sure Your Surgeon is Qualified
4. When it comes to rhinoplasty, function and aesthetics go hand in hand in order to reach a successful outcome Don’t waste your time meeting with any surgeons who are not double board certified as such:
1. Facial Plastic Surgeon (avoid general plastic surgeons who are jacks of all trades)
2. Board Certified in otolaryngology or ENT, which means the surgeon has specialized training in the ears, nose, and throat.
Searching for a Rhinoplasty Surgeon In Chicago
I have spent seven years of researching rhinoplasty, spoken to dozens of rhinoplasty surgeons, spent thousands of dollars on two surgeries and suffered psychologically and emotionally from a botched primary rhinoplasty. At the end of this long and hard journey, I was lucky enough to have found my brilliant revision rhinoplasty surgeon, Dr. Anil Shah. I believe he is not only the best rhinoplasty specialist in the city of Chicago, but also the entire United Sates. My only regret is that I wish I had met him earlier so I didn’t have to spend all that time and money on a botched primary surgery. By making sure that you select the right surgeon the first time around, you can avoid making the same mistake that I did.