Choosing Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon: 5 Things to Consider

Choosing Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon

Finding the right rhinoplasty surgeon, whether you’re here in Columbia or anywhere else, can feel like a difficult task. As you begin to venture into the maze of qualifications and credentials, here are some guidelines for what matters most.

1. Solid Education & Training

Plastic surgeons spend a decade or more in training — and rightfully so, given the safety requirements and life-changing effects of our work. Any surgeon worth your consideration will have completed a Doctor of Medicine degree program, followed by 2 periods of residency: 1 likely focused on general surgery and 1 specifically dedicated to plastic surgery.

Better still, look for a surgeon who makes ongoing contributions to the field. Things like professional society memberships and published research are strong indicators of a prolific surgeon. Continuing education is always a good sign.

2. Board Certification

Board certification goes hand in hand with educational background. To call yourself a board-certified plastic surgeon in the United States, you must submit to a rigorous examination of your clinical experience, culminating in official certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Here in Columbia, you’ll want to look for a license to practice in the state of Missouri, as well.

3. Rhinoplasty Specialization

Those first 2 factors mentioned above are criteria you should look for in any plastic surgeon, no matter what procedure you’re getting, but what about finding a rhinoplasty specialist? The nose is arguably the most prominent facial feature, and you want the surgeon reshaping yours to have some expertise in rhinoplasty. The surgeon’s website is your first barometer for this. Look for versatility: A skilled rhinoplasty surgeon will be able to offer either open or closed rhinoplasty, depending on the extent of your procedure. If you have problems breathing through your nose, also look to make sure your surgeon can correct a deviated septum or other abnormalities. Once you meet a surgeon in person, specifically ask how many rhinoplasty procedures the physician has performed, as well as how many in the past year.

4. Before & After Photo Galleries

Be choosy. Plastic surgeons with proven results take the time to show them off. With the complexity involved in nose reshaping, before-and-after photos give you a good idea of how well the surgeon can straighten a bump in the nasal bridge, reshape the nasal tip, correct a hooked nose, or adjust the nose overall in proper proportion to the patient’s other facial features. Look for these photos on a surgeon’s website, and feel free to ask for more once you visit a practice in person. You should be able to find a variety of successful cases, as well as some in which the patient had similar features as yours.

5. Other Patients’ Impressions

In an experience as intimate and vulnerable as plastic surgery, perhaps the most important quality a plastic surgeon can have is his or her capacity to listen. You can ascertain that in an in-person consultation, of course, but before you get there, take the time to read through patient testimonials and online reviews, such as those listed on RealSelf.

You should feel comfortable meeting with multiple surgeons to find the one whose goals align best with your own. Finding a true partner in your journey ensures both your health and your results.

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John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS