In the age of social media, it’s important to know what to look for when you’re choosing a cosmetic surgeon. You don’t want to base a life-changing decision on views and likes. This is particularly true when it comes to a rhinoplasty, which is an intricate surgery with very impactful results. That’s why you only want to put your nose in the hands of a top surgeon.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States. With this in mind, Dr. Steven Pearlman of Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery sat down to answer some of the most common questions from patients considering rhinoplasty.
Dr. Pearlman has performed thousands of rhinoplasties and is uniquely dual-board certified in both Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ENT). As one of the top rhinoplasty surgeons in NYC, he has essential expertise for those interested in pursuing a rhinoplasty procedure.
Q: Let’s start with the basics, what are the most important qualities of a top rhinoplasty surgeon?
There are several key things to take note of when you’re considering a surgeon. We always tell patients, this is going to be the nose you have for the rest of your life, so it’s important that you’re happy with the results and have a good experience.
The best compliment we get following rhinoplasty is when patients are told they “look great” but their friends and acquaintances can’t tell why. I always strive for the most natural-looking results possible. Our goal is to address your concerns without ever losing sight of who you are, your heritage, and your identity.
The first thing to consider: is this surgeon a rhinoplasty specialist?
Rhinoplasty is an extremely delicate surgery. The nose is one of your sensory organs, so you want someone who can protect the function as they’re enhancing the form.
For example, a surgeon who is only board certified in cosmetic surgery isn’t going to have the same level of expertise as someone who is also certified in Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.
You should look at their level of expertise and what percentage of their practice is dedicated to rhinoplasty. Is it the primary surgery they provide or is it one of many? How many rhinoplasties have they done? Do they operate all over the body, or specialize in the face? Go to the surgeon’s website and look at their before and afters. Is this the aesthetic you are looking to achieve?
In the past, people often found surgeons based on their academic involvement. In order to be giving lectures, teaching residents, and getting papers published, a surgeon has to have a true mastery of rhinoplasty. More people should consider the academic standing of their surgeons.
The next thing to consider: What types of rhinoplasty procedures do they offer?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rhinoplasties. The nose is such a prominent facial feature and for many races and ethnicities has important ties to heritage and culture. As I mentioned earlier, the nose is also a sensory organ. The function is just as important, if not more important, than the form.
Some of the procedures and techniques a skilled rhinoplasty surgeon will offer may include:
- Piezo ultrasonic rhinoplasty
- Ethnic rhinoplasty
- Teenage rhinoplasty
- Revision rhinoplasty
The top rhinoplasty surgeons in our field are able to incorporate multiple techniques into their practice. Rhinoplasty truly should be a customized experience based on the individual patient’s concerns and anatomy and NEVER a one-size-fits-all approach.
Q: How important are before and after images when choosing a rhinoplasty surgeon?
Things you should consider when viewing the images:
- Do these patients look like me?
- Do I like the results I’m seeing? Do they look natural?
- Are the before and after images consistent in setup, lighting, and angles?
It is a major red flag if the images look doctored or if your surgeon won’t let you see any during your consultation.
You should always ask to see images of previous patients during your consultation. It will also give you the opportunity to ask questions about the process for particular cases.
Q: On that note, what should someone expect during the rhinoplasty consultation process?
Of course, you should feel comfortable during the experience. The consultation is your time to ask questions and get to know your surgeon.
Sometimes people come in and aren’t really sure how to describe the results they want. They just know that they’re unhappy with their current look and are wondering how nose plastic surgery can help them feel more like themselves.
During our consultations at Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery, we utilize 2-D Mirror Computer imaging and Vectra 3D imaging to help our patients visualize their results. This lets us talk through different options for adjusting the nose and helps you visualize your results in real-time.
With techniques like Piezo rhinoplasty, we’re able to provide precise changes, which is especially useful in ethnic rhinoplasty, male rhinoplasty, and crooked nose procedures, where a patient might only want subtle changes to the hump or bridge.
Q: What common misconceptions do people have about getting rhinoplasty?
We don’t break the nose the way you think, it’s delicate and might not be needed at all
The first thing that comes to mind is that we still have patients who think that the nose gets violently broken during a rhinoplasty procedure, and that’s just not true. Rhinoplasty can often be used to correct a broken nose that didn’t set properly and changed shape. However, when we remove a large hump, it’s like taking the top off a pyramid.
We do delicate osteotomies to mobilize the nasal bones to close the open roof, otherwise, you would have a flat bridge. This does not prolong healing, increase post-op discomfort, or make the operation more dangerous. It takes about 3 minutes in a 2 ½ hour operation. It actually can make results better.
We tailor every rhinoplasty surgery to the patient’s unique needs and anatomy. We don’t break the nose, but in some cases, we will cut and shape the bone to achieve the desired result. We might use small precise osteotomes or the piezo ultrasonic device.
You do really need to plan for recovery time.
Sometimes we have patients come in who are expecting to have their surgery and be back at work within a week. We always caution our patients to be realistic about how much time they need to plan to take off when recovering from rhinoplasty.
The longest part of recovery is waiting for the bruising to dissipate, which can take 1 to 2 weeks. Our patient care team makes sure to give a conservative estimate so you know what to expect. Women can usually be back at work in 1 ½ weeks with cover makeup.
The extent of the bruising is dependent on the technique and your surgeon’s technique. The face is a very delicate area, so you’re not going to get away with zero bruising, but with a top rhinoplasty surgeon you might experience less severe discoloration.
What are some of the common questions you get as a TOP rhinoplasty surgeon?
How long is it going to take me to recover after my surgery?
Most of the questions we get are about recovering from rhinoplasty. At Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery, our patient care coordinator works with each patient to make sure they have a quick and comfortable recovery process.
Most patients are back to almost full activity by 1 ½ to 2 weeks as long as they avoid the gym for 3 weeks. To feel really comfortable at an important social function, recovering from rhinoplasty takes about a month. Most patients will see 85% of their results at 1 month out, 95% of results at 6 months out, and 99% at 1 year.
Is there going to be a scar?
We sometimes do closed, or scarless, rhinoplasty where there is no external incision. For open rhinoplasty, there is a tiny scar, but it’s going to be unremarkable and very hard to see to the naked eye. In most cases, someone would have to be looking directly up your nostrils with a magnifying glass to see any scars left by open rhinoplasty.
We also have access to laser technology at our practice to fade the scar if necessary, and it rarely is.
When is the best age to get a rhinoplasty?
There’s no best age to get a rhinoplasty. I’ve performed rhinoplasties for teenagers, patients in their 50s, and even recently for someone in their 70s.
Sometimes the cost of a nose job can be a deterrent, so patients have to wait until they’re older and have the financial resources. Age itself should never be a deterrent though; you deserve to look and feel like your best self as soon as possible. Don’t choose a surgeon by price. Go with who does the best noses.
Is a rhinoplasty covered by my insurance?
Many people wonder if their nose surgery will be covered by their insurance. In some cases, if the purpose of your rhinoplasty is to correct breathing issues or a deviated septum, it’s possible that it might be partially covered by your insurance.
Our office staff is always happy to help our patients figure out if their procedure will be covered. Cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance, of course, but we do have financing options to choose from.
More questions about rhinoplasty in NYC?
If you’re ready to learn more about the rhinoplasty process, consider booking your consultation with Dr. Steven Pearlman today.
Dr. Pearlman is uniquely dual-board certified in both Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ENT). He has performed over 7,500 rhinoplasties in his career and has been chosen as a Top Doctor by New York Magazine and Castle Conolly.
As one of the top rhinoplasty surgeons in NYC, Dr. Pearlman frequently lectures as a visiting professor on rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, and facial aging throughout the world. He also serves as a clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Not quite ready for an in-person visit? You can use our virtual rhinoplasty tool to explore our available techniques. Answer a few questions about your goals and we’ll send you customized recommendations right to your inbox!