Nose surgery can help you alleviate breathing difficulties and improve the overall aesthetics of your face. In response to the popularity of this cosmetic surgery, we recently sat down with Dr Steve Merten, a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, to discuss his pre-surgical approach to rhinoplasty procedures at his Sydney plastic surgery practice. Below is our Q&A with Dr Merten providing a brief insight into how he conducts his nose reshaping consultations, as well as what type of questions patients should ask when considering a nose job.

Q: When discussing rhinoplasty with your patients during the initial consultation process, what common concerns and goals do they express to you most often?

Dr Merten: Each patient has different concerns; however, the most common is a large “hump” on the top of the nose which works to lower and improve the side profile. The next most common concern is generally a large, rounded tip of the nose which can be reduced and reshaped to improve nasal balance. Ethnicity and genetics are contributing factors in determining the shape of the nose, and whilst some patients prefer to preserve these features, others prefer to minimize or adjust them, providing greater balance and overall improvement for their face. We also have patients who come in because of significant breathing problems which can be corrected with rhinoplasty.

Q: How do you determine a patient’s candidacy for rhinoplasty?

DM: As with all cosmetic plastic surgery, realistic goals and expectations are necessary, with patients needing to have carefully considered their concerns. It is important that you are healthy, as with any surgery, and ensure you are ready both emotionally and psychologically as changes from rhinoplasty are permanent.

Q: How do you determine the most effective rhinoplasty treatment plan for each patient?

DM: Rhinoplasty is a highly individualised procedure with no patient having the same operation. The most effective treatment plan is determined by first asking each patient what concerns them about their nose, whether they have had any past surgery or injuries, and whether they have any difficulties breathing. A detailed examination is then performed, and based on this, various surgical maneuvers can be planned to address the concerns. I like to use computer imaging and photo-morphing software to ensure the patients’ goals and expectations match what I can achieve. I also show my patients before and after results from prior patients’ results so they can discuss their likes and dislikes which also helps me gauge their personal cosmetic goals.

Q: After making the decision to receive a nose job, what are the most important questions patients should ask when choosing a rhinoplasty surgeon, and why?

DM: Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, and the results can be variable between surgeons. It is important to ask about the surgeon’s qualifications. Rhinoplasty should only be undertaken by specialist, plastic, or ENT surgeons – never by non-specialist “cosmetic” surgeons. Plastic surgeons and ENT surgeons that have done extensive and rigorous training are the only surgeons adequately trained in this procedure. The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons protects the integrity of the industry and you can find a full list of qualified surgeons on their website.

The next question should be to ask about the surgeon’s own experience. How many rhinoplasties has he done, and how often? An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon should be able to show the patient a large photo gallery of their own results. If not, patients should find out why they can’t.

Patients should ask the surgeon what procedure he recommends and to provide an idea of what the outcome will be. As I said earlier, I like to use photo-morphing software to help explain this to my patients and let them visualize the expected result.

Finally, patients should ask what would happen if any complications should arise or if the result isn’t as they expected. Rhinoplasty has one of the highest revision surgery rates, and as such, it is important to ask if there will be any additional costs to correct this.

Contact Pure Aesthetics

For more information about rhinoplasty, or for any questions or concerns regarding nose surgery, please contact Pure Aesthetics today to schedule a consultation with Dr Steve Merten.