Dr Steve Merten gives prospective rhinoplasty patients advice on how to choose a surgeon and emphasises there should be no standard formula for rhinoplasty techniques.
Sydney, Australia – Dr Steve Merten, a Sydney plastic surgeon, considers rhinoplasty to be a very specific operation that must be tailored to the needs of each patient. There is no standardised formula he uses when approaching a rhinoplasty procedure, as each patient has different needs and desires: “Rhinoplasty is a highly individualised procedure. No patient has the same operation.”
Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex cosmetic plastic surgery procedures which can attract revision surgeries. Results vary from surgeon to surgeon, and Dr Merten recommends that patients inquire about their surgeon’s qualifications. In his opinion, rhinoplasty should only be performed by specialist plastic or ENT surgeons who have undergone the extensive and rigorous training required, rather than non-specialist “cosmetic” surgeons who are often not adequately trained in rhinoplasty techniques.
Rhinoplasty patients should also note the surgeon’s experience, taking into account how many rhinoplasties the surgeon performs and how frequently the surgeon performs them. Dr Merten says that experienced rhinoplasty surgeons should be able to show prospective patients a large photo gallery of their results. One obvious yet often overlooked difference is the expectations for rhinoplasty for men versus women. Dr Merten says an experienced plastic surgeon will address these differences in the consultation, and develop the treatment plan based on past experiences and each patient’s aesthetic goals.
Dr Merten uses computer imaging and photo-morphing software to help explain and allow patients to visualise his recommended treatment plan. This software gives patients an idea of what they can expect in regard to results. He also shows his patients results from previous patients’ results, so he and the patient can discuss individual likes and dislikes.
“Each patient has different concerns,” says Dr Merten. “The most common concern is a large ‘hump’ on the top of the nose, followed by a large, rounded tip. Since some patients prefer to preserve features of the nose that other patients wish to minimise, it is critical for a rhinoplasty surgeon to listen to what the patient wants, rather than simply adhere to a single standard of beauty.”
Dr Merten begins rhinoplasty consultations by asking his patients what concerns them about their nose. Some patients desire cosmetic alterations, whereas other patients have suffered an injury or have difficulty breathing. Dr Merten performs a detailed examination of the nose to plan surgical treatment and address the patient’s concerns.
Dr Merten discusses with his Sydney plastic surgery patients that, as with all cosmetic plastic surgery, realistic goals and expectations are necessary, and patients need to have carefully considered their concerns.
About Steve Merten, FRACS
Dr Steve Merten is a recognised leader in the field of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery. He has trained under the Royal Australian College of Surgeons and earned his medical degree at Sydney University. In 2010, Dr Merten was appointed as a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery at Macquarie University, Sydney. He is available for interview upon request.
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