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A rhinoplasty specialist is a cosmetic surgeon who focuses on treatments for the nose. In addition to cosmetic surgery, the specialist may offer reconstructions for patients with nose injuries or nasal deformities, along with nonsurgical treatment options for those with concerns about the nasal structure. These specialists attend medical school followed by a surgical residency, and may pursue fellowships in rhinoplasty to hone their skills.
At an initial patient consultation, a rhinoplasty specialist can take some photographs of the nose and discuss the patient's goals. These may include a variety of revisions to the shape of the nose; a patient may want to address a hooked or protruding nose, for example, or could be dissatisfied with the position of the nostrils. In the case of a patient with a congenital abnormality, the structure of the nose might be causing problems with breathing, requiring surgery on internal structures to correct their shape.
Facial cosmetic surgery can be complex, and patients may have very high expectations. The rhinoplasty specialist can explain what might be possible, and may show the patient an assortment of portfolio images of work on prior patients. Some use computer programs to model possible surgical outcomes, which gives patients a chance to see different noses on their faces to determine which they find most aesthetically pleasing. Medical history is also an important part of the consultation, to check for underlying medical conditions that could be a concern in surgery.
During the procedure, the surgeon may work on sedated or fully anesthetized patients, depending on the nature of the procedure. Consulting the notes from the pre-surgical meeting, the rhinoplasty specialist can reshape the structure of the nose. This may require bone or tissue grafts in some cases, or by trimming away excess material. Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon can close any incisions and allow the patient to recover from the anesthesia.
After surgery, the patient may need several follow up appointments to give the surgeon an opportunity to check on the progress of healing. The rhinoplasty specialist may caution patients that swelling in the nose could make it appear abnormal for several days or weeks after surgery. In the event a patient is not satisfied after healing is fully complete, the surgeon may offer a second procedure to correct the first. Additional surgeries may be necessary in some cases of complex birth defects where it is not always possible to correct all the issues with the nose in one procedure.