incredible-marketing Arrow

Rhinoplasty- Mastering the most complex surgery

I’m here in Orlando attending the Advances in Rhinoplasty course, which prompted me to think about why I wanted to attend.  It’s almost unanimously felt by all facial plastic and plastic surgeons that rhinoplasty is the most complex surgery in our field.  Every nose is different.  Meticulous attention to detail, surgical finesse, and intimate knowledge of the nasal anatomy and its function are all basic requirements in achieving good results.  Even changes in millimeters can create beautiful, or even unsatisfactory, effects.  Because a nose job is the most complex surgery, one doesn’t become an excellent rhinoplasty surgeon by doing a few cases a year.  Every master rhinoplasty surgeon I’ve listened to in lectures all give common advice to the surgeon who wants to master this procedure.

First, the surgeon must be incredibly focused on all the small details involved in every aspect of surgery.  This starts at the time of nasal analysis during the consultation.  During surgery, adherence to plastic surgery principles (such as gentle tissue manipulation, precise placement of sutures, etc) must be followed.  Then close follow up and management of healing must be done for that year after surgery.  But these principles just help a surgeon perform the technical aspects of surgery.  More must be done in order to grow as a rhinoplasty surgeon.

The second crucial requirement to become an excellent rhinoplasty surgeon is to study one’s own results.  This means taking detailed notes during surgery as well as during the entire healing process.  Many surgeons will sketch out their steps on nasal diagrams.  One of the best teaching tool is following one’s patients and seeing the results.  Good results will reinforce specific techniques used.  Just as important, undesirable changes will teach the surgeon what went wrong and how to improve.  This is one reason why the more rhinoplasties a surgeon does, the better the surgeon is in achieving consistently good results.  I don’t know if there is a minimum number of rhinoplasties performed that you need to ask a surgeon.  Some surgeons are born talented and may need less cases than another competent surgeon.  I would say at least two hundred is a safe starting point.  Also important is how regular he or she is performing nose jobs.  If he is just doing a case once every few months, that may not be as reliable as someone doing rhinoplasties every month.  There are outstanding rhinoplasty surgeons in facial plastic and general plastic surgery.  But, in general, facial plastic surgeons tend to have more experience and comfort than plastic surgeons because we start doing rhinoplasties during residency.  Many plastic surgeons do mostly body cosmetic work (ie breast implantation and tummy tucks).

Finally, another key lesson all master surgeons recommend is the never-ending pursuit to become a better surgeon by attending rhinoplasty courses.  I love performing rhinoplasties and enjoy the technical and creative challenges they entail.  I’m always trying to get better, and value the things I learn from my cases that help me continuously hone my skills.  But I remember the great education I got at the last rhinoplasty course in Houston many years ago, and I wanted to invest in another course this year.  In looking at the topics, I’m eager to hear lessons from current world experts, learn new techniques, as well as meet colleagues.  While this course is taking time away from my practice,  I truly believe the lessons I gain will yield great dividends for my patients.

For more information about San Antonio rhinoplasty surgery, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (866) 574-1719 or