Creating a Face That’s Never Been Seen
Considering rhinoplasty—a nose job—is a big decision made by potential patients who range in age from their mid-teens to their mid-seventies. And it’s a decision that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
One of the factors that makes this choice so difficult for patients is that no two surgeons will turn out the same rhinoplasty result. The procedure itself is among the most difficult in plastic surgery, and success requires both impeccable technique and a refined aesthetic sense. But that’s not all.
“I have found an additional key to ensuring a successful procedure is all the work that goes into actively listening to my patients,” says Mike Nayak, a 15-year Harvard-trained facial plastic surgery veteran who maintains multiple active board certifications in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, and cosmetic surgery.
“I find really actively listening to what patients are saying between the words is hugely important. Surgeons need to take the time to understand what is bothering potential patients. Do extensive pre-education and information gathering first.”
What does that entail? “Well, in my practice, we will screen health records and photos before a prospective patient even comes in for a consultation. That’s when I need to start thinking about options that really fit a patient’s face. A good surgeon doesn’t deliver a pre-conceived result.”
And we need to remember this is surgery. A very delicate one. “Some people don’t need surgery and are not healthy enough for it. We don’t want to waste their time and money. And we want to really understand a prospective patient’s health history before the consultation as well, so we have a handle on the recovery plan. After we’ve done all that preparation, then a consultation is appropriate. Then we do the computer imaging to arrive at the best unique solution for each individual patient.”
“Some people don’t need surgery and are not healthy enough for it. We don’t want to waste their time and money. And we want to really understand a prospective patient’s health history before the consultation as well, so we have a handle on the recovery plan.
What about the recovery? Isn’t a nose job a painful procedure, requiring packing, and done under general anesthesia in a hospital?
“Well, maybe with some physicians. But most of my patients are pleasantly surprised to learn I can usually perform their procedures safely and painlessly under deep sedation in my office’s surgical suites. I do not need to pack the nose at all, and patients rarely require pain medicine stronger than Tylenol. In fact, I had one patient concerned about taking any pain medication at all, and she discovered she didn’t even need to fill the small, non-refillable prescription provided for immediate post-surgical recovery.”
We wondered if this amount of pre-consultation preparation and sensitivity to recovery is customary.
“Well, I’m not in a position to say,” says Dr. Nayak. “But that is what has worked really well in our practice for fifteen years.”
“You have to remember,” he continued, “A dozen plastic surgeons, properly trained, will still turn out a dozen different noses when doing rhinoplasty. We’re changing the keystone of the face. Creating, essentially, a unique face that has never been seen before. Every time. This is unique with rhinoplasty. So, you have to put in the time with each patient to ensure it is a face they’ll adore. They are going to live with it for decades.”