The Surgeon Minute

Plastic Surgeon or ENT for Your Rhinoplasty?

Plastic Surgeon or ENT for Your Rhinoplasty?

The nose occupies prime real estate on the face. If it’s out of proportion in any significant way, it can readily throw off the harmony of the face. Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure to change the size and shape of the nose while also maintaining function. While most patients today are pretty clear about the benefits of a rhinoplasty, they are often confused about who to see for their procedure —a plastic surgeon, ENT or facial plastic surgeon?

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dustin Reid of Austin, TX is a rhinoplasty expert. He discusses that while it’s best to see a plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon, the most important thing is to see a surgeon who performs this procedure often, and well. 

Who is the Best Surgeon for Your Rhinoplasty?

“There’s a lot of confusion amongst patients about who does rhinoplasty,” explains Dr. Reid. Many patients who don’t like the look of their nose and would like to change its size or shape may also have functional issues that affect their breathing. While an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) is trained to address a deviated septum, for example, is he or she as well trained to address the aesthetic aspects of your nose? 

“Basically, the choice that you want to make is either a plastic surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon,” says Dr. Reid. The difference between the two is that a facial plastic surgeon is actually an ENT who has also completed an aesthetic fellowship, allowing him or her to operate on the face and/or nose. That said, Dr. Reid says there’s a catch. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether your doctor is a plastic surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon. The truly important thing is that “you need to choose someone who does rhinoplasty often and does it well.” 

Functional Improvement & Aesthetic Improvement with Rhinoplasty

As a rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Reid performs this surgery a lot. In fact, he does all of the rhinoplasty procedures at his office. When he addresses the nose, his approach is two-pronged. He first examines the aesthetics and how it affects the overall facial proportion. Features he examines:

  • size of the nose
  • a dorsal hump, if any
  • angle and proportion of the tip
  • length of the nose
  • size of the nostrils
  • any asymmetries 

His goal with any nose job is to restore a sense of harmony to the face. Whether or not there were functional issues before, it is critical he either solves a problem or maintains a well-functioning nose. Creating a beautiful nose that doesn’t work is clearly never an option.

“One of the risks of rhinoplasty is that we could cause breathing problems because we are reducing the size of the nose, typically,” explains Dr. Reid. His goal post-op is for patients to look better, feel more confident, and be able to breath better because of the aesthetic and functional improvements that he makes during the procedure.

Why a Plastic Surgeon Rather Than ENT for Rhinoplasty?

Why is a plastic or facial plastic surgeon a better choice for your rhinoplasty procedure than an ENT? “This is the reality,” begins Dr. Reid. “The functional aspects of a rhinoplasty/septoplasty are straight forward. They’re not hard to learn and can be done easily. The aesthetic aspects of the nose take years and hundreds of cases [to master].”

Most plastic surgeons who perform this procedure would agree with Dr. Reid that it is something that one never truly masters. He is constantly learning, improving, and tweaking his rhinoplasty technique with every nose job he performs. Even so, as he mentioned, an ENT who has done 500 cases is a far better choice than a plastic surgeon who has done 10.

Rhinoplasty is Both Challenging and Rewarding

Dr. Reid loves working on noses; it’s his favorite procedure to perform. That said, with the excitement of tremendous result comes sweat, anxiety, and hard work. Most agree that it is the hardest and most technically-challenging procedure that plastic surgeons perform, and this is why the great rhinoplasty surgeons enjoy it. “I love doing it,” he says. “At the same time, it’s probably shaved some years off my life!”

He always want to deliver the perfect nose for his patients. When it comes to the face, there really is nothing as important as the nose aesthetically. “I take that responsibility seriously, and it can weigh on you,” he shares. This is part of what makes him a great rhinoplasty surgeon and why those who also perform the procedure routinely echo the same sentiments. It’s also the secret to finding the right surgeon for the greatest rhinoplasty results.

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