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My rhinoplasty patients at Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery generally desire two related goals: an improved appearance and a boost in self-confidence. A typical patient has a few specific concerns about their nose such as a ‘dorsal hump’ or a ‘bulbous tip’. Other common complaints include an over-projected nose (‘sticks out too much’ / ‘too big’), crookedness, or a ‘drooping tip’. During the rhinoplasty consultation, I identify features of a patient’s nose that have potential for aesthetic improvement. My findings usually coincide with the patient’s concerns but more often than not, my examination reveals aspects of their nose they had not noticed previously. As a result, I present all surgical options, and collaborate with the patient in designing a plan for their rhinoplasty. My aim as a rhinoplasty surgeon is to educate my patients and to engage them in making decisions about their surgery.

Due to the complex nature of rhinoplasty, a common concern my rhinoplasty patients voice is uncertainty about the outcome. Patients want to have a better idea of ‘how they will look’. With any plastic surgery procedure, pre-operative patients will always have some degree of anxiety about results. This is especially true with rhinoplasty – which is part of the reason why having a plastic surgeon experienced in rhinoplasty is so vital. I find that alleviating the uncertainty requires a multipronged strategy. First, I spend a great deal of time listening to my patients to ensure that I have clear understanding about their concerns and expectations. Second, I try to paint as accurate a picture as possible about the expected results through detailed descriptions, and before-and-after photos of other cases. Finally, I use VECTRA® imaging technology at my practice to help patients visualize their potential results. VECTRA® is an imaging and software system that can simulate various cosmetic procedures using a patient’s own likeness. The first step involves a three dimensional image capture of the patient’s face. The second step involves using the specialized rhinoplasty simulation software to model various rhinoplasty maneuvers. Patients find the VECTRA®’s technology very helpful in creating a visual, interactive model that we use to develop a rhinoplasty treatment strategy.

Although the VECTRA system helps patients ‘see’ their potential results, it also helps me by providing patients a method to communicate and offer feedback about what they actually want. In the end, the imaging system is a tremendous asset to both surgeon and patients alike.

In the coming weeks, Dr. Lawrence Tong will be revealing more of his thoughts on rhinoplasty in this three-part blog series. The next installment of our series will explore the principles Dr. Tong uses to optimize results, and part three will outline the particular challenges of ethnic rhinoplasty.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawrence Tong or to learn more about the Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery, please contact our office today.