Q: Dr. Eppley, I hate to say it but I’m second guessing my decision about rhinoplasty surgery the more I read online.  Perhaps I shouldn’t be reading online but I’m reading things like “nose job is the worst possible procedure to have done for a male.”. And that the problem is a lack of facial bone growth, not a big nose, which in my case is certainly true as I have a narrow face and underdeveloped lower third.  So I’m wondering will a rhinoplasty simply be a regression for me, further feminizing my face?  I know ultimately it’s my decision but obviously you understand aesthetics better than I do and could offer some sort of assurance as to why a rhinoplasty would be beneficial for me.

A: The psychological preparedness of a patient before any aesthetic surgery is of great relevance. A patient’s behavior will follow after surgery the exact pattern that they had before surgery. This is a plastic surgery experience that we see on a near daily basis.

 It is one thing to be anxious about the surgical process, which most people normally are, but to be questioning whether one should have surgery at all based upon an uncertainty about the facial changes speaks to a different level of anxiety. It is important to realize that almost every patient after elective aesthetic facial surgery goes through a point in their recovery where they question the wisdom of their choice. For those who have few doubts before surgery they get past it at some point in their recovery. For those that were internally questioning whether such facial changes would be beneficial at all,  they may never get past it and may recover to regret having had surgery. This is relevant since rhinoplasty is an irreversible change. It is not like a cheek or chin implant which can be pulled out later. This its why computer imaging should always be done before rhinoplasty which can help the patient visually determine if the surgery is worth it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana