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Rhinoplasty:Satisfaction Found To Be In the Eye of the Beholder



What is the largest single factor contributing to the success of a rhinoplasty procedure?  The answer, of course, is the satisfaction of the patient, but the implications of that statement stretch further than most realize.

It has been suggested by more than one plastic surgeon,  specifically by Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of Beverly Hills that the most satisfied patients are those who come to the operating table not merely for cosmetic reasons but for a secondary concern like a sports injury or a deviated septum.

What is the Connection between a Secondary Motive and Rhinoplasty Satisfaction?

It has been shown that there is a strong correlation between patients with the psychological condition of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and patients who chose rhinoplasty in the first place.  Part of the condition is a tendency to fixate on one part of the body which causes dissatisfaction, instead of viewing the body and the face as a whole.

Since the nose is the most obvious protrusion on the face, it is easy to see how patients can become fixated.  This inability to see the entire face as an entity will not be changed by rhinoplasty and the rate of satisfaction is significantly lowered.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Dissatisfaction?

Unfortunately, it is the job of the attending physician to eliminate candidates who are suffering from psychological body image issues but far too often this stage of preparation for surgery is overlooked.  As said by Dr. Richard Rival, a specialist in rhinoplasty from Toronto, “Any rhinoplasty candidate that expresses an excessive degree of concern out of proportion to the actual physical problem should be monitored carefully.”  In other words, those who come in simply for a vanity procedure should be watched carefully.  The problem is the large volume of candidates this may apply to, many who are of perfectly sound mental health.

Studies Supporting this Hypothesis

It has been shown that Dr. Rival isn’t the only one who finds a correlation between BDD and satisfaction with rhinoplasty.  Recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons presented a study with results reaching the same conclusion of a link between BDD and dissatisfaction with rhinoplasty.  It would seem, given the results, that some people are simply prone to disliking their own nose!

How to Beat BDD for Rhinoplasty Patients

If you are considering a rhinoplasty procedure, there are ways to improve the chances of the satisfaction with your operation.  One method that more and more plastic surgeons are using now is that of computer imaging which shows a patient exactly how the new nose will appear post-operation.  With this technology, patients have the opportunity to see what they will look like after in great detail but skipping the stages of operation and healing before the big reveal.  As for patients who are concerned that they may be suffering from BDD, it is important to see a psychiatrist before any major plastic surgery procedure, and make sure you are of sound mind and body before going under the knife!