Feb 1

Should I have my rhinoplasty done by a Facial Plastic Surgeon or a General Plastic Surgeon?

There are a few types of surgeons who are qualified to do Rhinoplasty. Facial Plastic Surgeons like us limit their cosmetic and reconstructive surgery practices to facial work while General Plastic Surgeons do work on the face and the rest of the body. While both types of surgeons frequently do rhinoplasty, recent statistics suggest that Facial Plastic Surgeons, despite being far outnumbered, are now doing more rhinoplasties in America than their General Plastic colleagues.

The main difference between the two types of Plastic Surgeons is how they are trained and how they arrive at doing what they do. You can see the following link from our professional academy website to see the differences: http://www.aafprs.org/patient/about_us/fps_vs_gs.html. Facial Plastic Surgeons have usually first completed residency training in Head and Neck Surgery (also known as ENT or Otolaryngology) where a large concentration of their training is in Plastic Surgery of the Face and Neck. They will then usually have gone on to further complete a dedicated Fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery. General Plastic Surgeons, on the other, complete some 3-5 years of training in General Surgery, then a 2 year residency in General Plastic Surgery, perhaps followed by Fellowship.

So, is either more qualified to do Rhinoplasty? There is nothing that gives either group dominion over a particular procedure and you shouldn’t listen to anyone who says so. There are representatives from both groups that are among the best Rhinoplasty surgeons in the world. And each group also has its share of duds. It is true that Facial Plastic Surgeons spend much more time working on and in the nose during their training, and often in practice. And, because of their ENT backgrounds, Facial Plastic Surgeons may be, in general, more comfortable with procedures inside the nose, and especially with those rhinoplasties involving changes that affect nasal breathing (known as Functional Rhinoplasty).

Ultimately, your choice of a good Rhinoplasty surgeon should come down to other more important factors. See our blog on “How to choose your Rhinoplasty Surgeon” for more of our thoughts on that topic.

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