Dr. Scott Thompson, MD, Utah Facial Plastics, Explains Rhinoplasty

Dr. Scott Thompson, MD, owner and founder of Utah Facial Plastics in Salt Lake Cityis a double board certified facial and plastic reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Thompson has over ten years of experience in the field of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and specialized in procedures such as Rhinoplasty (Nose Jobs), Otoplasty (Ear Surgery), Facelift, Hair Transplantation, Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery), as well as many other surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Thompson’s education included over six years of intense study and training focused exclusively on the face, head, and neck.

Dr. Thompson’s goal with each of his patients is to balance the technical and creative aspects of his craft to achieve natural surgical results that enhance every individual’s unique features. Focusing exclusively on conditions of the neck, head and face gives Dr. Thompson the focus and experience that keeps his practice thriving.

We asked Dr. Thompson to provide us with some insight into rhinoplasty and what is involved with this type of surgery.

Doctor Thompson could you explain the rhinoplasty procedure?

Doctor Thompson: A rhinoplasty procedure is surgery that is done on the nose and it can be done for a variety of reasons. Most commonly it’s a combination of trying to improve breathing and esthetics depending on what kind of a nose someone has or if there has been previous trauma. The exact process of making that happen varies quite a bit.

You’ve mentioned that this surgery presents challenges different from some of the other procedures you perform. Could you elaborate on that?

Doctor Thompson: Sure, the nose has a functional and esthetic component to it. We use our noses to breathe air in and out. It’s a three dimensional structure, it has an internal lining, it has cartilage and bone and it has skin as opposed to say the cheek where it’s really just skin and soft tissue.

Because of all of those components and because of the fact that it has a really important functional role it’s a little more challenging than some of the other surgeries that are done on the face.

You also do something called “imaging sessions” with your prospective patients before surgery. Can you expand on that a bit?

Dr. Thompson: Sure. An imaging session is where we sit down and take the patients photos and morph them through a computer program. This gives the patient them an idea of what surgical outcomes are possible and although is not intended to be an exact post-operative picture, provides great communication tool for us to that ensures  we’re on the same page before we go into surgery.

You mention that you try to achieve balance in your work by avoiding something called the “surgical look”.  What exactly do you mean by that?

Dr. Thompson: It’s very important that people look natural. We don’t do this type of surgery to make someone look like they have had a rhinoplasty. If someone looks like they’ve had a rhinoplasty then in my view it’s not a good rhinoplasty.

What we’re trying to do is reduce the effect of a feature that might be a negative feature for the face or something that doesn’t harmonize with the rest of the face while keeping the appearance very natural. That varies with ethnicities,with gender, and with height.  There are many factors that come into play here, but it’s really important that the nose looks like it belongs on your face.

Is there any rehabilitation involved with a procedure such as this?

Dr. Thompson: Not so much rehab but recovery certainly. There’s about a week of down time where you have to just kind of lay low and not do any kind of heavy exercise or anything like that. There typically will be some kind of bruising under the eyes and swelling.

A lot of that is gone by one to two weeks but even after that there is a kind of refining process that happens. The swelling goes down, the scar tissue is reduced and that takes up to a couple of months. It really takes up to a full year to get the final result after a rhinoplasty.

If someone is contemplating a rhinoplasty procedure what do you feel is the most important consideration they should make?

Dr. Thompson: I think the most important thing to do is to make sure you have done the research to ensure that your surgeon has the experience and expertise to accomplish the goals that you have for your nose.  Once that is established, it’s critical that you are comfortable with the surgeon that will be working on your nose and that you both have the same goals in mind.

That’s what it comes down to in the end. The person that you’re trusting to do this needs to really know what you want to be able to accomplish that.

Dr. Thompson, thank you for your time today.

Dr. Thompson: You’re very welcome.

Dr. Scott Thompson, MD, owner of Utah Facial Plastics in Salt Lake City can be contacted directly by calling 801-776-2220. His business website is utahfacialplastics.com.