8. Your vision. Do you have a clear idea of what you want? "We ask patients to bring in noses they like," says Powell. "Also, computer imaging helps; then there won't be miscommunication." But the surgeon may be hesitant to give a guarantee, he adds. "Some things that are possible in computer imaging are not possible in the operating room. The surgeon also has to have realistic expectations."
9. Your surgeon. Have you found one you like and trust? There are three professional associations: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (the oldest group); the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery; and the American Academy of Dermatology (they do smaller procedures like chemical peels, dermabrasion, eyelid surgery.)
Each association can provide names of surgeons in your area.
"Look for experience in the specific procedure and reputation," Powell advises. "Don't believe advertising. Word of mouth from other satisfied patients works best."
Make an appointment for a consultation/interview. Interview two, maybe three surgeons, before you make your decision. Check out the doctor's waiting room. Perhaps there are brochures the surgeon has written. There may be before-and-after pictures. Talk to patients while you're there; ask how things are going. Consider how you feel while talking with the surgeon. Are you comfortable talking with this person? Are you getting candid answers to your questions?
Ask about computer imaging, about photographs of patients with features like yours. "You're always going to see the best, but some are honest enough to show you their '80%' pictures," says Powell. "Otherwise, there's an implied guarantee. Some even supply you with former patients to talk to. Even then, sometimes you get just the 'wow' patients."
10. Teen surgery. "Lots of kids feel shy, feel self-conscious about themselves," says Powell. "We have to be very careful. Once we talk to them, realize they're socially and emotionally stable -- and if they have a real problem, we will fix it. Sometimes fixing the nose or something that makes a teenager stand out can really help their self-image."
"Liposuction is a little bit iffy for teenagers," he says. "But we do a fair number of noses -- that's an obvious deformity and something that can be corrected at that age with very good results. Pinning ears back if they're very self-conscious can help. We can also correct acne scarring, once the acne process stops."