Finding the Right Doctor for Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
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If you are planning to have rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job,” you’ll want a highly qualified surgeon to perform the procedure. Plastic surgeons commonly perform rhinoplasty, but there are other specialists who have expertise in the surgery as well. How do you find the best surgeon who is right for you? Here are important factors to keep in mind.

Top Things to Look For

Find a surgeon who:

  • Is board certified and specializes in plastic surgery or oral and maxillofacial surgery. Otolaryngologists (ENTs) are also trained to perform rhinoplasty.
  • Has experience treating patients with your specific condition
  • Practices at a hospital or surgical center known to excel in surgical outcomes and patient safety 
  • Accepts your insurance (if you are having rhinoplasty for medical reasons)
  • You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions

Here are five steps to finding the best surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty.

1. Ask Around

Start by creating a list of potential surgeons. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search for surgeons who perform rhinoplasty. shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends.

2. Research Credentials and Experience

Take time to research the surgeons’ credentials and experience. Look for a surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, or ear, nose and throat surgery (otolaryngology). It is also important to look for a surgeon who performs rhinoplasty on a regular basis. The more experience a surgeon has treating your condition or performing the surgery, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications. An experienced surgeon is one of the most important steps to having a successful outcome.

Also, confirm that the surgeon is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. 

You’ll find all this information on

3. Examine Hospital Performance

Surgeons require a team of highly skilled and experienced healthcare professionals. For this reason, you should also consider the overall quality of surgical care and dedication to patient safety at the hospital where the surgeon practices. 

Find out where the surgeons on your list treat patients; then research those hospitals on Healthgrades evaluates hospitals on mortality and complication rates of patients while in the hospital for a range of conditions and procedures. They also rate hospitals on patient safety: preventing infections, injuries, and medical errors. You have a lower risk of experiencing a complication or medical error at a hospital with a 5-star rating for patient safety compared to a hospital with a 1-star rating for patient safety. 

If a particular hospital falls short in quality or patient safety, determine if the surgeon also operates at a different facility. Otherwise, find a surgeon who treats patients at a hospital likely to offer you the best possible outcome.

4. Interview the Surgeon

As you narrow down your list of surgeons, call each surgeon’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor. 

  • Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the surgeon. 
  • Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand? 

Here are some questions to ask the surgeon:

  • Do you typically treat patients like me?
  • How many nose surgeries have you performed?
  • What results do you usually see? Do you have outcomes data to share?
  • How frequently do you encounter complications from the surgery? 
  • What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur?

5. Determine Your Insurance Benefit 

Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. Unfortunately, insurance plans don’t usually cover rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, but they often pay for surgery to correct a medical condition, such as a deviated septum or a broken nose. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your surgery, it’s cost effective to choose a surgeon that participates in your plan. 

But keep in mind, just because a surgeon participates in your insurance plan doesn’t mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the surgeon’s experience and expertise.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Sep 8
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. American Board of Medical Specialties. American Board of Otolaryngology.

  2. American Board of Medical Specialties. American Board of Plastic Surgery.