21st December 2015

Psychological differences between aesthetic and functional rhinoplasty patients

Psychological differences between aesthetic and functional rhinoplasty / nose job patients

A comparison of patterns of psychopathology in aesthetic rhinoplasty patients versus functional rhinoplasty patients.

Researchers conducted a study in 2012 in a rhinoplasty clinic. The data set includes forty-two patients seeking either aesthetic (21) or functional (21) rhinoplasty. The researchers asked the patients to complete the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised before their procedure.

Results of this study showed that aesthetic rhinoplasty patients showed more severe symptoms of

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • depression
  • interpersonal problems
  • psychoticism
  • paranoia
  • general psychopathology

More aesthetic rhinoplasty patients display symptoms of psychopathology compared to functional rhinoplasty patients. This data supports psychological screening of aesthetic rhinoplasty candidates is vital to meet expectations.

At The Nose Clinic, we will always put our patient’s interests first. But this also means that we sometimes have to advise against surgery.

If Mr Rowe-Jones thinks that surgery cannot achieve what the patient is hoping for, he will recommend against surgery and not offer it to the patient.

Sometimes the cosmetic change might be possible. In these cases, he might advise against surgery because he thinks that achieving the cosmetic change requested  will not result in the psychological benefit the patient thinks it will and so will not improve their quality of life. If the patient is unhappy with his opinion, he is happy to recommend referral as psychological treatment.

About 1 in 5 patients requesting rhinoplasty have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It wouldn’t be right to operate on a patient with this psychological condition. In fact, an operation can make the condition worse.

Mr Rowe-Jones also advises against surgery when the patient can not accept the risks of complication. He will not consider a case if the patient has not thought about the option of no treatment accompanied by an acceptance of their appearance, or when the patient feel that he “needs” and “will get” surgery as it is essential.

In cases like these, the primary treatment is medical and psychological not surgical.