15th July 2013

Why experience and specialisation matters in Rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty fascinates me because nasal anatomy is complex and infinitely variable. This makes surgery challenging and difficult with the results visible for everybody to see. Rhinoplasty surgery is creative and demanding making mastery a lifetime’s commitment. Specialising in a single surgical discipline or operation means that the surgeon will acquire greater knowledge in that area than would be the case if a more general practice was the case. This knowledge is even more valuable if it is combined with reflection on results to try and understand how they can be improved. Specialisation with reflection leads to better understanding and better results. Knowledge really is power. The longer a surgeon specialises the greater their experience and wisdom is. This wisdom is then used to inform decision making before surgery and planning and during surgery to choose the right techniques and to be adaptable and responsive to the unexpected as well.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers has proposed a ten thousand hour rule suggesting it takes this many hours to become exceptional in what you do.

I have performed over 2000 rhinoplasties now and have spent at least double the amount of time again thinking about how to improve Rhinoplasty and reflecting on my own results.  This adds up to over ten thousand hours.  As with other committed Rhinoplasty surgeons I am still learning and won’t ever stop learning!