When Your Nose Doesn’t Fit (Book Introduction)

Of all facial plastic surgery cosmetic procedures, I believe rhinoplasty surgery demands the most skill and creativity. Even though the nose occupies a very small area of the central face, it is incredibly important to facial balance, symmetry and harmony, not to mention respiratory function. To me, the perfect nose resembles a work of art which blends with the other facial shapes and contours. Yet, when a nose doesn’t quite “fit,” it is fairly obvious even to the untrained eye (or, as the saying goes, it becomes “as plain as the nose on your face.”).

As a medical student and young physician, I fell in love with the anatomy of the head and neck region, but it was the intricacies and complexity of the nose which intrigued me the most. My fascination with the nose caused me to pursue specialty training in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Michigan.

My chairman and mentor at the time, Dr. Charles Krause, was a skilled rhinoplasty surgeon. I have incorporated many aspects of his approach to the procedure into my own rhinoplasty routine. It was his connections which brought many top rhinoplasty surgeons from around the world to our department to assist in our training.

My residency colleagues and I were being trained by the best of the best. I was fortunate to learn from many great rhinoplasty surgeons, including: Drs. Shan Baker, Greg Wolf, Jan Beekus, Eugene Tardy, Bobbie Simon and Gaylon McCollough, just to name a few. Every surgeon in this group enjoyed an international reputation and contributed significantly to the specialty of rhinoplasty surgery. However, it was Dr. Eugene Tardy’s systematic and thoughtful teaching approach which impacted me the most. Dr. Tardy was a master of the rhinoplasty procedure. Watching him perform the surgery was like watching a sculptor execute a work of art. I have always aspired to achieving the same degree of artistry when I perform rhinoplasty surgery.

I am extremely grateful and humbled by my exceptional rhinoplasty training and feel blessed to have developed a very busy and satisfying rhinoplasty practice of my own over the past 30 years. I have the good fortune to see rhinoplasty patients of all ages, who come not just from Columbus and central Ohio, but from all across our nation, and sometimes from across the globe. Dr. Tardy preached that the formula to success in rhinoplasty is thoughtful preparation, a well- conceived and studied plan, and a consistent, reliable system of execution. I have taken his teaching to heart, which is why rhinoplasty surgery is my favorite procedure to perform, and the reason I decided to write this rhinoplasty blog for patients. When Your Nose Doesn’t Fit outlines what I feel is a thoughtful plan of attack, when thinking about the rhinoplasty procedure, to help patients improve the chance for an excellent outcome.

I’m writing this blog just as I would conduct a rhinoplasty consultation in my office, so it’s my sincere hope you find this information helpful in your journey toward the best version of you!

—Michael Sullivan M.D.