It is fairly obvious that people want excellent outcomes from their surgery. What is not so obvious is that outcomes are measured differently for different types of procedures. For example, for a fairly simple medical procedure such as a tonsillectomy, the outcome may be based on a few objectives. Were the tonsils successfully removed? Were complications such as bleeding avoided? Did the removal of the tonsils lead to improved well being (e.g. fewer throat infections or less snoring)? In some ways, this type of procedure can be seen as one which is graded “pass or fail”. If the objectives were met, it receives a pass. If not, it fails.
For cosmetic surgery, there is a much wider range of outcomes. A result may be bad with a feeling that one’s appearance has not improved or even deteriorated from the surgery. A result can be mediocre with so-so improvement but possible concurrent with other associated new cosmetic imperfections. Or a result can be outstanding with minimal flaws and a dramatic improvement. This fact is particularly true with rhinoplasty, largely due to relatively high number of steps and maneuvers required during surgery and the wide range of features and anatomical areas of the nose which are changed. Thus, rhinoplasty is not graded pass-fail, but instead on a long continuum. The outcomes likely fall within a typical “bell curve distribution” in which most results end up being within a band a bit below above average. But patients don’t want an “average” outcome from their rhinoplasty. They want an excellent outcome—one at the highest area of the distribution curve.