When it comes to first-time cosmetic aesthetic patients, Jordan Rihani, MD, double board-certified facial and reconstructive surgeon from Dallas, TX, knows you’re probably nervous. And he has a plan. At his practice, the Facial Plastic Surgery Institutesm, he and his team make it their mission to soothe the concerns of nervous newbies. Not to downplay these medical treatments, but he knows that if you’re in the right hands, they can be a positive experience.
When our team met the doctor in person, an incident occurred where we got to observe Dr. Rihani’s calming demeanor firsthand. A man came into his office with a broken nose. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a pretty sight: The poor guy was bleeding and in pain from the injury. Without a moment of hesitation, Dr. Rihani excused himself to assist his distressed patient, staying cool, calm, and collected throughout the entire ordeal. Later, he returned to us as if nothing had happened — he was completely unfazed by the incident.
His expertise on bedside manner and ability to stay composed during stressful circumstances comes with years of training. He graduated from New York University® School of Medicine and then completed a residency in Head and Neck Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center® in Dallas. After that, he completed fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and later became double board-certified in both Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
While all of this certainly sounds like a lot of commitment to his craft, Dr. Rihani has always wanted to be a surgeon. And that commitment has paid off, especially since his training is what led him to realize his love for facial plastic surgery in the first place. “I was able to see [this passion] when I was rotating through in residency and med school, and it's translated to exactly what I imagined it would be,” he says. “It's been a really rewarding profession.” Here, he discusses the most pressing skin and aesthetics challenges his patients come to him for, social media, and how he decompresses after a long day of work. Read on!
Spotlyte: What’s a typical day for you in your office?
Jordan Rihani: Typical days in the office include seeing consultations for facial cosmetic procedures like facelifts and rhinoplasties. I see injectable wrinkle reducer and filler patients in my office, as well. I also spend time in the operating room about three days a week.
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet; they should not be used more frequently than every three months. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. And learn more now by chatting with a trained aesthetic specialist.]
Spotlyte: What are the biggest challenges your patients typically come to you to treat?
JR: Most patients come to me when they start to notice [new concerns]. The challenge is to create a customized plan for every patient that's going to stay true to who they are and what they already look like. Some of these patients have never had any surgeries or injectables before, so they're nervous. We try to walk them through it and make sure they understand what is involved and what to expect. It's a big step for anybody, especially when it involves the face, and we understand that.
Spotlyte: Do you have any special techniques for calming nervous patients before their treatments?
JR: Listen to [them]. If you're walking in and preaching your rehearsed lines, patients don't feel comfortable. But if you listen to their concerns and understand what they're nervous about, they're going to be more at ease. We have staff that call patients and give them information before their arrival so they know what to expect. [Patients] interact with two or three staff members who go over the plan of what's going to happen before the hour consultation even happens. So, they're getting a lot of information about what to expect.
Spotlyte: Have you noticed any trends in treatments happening in Dallas?
JR: Facelifting is back. There has been more of a trend for people wanting to do things that are going to last. Patients are okay with results that may take longer to get to but may last a little bit longer. In Texas, patients are also okay with subtle volumization [via injectable fillers].
Spotlyte: Do you do a lot of injectables in your office?
JR: I'd say 40 percent to 50 percent are injectables, 40 percent are surgical, and then the other 20 percent are reconstructive. I do reconstruction for skin cancer of the face.
Spotlyte: How do you care for your own skin?
JR: I always try to push my skin to the limits. So, I use a nightly retinol. I use a combination of ZO® Skin Health and Skinceuticals®. I have oilier skin so oil control pads with an exfoliating wash are great. I use a light moisturizer. And I use sunscreen almost daily. I like the ZO Skin Health Dual Action Scrub ($80), which I exfoliate with. Daily exfoliation is important, at least for skin types like mine. Right now I'm also using the ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense ($150).
[Editor's note: Retinol shouldn't be used by those who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.]
Spotlyte: Do you feel social media has affected the aesthetics industry?
JR: It absolutely has. From a patient standpoint, there's become a standard [of appearance] that people are exposed to daily now. I have a lot of patients coming in who desire a certain look due to what they see [on social media].
Also, people are taking more pictures of themselves and they're noticing things about their facial features that may [not have drawn their attention otherwise]. Subtle imperfections that you wouldn’t have noticed are brought to the forefront. Then, [patients] compare themselves with what [they see on social media]. And they have started looking towards our profession [to help them achieve a similar look].
Spotlyte: Do you think it's important for doctors to have a strong social following?
JR: It's probably more important now than it ever has been because there's a lot of false information out there. It's the responsibility of our offices to counteract this. So, it is important for us to have a strong social media presence and be providing reliable information to people that are out there. It does make an impact.
Spotlyte: How do you like to decompress after a long day in the office?
JR: I like to stay active. I like music. I've always played piano and guitar. Staying active, whether it's running or playing basketball, has been great for me. You have to take care of your body in the long run, too. Hunched over an operating room table for five or six hours can take its toll. So, just overall staying healthy [is important].
I also love to read about things that are not medical. Whenever you can incorporate things outside of your profession, you start forming bridges and connections with other information that's out there. You can bring a lot of enrichment to your patients' lives outside of just treating them medically. Forming those connections with patients [is vital], as well.
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