Summary: Qualitative research can explore parts of the subjective patient experience that cannot be detailed with quantitative methods such as surveys. Unfortunately, this powerful methodology is underused in plastic surgery, a specialty where subjective outcomes are more important than traditional outcomes indicators. Qualitative research can be used to add depth to patient satisfaction questionnaires or other quantitative measures. Qualitative methodology can also be used to explore complex issues such as why patients choose to undergo cosmetic surgery or to detail patient experiences following reconstructive surgery. The authors explain the basics of qualitative research, including asking the appropriate research question, applying steps to collect data, data analysis, and practical applications of the results.