Rhinoplasty is a common yet probably one of the most challenging cosmetic surgeries. Patients pursue rhinoplasty to reshape the nose, improve the way it looks, and/or improve its function. This surgery can be quite challenging, especially revision cases, meaning not every plastic surgeon can achieve the results you’re looking for.
Why Would I Need Revision Rhinoplasty?
Any surgery has the potential for complications. Even if the surgery itself goes well, the healing process may not go as planned. Every patient is different and may require revision surgery for any number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons patients undergo revision rhinoplasty include:
- Having too much or too little bone or cartilage removed
- Improper healing or scarring
- Having trauma or injury to the area
- Asymmetrical results after previous surgery
- Dissatisfaction with initial surgery cosmetically or functionally
- Breathing difficulties
- Grafts have shifted or resorbed
- Poor execution of initial surgery
Who Is A Candidate For Rhinoplasty Revision?
In general, patients who have undergone previous rhinoplasty procedures and find themselves dealing with any of the above issues can benefit from revision rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is usually considered cosmetic but it may also impact the function of the nose favorably if done well or unfavorably if done poorly.
Whether your concerns are cosmetic or functional in nature, you shouldn’t have to live with results that negatively impact your health or self-esteem. In general, you should wait at least one year after your initial procedure to undergo revision rhinoplasty although in select cases a revision surgery can be done sooner.
How Is Revision Done?
Each revision nose procedure is customized to each patient. Your surgery will depend on your unique needs. For example, if too much cartilage was removed, the revision procedure typically includes harvesting grafts from another area of the body such as the ear or rib. If not enough material was taken off, the revision may include more sculpting of bone and cartilage to get the ideal shape with or without harvesting cartilage from a secondary donor site.
When it comes to healing, your recovery will be similar to the first rhinoplasty. Depending on the extent of surgery, swelling may persist longer afterward. You should experience swelling, bruising, or nasal tip numbness after surgery. Swelling typically completely subsides after 4-6 weeks. Secondary healing will then take place for a few months with increased nasal refinement. You’ll likely be able to return to work after one week. You will be social life ready after 2-4 weeks, and photo studio shoot ready after 3 months. Final surgical results will be visible after 1-2 years, sometimes later.
Choosing Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure and should be done by everyone. When choosing your plastic surgeon, you should select a board certified facial plastic surgeon with specific training and experience in rhinoplasty surgery. Always check for qualifications during your consultation and look at rhinoplasty before-and-afters of your plastic surgeon’s online gallery. Is the before and after lighting the same? Are various angles shown on each patient? Is there a patient similar to you? Does the surgeon perform complicated revision cases or just straight forward primary rhinoplasties?