If you have undergone a previous rhinoplasty procedure and are not happy with the results, a revision rhinoplasty procedure may be a great way to correct your cosmetic or functional problems. Dr. Thomas Walker is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in revision rhinoplasty procedures of all kinds and who has ample experience performing extremely complex cases. He will work with you to achieve your goals with natural-looking and long-lasting results. Walker MD Facial Plastic Surgery is located 19 minutes from Downtown Atlanta and 16 minutes from Buckhead.
What is a Revision Rhinoplasty?
Revision rhinoplasty is a specialized procedure that improves or corrects the outcome of a prior rhinoplasty surgery. Some individuals may experience functional issues such as nasal blockage or trouble breathing due to a poorly done initial rhinoplasty. Others may wish to have cosmetic issues corrected. A revision rhinoplasty (aka tertiary rhinoplasty) is significantly more complex for several reasons. The unique anatomy of every patient’s nose is distorted through scar tissue and surgical manipulation from the prior procedure. Blood supply to the nose is compromised each time a patient undergoes surgery with an increased risk of infection or graft resorption. Additional support grafts are required to stabilize the nose during revision surgery. Ideal grafts come from within the nose (nasal septum), which is typically not available for revision surgeries anymore, in which case cartilage is harvested from a secondary donor site such as the ear (auricular conchal grafts) or rib (costal grafts). Dr. Walker is an acclaimed expert in these highly complicated revision rhinoplasty surgeries and is one of the very few rhinoplasty specialists in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Southeastern United States who successfully and regularly performs rib cartilage grafting for major revision rhinoplasty surgeries. Beautiful results are typically still achievable during a revision surgery when performed by Dr. Walker. During your consultation with him, he will let you know what can and cannot be achieved to assist you to make an informed decision about the best course of action. Dr. Walker is very sensitive to the fact of how traumatic the experience may have been for you and the level of dissatisfaction with your previous surgery or surgeon.
Who is a Good Candidate for Revision Rhinoplasty?
If you are unhappy with the results of your initial rhinoplasty, you may be able to benefit from revision rhinoplasty. We understand that you may be nervous going into your consultation due to disappointing results from your last procedure. Dr. Walker will work with you to pinpoint what may have gone wrong during your initial surgery, and what can be done to create the results you desire. During your consultation with Dr. Walker, you will have an open conversation about your expectations and whether or not those can be met during revision surgery. Individuals should generally wait one year after their first rhinoplasty procedure before undergoing a revision rhinoplasty although there are exceptions to this rule in select cases.
How is the Revision Rhinoplasty Procedure Done?
Revision rhinoplasty is done under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Dr. Walker generally performs revision rhinoplasty utilizing the external/open approach with autologous (from your own body) cartilage grafting from the nasal septum (if available) or alternatively from the ear or rib. Revision surgeries are much more complex than primary ones but rest assured that Dr. Walker possesses the complete armamentarium to tackle essentially each problem a given nose may present. Dr. Walker will reshape the nose structure, and, if necessary, correct a deviated septum or septal perforation. He utilizes various cartilage grafting techniques to reshape your nose for permanent aesthetic and functional improvements.
Revision Rhinoplasty Recovery
Recovery from revision rhinoplasty is very similar to that of primary rhinoplasty except for the donor site where cartilage may have been taken from (ear or rib) although this does not add to your recovery time or process. The rate-limiting step in healing is always the nose itself. Bruising and swelling may occur but will subside over the course of a few weeks. Cold compresses, head elevation, and avoidance of salt/sodium can help lessen the swelling. A small cast will be placed on the outside of your nose and left in place for one week. The majority of clients describe minimal pain during recovery. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for one week post-op so Dr. Walker can ensure that you are healing properly. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis meaning that you will go home the day of your surgery under the care of a responsible adult family member or friend.
The recovery from rhinoplasty occurs in various stages. There is an initial 1- to 2-week period during which the bruising (if present) subsides and the nasal external and internal swelling improves for improved airflow. The nasal cast and sutures will be removed 1 week after your procedure, at which point in time you can let the water run over your nose again when washing your hair. Most patients experience some discomfort for the first couple of days that most patients can control with Tylenol although a small amount of prescription pain medication is prescribed to you in case you do experience some discomfort. You are encouraged to rest during the first week and to adhere to Dr. Walker’s thorough post-operative instructions including a low-sodium diet, avoidance of strenuous activities, no nose-blowing, no straining with bowel movements, and avoidance of coughing if possible. After 4-6 weeks, most of your nasal swelling should have subsided and you may resume strenuous activities at such point. You will have near-final results after 3 months with final results being apparent one year after your surgery. Dr. Walker will closely monitor your healing throughout the recovery process with regular follow-up visits.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are unhappy with the result of an initial rhinoplasty procedure, contact our Atlanta office today to schedule your revision rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Walker. During this appointment, you can discuss your concerns regarding your initial results, and your cosmetic goals for your revision rhinoplasty.
Frequently Asked Questions About Revision Rhinoplasty
How many times can you have a revision rhinoplasty?
There is no set rule in terms of how many revision rhinoplasties can safely be performed; this will vary from patient to patient. Each rhinoplasty, though, will present additional challenges due to scar tissue formation and possibly compromised blood supply to the nose, so it is important to choose a qualified facial plastic surgeon who understands the unique concerns of a revision rhinoplasty.
Does revision rhinoplasty take longer to heal?
Revision rhinoplasty recovery is overall similar to a primary rhinoplasty but may take slightly longer depending on extent of surgery and type of graft utilized. However, some revision rhinoplasties which only require small adjustments will have a shorter recovery period than your initial surgery.
Is revision rhinoplasty more painful?
No. The post-OP discomfort is generally the same in revision surgery and is dictated by extent of surgery rather than whether or not a previous surgery was done.
Is revision rhinoplasty more expensive?
A revision rhinoplasty tends to be more expensive than an initial rhinoplasty because it is a much more complex surgery requiring more expertise and generally takes longer than a primary surgery given the distorted anatomy and scar tissue. During your consultation, a member of Dr. Walker’s team will provide you with a cost estimate.
How much is a revision rhinoplasty?
A revision rhinoplasty typically costs, on average, $10,000-15,000, although this greatly depends on many factors including geographic location, surgeon expertise, etc.
How common are revision nose jobs?
The nationwide revision rhinoplasty rate is anywhere from 10-15% in the U.S. It is important that you find an experienced surgeon who you trust and whose work you like based on her or his portfolio rather than computer imaging during your consultation.
What causes a patient to seek a revision rhinoplasty?
There are several factors that can contribute to a require a revision nose job. In many cases, the previous plastic surgeon may have removed too much cartilage, causing the nostrils to collapse. In other cases, patients may choose a revision rhinoplasty because they are simply unsatisfied with the results of their first surgery, either aesthetically or functionally, possibly both.
Is it safe to have a second rhinoplasty?
Revision rhinoplasty is safe for most patients. During your consultation, Dr. Walker will examine your nose to determine whether a revision rhinoplasty is safe and suitable for you.
Is a revision rhinoplasty free?
A revision rhinoplasty is not free especially if a different surgeon performed the initial surgery. However, many surgeons waive the surgeon fee for minor nasal revisions during the first year of having performed the initial surgery. This typically excludes the facility and anesthesia fees that the patient is still responsible for.
Can I get a third nose job?
A third rhinoplasty is possible but has increased risks and complexity compared to a first or second procedure. This is because more scar tissue will be present along with compromised blood supply leading to an increased risk of infection and tissue necrosis.
Who is the best revision rhinoplasty surgeon?
The best revision rhinoplasty surgeon is an experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in revision rhinoplasty including ear and rib cartilage grafting. Dr. Thomas Walker is double board-certified in facial plastic surgery and specializes in complicated and reconstructive procedures such as revision rhinoplasty in Atlanta, Georgia.