Unhappy with Your Rhinoplasty? Revision Rhinoplasty Explained

In an ideal world, every surgery would turn out exactly as expected. Unfortunately, when it comes to rhinoplasty, a number of variables exist that are beyond even the most skilled surgeon’s control. Most notably, the way scar tissue contracts can differ substantially from person to person, and this can make it difficult to predict the results of rhinoplasty with 100 percent accuracy. Fortunately, if you’re not happy with your rhinoplasty (or you develop breathing problems after having a rhinoplasty), you can have what is known as a “revision rhinoplasty.” During this procedure, structural and/or cosmetic issues created by your prior rhinoplasty will be corrected. Here’s what you need to know before you book a consultation:

5 Things to Consider Before Having a Revision Rhinoplasty

1. You will need to let your initial rhinoplasty heal completely before having revision surgery.

Before you decide to have revision rhinoplasty surgery, you should be aware that it takes a long time for the results of rhinoplasty surgery to “settle.” It can take up to one full year for your nose cartilage to completely heal, and before that occurs, your rhinoplasty may not look as good as you hoped it would. Waiting until your nose surgery has healed will help you determine whether or not you actually need revision surgery.

Furthermore, operating on the nose too soon after rhinoplasty can cause damage to the delicate structural tissues within the nose. You must wait until your nose is strong enough to handle a second round of surgery before proceeding with a revision rhinoplasty.

2. You should choose the most experienced and skilled surgeon you can find when having this procedure.

Revision rhinoplasty is much more complicated than initial rhinoplasty surgery. Revision rhinoplasties often need to be performed as “open” surgeries. This means that the surgeon will need to make additional incisions around the nose and lift some of the nasal tissue in order to make the desired alterations. As such, finding a highly skilled surgeon who is deeply familiar with advanced surgical techniques is of paramount importance. Take the time to verify your chosen surgeon’s credentials and make sure he or she has performed successful revision rhinoplasties in the past.

3. You’ll probably need to take more time off work in order to recover from revision rhinoplasty surgery.

Many patients feel better about one week after having revision rhinoplasty surgery. However, the initial stages of recovery from this procedure sometimes last as long as two weeks because of the more invasive nature of this operation. It’s therefore a good idea to err on the side of caution and plan to take at least two weeks off work.

4. There’s a limit to how many revision rhinoplasties you can have.

The tissue of the nose gets progressively more fragile with each subsequent rhinoplasty operation, so you won’t be able to have a succession of revisions until you are 100 percent satisfied with the appearance of your nose. It usually is not possible to have more than two revision rhinoplasties without risking serious damage to the nose.

The best way to make sure that you will be satisfied with the results of your surgery is to choose a skilled surgeon and develop realistic expectations. It’s important to realize that while rhinoplasty surgery can make your nose much more photogenic and proportional, it cannot give you a nose that is completely different to the one you were born with. Plastic surgeons cannot, for example, make a very large hooked nose into a tiny button nose. They must work with the structural tissues that are already in place while making changes to the shape of your nose.

5. You will need to budget for the additional cost of this surgery.

The complex nature of revision rhinoplasty surgery adds substantially to its price tag. As such, you will probably need to research what kind of financing options are offered by your chosen plastic surgery practice before proceeding with this operation. (Note that we can arrange financing through Care Credit in order to help you afford complicated surgeries like revision rhinoplasty.) You may also be eligible for assistance from your insurance company if you are having trouble breathing due to your initial rhinoplasty.

Having revision rhinoplasty surgery can improve the functionality and appearance of your nose, but only if you choose your surgeon carefully. Selecting a surgeon with decades of experience, such as PSSF’s board-certified surgeons, is strongly advised when considering this type of procedure.