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All you Need to Know About Revision Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, also referred to as a nose job or nose reshaping, has turned out to be the most common cosmetic surgical procedure. Long gone are the days when this procedure used to be associated with a certain stigma. Patients have a nose job for all sorts of reasons, ranging from aesthetic issues such as a crooked nose to functional deformities such as a deviated septum. While rhinoplasty is one of the leading cosmetic surgeries judging by the sheer number of patients who are having this treatment, it also happens to be one of the most complicated procedures to complete. It is not unusual for some patients who have had this procedure before to be dissatisfied with the outcome. In this blog post, we discuss the need for revision rhinoplasty in The Woodlands and what you can expect from this corrective procedure.  

What is a revision rhinoplasty?

According to both Real Self and Real Patient Ratings, between 91% and 93% of patients who have nose reshaping surgery are satisfied with the outcome of this procedure. This means that there’s still a small but significant percentage of individuals who are unhappy with the outcome of this surgery for one reason or the other. Maybe the reshaping was exaggerated or not enough. In cases where the goal was to address functional issues such as difficulty breathing, the patient may feel that the correction was not enough and they are still experiencing the same problem they had before. Revision rhinoplasty is a procedure that is carried out to correct the outcome of a prior nose reshaping surgery. Most patients will seek a different, highly experienced plastic surgeon to do the revision procedure.

How to ensure that your revision surgery is successful

Revision procedures – rhinoplasty or not – are highly challenging and require the hands of a highly experienced rhinoplasty surgeon. In addition to finding a skilled practitioner, you also need to ensure that you clearly convey your expectations so the doctor can align the surgery to your expectations. If you have thought about having a revision nose job, below are some of the things that you should keep in mind in order to ensure a successful outcome this time round.

  1. Be very explicit with your surgeon regarding what you are unhappy with and what you wish to correct.
  2. It’s okay to work with a different surgeon and not the one who initially performed the nose job.
  3. Prepare to (potentially) pay more for the revision procedure due to its complex nature.
  4. Understand that the revision surgery may take longer than the initial procedure.
  5. Understand the risks of the revision procedure. These are usually similar to the risks of the original surgery and may include temporary loss of smell, scarring, and bursting of small blood vessels.
  6. Ensure that you take the time to vet and find a highly-skilled rhinoplasty plastic surgeon.  

How long should you wait before having a revision rhinoplasty?

One key question that patients have is when to have a revision rhinoplasty. Even if you are already unhappy with the outcome of your nose job, Dr. Wu recommends that you wait about a year before considering a revision. This is important because it may take that long for all the swelling associated with the original procedure to subside. It also takes time for the scar tissue in the treatment areas to soften, which would allow the surgeon to make the appropriate corrections.

Benefits of revision rhinoplasty

It is important to understand that when it comes to revision nose reshaping surgery, most surgeons do not offer guarantees of clinical outcomes. However, many patients who choose to move forward with this type of corrective procedure attain key benefits:

  • Corrected nasal deformities – some patients choose to have a revision nose job in order to address deformities caused by medical complications or lacking structure in the nose.
  • Improved nose appearance – it can be frustrating to spend thousands of dollars and time in recovery and still not attain the nose appearance that you initially desired. Revision nose reshaping surgery can ensure that you attain or at least get closer to your original cosmetic goal.
  • Maximal nasal function – outside of aesthetic goals, a key goal of revision rhinoplasty is to ensure that the nose works optimally. Many patients with compromised functionality from a past nose job, or issues that were ignored during the initial nose job, can get a reprieve from a revision procedure.

Revision Rhinoplasty Procedure Approach

During revision rhinoplasty, anesthesia will be administered in order to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety. The surgeon will then (often) use an ‘open’ approach to cut the bridge of the nose to allow for a better view and access to the underlying structure. Once this is done, a secondary takedown of cartilage or bone is carried out to correct an ‘underdone’ initial procedure. In cases where the nose was overcorrected, the surgeon will focus on adding tissues back. Incisions are closed once the surgery is completed and the treatment areas bandaged.

Conclusion

Nobody wants to have a revision procedure due to failure of their initial nose reshaping surgery. However, if you end up making this decision, it is important to talk to your surgeon regarding what is possible. Make sure you clearly lay out your expectations and needs so the surgeon can explore realistic methods to address them. Perfection is usually not possible but the majority of patients who have a corrective nose job feel much better and happier.