Revision Rhinoplasty Procedure
In an ideal world, every rhinoplasty surgery would yield a result that meets the patient's expectations. However, that is not always the case. Fortunately, there is a surgical procedure that could resolve any aesthetic or functional defects after a nose job.
What is revision rhinoplasty?
Revision rhinoplasty is one of the many facial plastic surgery procedures performed by doctors around the world. Revision rhinoplasty surgery is performed when a primary rhinoplasty surgery has failed to meet the expectations of patients due to aesthetic or functional issues. Concerns from previous surgery may include an undesirable shape, scarring, and limited nasal function. In some cases, a facial plastic surgeon may need to insert implants or cartilage grafts to provide nasal support or improve the nose's appearance.
In general, revision rhinoplasty is more difficult to perform than primary rhinoplasty. This is because the nose's normal anatomy, which is already intricate to begin with, has been altered during a previous rhinoplasty surgery. Following a primary rhinoplasty, the nose may have lost structural support or developed a buildup of scar tissue, making revision rhinoplasty extremely complex.
When should I consider revision rhinoplasty?
If you are unhappy with the appearance or function of your nose after a rhinoplasty, getting a revision rhinoplasty procedure may be the best choice.
You may need to undergo revision rhinoplasty if:
- You have an asymmetric nose
- You have a pinched nasal tip
- Your nose appears crooked
- You are suffering from nasal airway obstruction
- You have excessive scarring following the facial plastic surgery
- Your nose does not appear "natural"
- You are suffering from a collapsed bone, cartilage or nasal valve
Rhinoplasty has one of the highest revision rates among facial plastic surgery procedures. Approximately 10% to 15% of rhinoplasty patients will need or request for a revision rhinoplasty consultation at some point following prior rhinoplasty. Only a double board certified facial plastic surgeon is allowed to perform revision rhinoplasty.
Benefits of Revision Rhinoplasty
There are no guarantees that revision rhinoplasty can provide the clinical outcomes that the patient wants. Plastic surgeons often remind patients to seriously consider the benefits and risks of undergoing a secondary procedure,
While revision rhinoplasty patients are never guaranteed to have all their issues resolves, the goals and benefits of getting a revision nose surgery if everything goes according to plan include:
- Correct nasal deformities caused by loss of structure or medical complications
- Maximal nasal function stemming from the original rhinoplasty surgery
- Facial features that are closer to the cosmetic goal discussed prior to the original surgery
It is important to note that even a skilled revision rhinoplasty surgeon cannot improve upon a successful outcome from a prior surgery. Revision rhinoplasty is a corrective procedure.
Possible side effects
Overall, revision rhinoplasty has a low rate of complications. The results may also vary widely, depending on the experience and skills of the facial plastic surgeon, the surgical techniques used during revision surgery, and the complexity of an individual's nose.
There are, however, four risks associated with revision surgery that you should be aware of:
- 1. Bleeding
Excessive bleeding may be the most common risks of initial rhinoplasty and secondary nose surgery. Having said that, only very few patients experience significant blood loss post-surgery.
If you are on blood-thinning medications, even mild ones, you may be asked to avoid the prescription to prevent blood loss while in surgery and following the procedure. You will also be asked to be gentle with your nose during the recovery process.
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
It is important to undergo a physical examination prior to surgery to ensure that you are healthy enough to withstand the procedure. It is also important for you to discuss with your surgeon whether you or your family members have experienced prior anesthesia reactions to help forestall any problems that may occur during surgery.
- Nasal congestion / Nasal blockage
During the initial procedure, the plastic surgeon may need to make changes to the septum to improve the appearance of your nose. Following the procedure, you will likely experience swelling and numbness, which may contribute to temporary breathing difficulties that resolve when the swelling decreases.
In some cases, the nasal septum may be perforated. A weakened nose may collapse. Scar tissue inside the nose may also narrow the airway, leading to limited breathing function. A graft that slips out of place can also cause nasal obstruction. As such, a revision procedure performed by a skilled facial plastic surgeon would be needed to resolve any breathing difficulties or internal abnormalities sustained from a previous nose job.
- 4. Infection
While rare, revision rhinoplasty patients are at risk of developing an infection due to nasal trauma and prior drug use, among others. In order to prevent infection, patients are advised to watch for symptoms such as fever, excessive swelling and odorous nasal discharge. Should any of these symptoms arise, the patient is advised to call their plastic surgeon immediately.