Revision rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, just like any other surgery, is not an exact science, and the final results of nose reshaping cannot always be anticipated. Despite the best efforts of a skilful surgeon, complications may still occur. Rhinoplasty can be a challenging procedure and the nose can change after surgery in ways that cannot be predicted.

Revision rhinoplasty, which is also referred to as secondary rhinoplasty, is a form of cosmetic surgery that involves making corrections to previous cosmetic procedures. It is necessary for approximately five to 12 percent of those who undergo rhinoplasty, with some only requiring minor changes and others requiring major modifications.

Revision rhinoplasty is considered to be one of the most difficult forms of cosmetic surgery to perform because it requires correcting mistakes while facing the same obstacles that led to undesirable results after the first surgery.

There are many reasons patients may require revision rhinoplasty. Some may feel that too much bone, cartilage and tissue was removed, resulting in a nose that is too small for their face. In other cases, patients may find the surgery did not remove enough tissue.

The exact procedure will vary from one patient to the next, as the issues that need to be corrected will vary with each individual.  If dips were created in the nose, for example, the surgeon may need to use implants or grafts to fill in the dips and smooth out the contour of the nose. If breathing problems developed from the original rhinoplasty, the surgeon will need to address this issue as well.  Alternatively, the surgeon may need to correct areas of skin that are too thin or too thick, which may involve adding skin grafts or removing scar tissue.

Regardless of the procedure that needs to be performed, the task of performing a revision rhinoplasty is more difficult than the original procedure because of the development of scar tissue.  In order to successfully complete the procedure, the surgeon needs to separate the bone and the cartilage, which is more difficult to do when scar tissue has developed. Therefore, the procedure becomes increasingly more difficult when the amount of scar tissue from previous surgeries is increased.

Although there are risks involved with revision rhinoplasty (similar to the risks of the initial procedure), it is a necessary step to repair a nose that looks unnatural or that is causing breathing difficulties.

It is generally advised that patients requiring revision rhinoplasty should wait at least one year from the date of their last nasal operation. As the procedure is more complicated than original rhinoplasty, patients should choose a surgeon who has extensive experience in revisions.