Revision rhinoplasty

Revision rhinoplasty, which is also referred to as tertiary rhinoplasty or secondary rhinoplasty, is a form of cosmetic surgery that involves making corrections to previous cosmetic procedures.  More specifically, those who undergo revision rhinoplasty are trying to correct problems they experienced when previously have the size and/or shape of their nose changed.  This procedure is necessary for approximately 5 to 12% of those who undergo rhinoplasty, with some only requiring minor changes and others requiring major modifications. 

It should be noted that needing revision rhinoplasty is not necessarily a reflection of the original plastic surgeon's skills, as there are a number of factors that can lead to undesirable rhinoplasty result.  In addition, 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 lead to undesirable results after the first surgery.

Understanding Revision Rhinoplasty

The exact procedure followed when performing revision rhinoplasty will vary from one patient to the next, as the issues that need to be corrected will vary.  If dips were created in the nose, for example, the surgeon may need to use implants to fill in the dips and to smooth out the contour of the nose.  If breathing problems developed from the original rhinoplasty, on the other hand, the surgeon will need to address this issue as well.  On the other hand, 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.

Risks Associated with Revision Rhinoplasty

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are certain risks involved with revision rhinoplasty.  Some of these include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Negative reaction to anesthesia
  • Scarring
  • Swelling

Other risks that are specifically associated with revision rhinoplasty include:

  • Asymmetrical, or unbalanced, results from the surgery that results in both sides of the nose looking different
  • Bone irregularities, which may or may not be noticeable and will require additional surgeries to correct
  • Broken capillaries, which can be treated later with laser surgery techniques
  • Injury to the eye, which can happen if it is accidentally torn during surgery.
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Skin problems, such as allergic reactions or other irritations that may result from the tape used when splinting the nose

Although there are risks involved with revision rhinoplasty, it is a necessary step to repair a nose that looks unnatural or that is causing breathing difficulties.  Therefore, it is important to do everything possible to decrease the risks, such as eating healthy and quitting smoking prior to the surgery, in order to increase the chances of enjoying great results.

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