Revision Rhinoplasty: What You Need to Know

If you’ve had a rhinoplasty in the past and are considering another, you’re thinking about revision rhinoplasty. This means improving or correcting a previous rhinoplasty. A revision rhinoplasty is often more complicated than a primary rhinoplasty because the surgeon will deal with scarring and lost tissue and/or cartilage. The risks following a rhinoplasty increase with each revision, so it is best to find an experienced surgeon and minimize the number of facial surgeries you have.

Why would I need a rhinoplasty revision?

Between four and 20 percent of people who have a primary rhinoplasty will have a revision. Often the first rhinoplasty doesn’t meet the patient’s expectations for various reasons: the rhinoplasty may not complement the patient’s face or the rhinoplasty may heal differently than the patient expected and irregularities may appear in the nose years later. Also, those with thin skin might notice more minor asymmetries in the nose.

Denver Revision Rhinoplasty SurgeonSomeone might seek a revision rhinoplasty following a poorly performed surgery due to the inexperience of their surgeon, an overly aggressive surgery, or a surgery that was not aggressive enough. We believe a surgeon must perform at least 500 rhinoplasties before he or she can be an expert and produce consistent results.

A patient may also seek a revision rhinoplasty if they experience some sort of trauma that affected the original surgery, such as a broken nose. In this case, a revision rhinoplasty would attempt to restore the results of the primary rhinoplasty. 

Lastly, a patient may seek a revision rhinoplasty to improve the function of the nose. For instance, the original rhinoplasty may have been successful aesthetically, but the patient might still have breathing issues. In this case, the patient should see an expert ear, nose and throat surgeon to alleviate the problems.

How long should I wait before rhinoplasty revision? 

If you recently had a rhinoplasty and are unhappy with the results, you should wait at least a year before seeking another surgery. It takes a year for the rhinoplasty to heal completely and for the swelling to go down. If you have thin skin, you may have to wait even longer — up to two years for the swelling in the tip of the nose to resolve.

If you’re still unhappy, you should contact the surgeon who performed your initial rhinoplasty so they can improve future results. He or she may also be able to help you understand why you’re unhappy with your rhinoplasty.

Will my nose be fixed immediately after surgery?

Unfortunately, it takes longer to heal following a revision rhinoplasty than it does to heal after a primary rhinoplasty. However, neither procedure should result in any visual scarring.

How do I choose a surgeon?

Because revision rhinoplasties are more difficult than primary rhinoplasties, you should consult with expert plastic surgeons who have consistent, positive outcomes with revisions. Ideally, they should have performed many hundreds, and even thousands of rhinoplasties, with a good percentage of these being revision procedures. You can look at before and after photos of previous revisions and talk to former patients. When looking at these photos, make sure they are results of patients that have had a revision rhinoplasty specifically. This procedure is the most difficult of all the plastic surgery procedures. You need a surgeon with the experience, skill and judgement to know what can be accomplished, what cannot be accomplished, and the likelihood of their ability to deliver the expected results. Choose a surgeon that offers computer imaging as part of his or her consultation. A great result in revision rhinoplasty requires that you be able to communicate your desires to your surgeon, while at the same time allowing your surgeon to demonstrate to you the limits of what can be achieved.

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