Rhinoplasty is an extremely versatile procedure that can address a wide range of issues. Because of this, it is probably the most customizable of all popular cosmetic surgery procedures, and successful results depend on many different factors, including the surgeon’s skill, artistry, knowledge of facial aesthetics, and ability to predict outcomes. However, no matter how skilled the surgeon, sometimes the results just are not as successful as is expected, and a secondary surgery known as revision rhinoplasty is necessary. So what are the most common reasons patients seek corrective nasal surgery?
While surgeons are typically good at preserving the nasal function, there is inevitable weakening of the nasal structures which take place as cartilage, bone, and skin are shifted within the nose. Sometimes, these weakened structures do not hold, and patients find they have breathing problems following rhinoplasty, from problems such as nasal valve collapse, a problem that also has an aesthetic component. Good nasal function is essential to healthy living and a good quality of life, and any breathing issues that crop up after surgery should usually be addressed with revision rhinoplasty.
Many people choose rhinoplasty to fix issues such as a hump on the bridge of the nose, a nose that is too wide or too narrow, or to add definition to the nasal tip. Sometimes, there are residual issues following rhinoplasty such as a bit of residual nasal bump or other issue that was not fully addressed. In these cases, the original plastic surgeon will often offer to correct the problem.
Asymmetries & Depressions
It is impossible to predict every aspect of healing, and sometimes asymmetries and depressions in the nose will appear as the swelling in the nose subsides over a number of months. Sometimes, steroid injections or fillers can be used to help with minor problems, but other issues require follow-up surgery. Patients who seek revision rhinoplasty must wait at least six months to a year to ensure that swelling has gone down and the imperfections are not going away on their own. Patience during this period can be difficult, but no reputable rhinoplasty surgeon will operate before the nose has fully healed.
Aside from asymmetry, there are also some deformities that can occur post-operatively that are purely aesthetic in nature. One of the most common is the “polly beak” deformity, which occurs when there is not enough support for the nasal tip, and it droops down like a parrot’s beak. Unfortunately, as with other issues, all patients must wait until the nose is fully healed to pursue further changes.
Issues from Poor Healing
While the surgeon’s skill is the main component in the final rhinoplasty result, there are other factors in play as well, including nasal cartilage and skin quality, severity of the issues, and the patient’s adherence to pre- and post-operative directions. Poor healing can be caused by many different triggers, and patients who ignore medical advice may find that poor healing affects the overall results of the procedure in a negative way, and can even impact safety. Patients can set themselves up for success by preparing for the recovery period and working hard to ensure optimal healing.
Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons people seek revision rhinoplasty is that they had unrealistic expectations for what the surgery could accomplish, and then were disappointed with the actual results of the procedure. Rhinoplasty can produce remarkable improvement in the aesthetics of the nose and in overall facial balance, but it will not make a patient look exactly as they are imagining, especially if that image is unrealistic. Digital imaging can aid in doctor-patient communication and provide a projection of the eventual results, but patients should keep expectations in check and realize that the results will not be perfect and will take some time to get used to in all likelihood.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
Are you considering revision rhinoplasty, or know someone who is? Revision rhinoplasty is even more difficult than primary rhinoplasty, and only the most experienced of facial plastic surgeons are up to the task of repairing the nose from a prior surgery. You can set yourself up for success by choosing a board certified rhinoplasty expert with a great deal of experience and work that speaks for itself. Rhinoplasty gets more difficult with each procedure, so take your time in choosing your revision surgeon, and be sure to prepare for the recovery process properly.
Double board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stuart Bentkover has a passion for rhinoplasty, and has been working on honing his skills in nasal surgery for over 25 years. Dr. Bentkover creates custom, beautiful, and natural results with rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty, serving a diverse patient base. To learn more and to schedule a consultation at Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA, call either location today.