Unfortunately, some cases of nasal surgery do not have an ideal outcome, and it is sometimes necessary for revision surgery to take place. Unlike primary rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty is never something one pursues by choice, and it can be a difficult and nerve-wracking step to take. Revision rhinoplasty can be an extremely difficult surgery, a procedure made even more difficult than primary rhinoplasty due to weakened nasal foundations and abundant scar tissue. However, there are plenty of talented facial plastic surgeons who help many patients each year to get the good outcome they have always wanted. Naturally, there are many questions prospective revision rhinoplasty patients have, both about the surgery and the recovery period. For example, many patients conclude that because revision rhinoplasty is more difficult than primary rhinoplasty, the recovery period must be similarly intensive. But is this true?
The Realities of Revision Recovery
While it would be nice to have the revision procedure over and done with quickly, the truth is that revision rhinoplasty is very similar to that of the initial surgery, depending upon how much work is done on the nose. Often, final results take even longer to become apparent following revision surgery than they do after primary surgery, due to the additional scar tissue that forms after rhinoplasty. It can take up to two-four years for swelling to resolve fully. The good news about revision rhinoplasty recovery is that it is generally not any more uncomfortable or intensive than recovery from primary rhinoplasty. If only small changes are made, the recovery period may actually be easier. It all depends on the individual surgery. Most patients can return to work and other activities after about 10-14 days.
What You Can Do
Your actions during the recovery period are crucial to the success of your eventual results. Following your doctor’s instructions is extremely important, and not doing so can lead to complications, improper healing, and other problems. Here are some precautions to take during each stage of your recovery:
Immediately Following Surgery
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid sneezing, and do not blow your nose
- Sleep with your head elevated
- Avoid alcohol
- Have someone available to assist you
The First Week
- Continue taking it easy
- Do not bend or lift heavy objects
- Continue to avoid nose blowing/sneezing
- Do not wear glasses
- Breathe through your mouth as much as possible
The First Few Weeks
- Take care not to bump or injure your nose
- Wait until your doctor tells you it is safe to wear glasses again
- Do not swim for a month or more
- Protect your nose from the sun
- Ease back into exercise according to your doctor’s instructions
The Months That Follow
- Early on, be gentle with your nose
- Monitor your progress for signs of trouble
- Consult your doctor if you have concerns
If you are a smoker, you will need to quit weeks or months before the surgery. As with primary rhinoplasty, smoking inhibits healing and can cause infection, skin necrosis (skin loss), and poor healing.Some surgeons will not operate on smokers at all, because of the increased risk of skin loss in skin already deprived of some blood supply from the previous operation(s)! With revision surgery, you certainly do not want to be taking chances with anything that could compromise your results.
It is a good idea to prepare for your recovery in advance so you can focus on rest and healing. Make sure you have enough food stocked and all important errands completed before you head off to the operating room. This will help reduce stress on you following surgery.
Things to Remember
While you cannot control your eventual outcome, you can set yourself up for success by choosing the right surgeon and being diligent about aftercare. Make sure to keep your expectations realistic–rhinoplasty is meant to produce improvement, not perfection.
Talk to a Surgeon
If you are seeking revision surgery, then you already know how vital a surgeon’s skill is to the success of a primary or revision rhinoplasty. It is best to speak with several experts with excellent reputations before you make a decision. Remember, it is better to spend a little more and choose a rhinoplasty expert than choose a “bargain” and end up still unsatisfied with your results.
Be sure to bring up and questions you might have in your consultations with prospective surgeons. This will help you prepare for both your surgery and recovery and help you take an active role in your results.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty in the Boston and Worcester area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester(508-363-6500) or Stoneham(617-247-0033), MA to meet with rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover is an experienced rhinoplasty specialist who has dedicated over 25 years to the perfection of rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. To schedule your consultation, call either location today.