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All About Nose Surgery: What is Revision Rhinoplasty?

Revision Rhinoplasty

By Dr. Frank Lista, MD., FRCSC., Medical Director and Founder, The Plastic Surgery Clinic

As a follow up to my last blog post about nose surgery, one of my patients had a really great question to ask me. She had undergone a rhinoplasty procedure a couple of years ago with a different surgeon and she was not happy with some of the results. There were a few minor problems, mostly cosmetic in nature, and I could understand and agree with her concerns. She wanted to know what her options were for revision rhinoplasty, and that’s a really important topic. What are the special considerations to keep in mind when you are thinking about a second nose surgery?

Of course, the choice of cosmetic surgeon is incredibly important. This patient asked right away: should I return to the doctor who performed the original surgery? My point of view is, in an ideal circumstance, it certainly makes the most sense for the original surgeon to perform the revision rhinoplasty. The original surgeon has the advantage of knowing the shape of the nose before surgery, the process of the preliminary procedure, and how the final result developed through the healing process. This continuity in care and knowledge can be advantageous to both the patient and the doctor. But life doesn’t always give us the benefit of ideal circumstances, and sometimes there are other concerns we have to think about.

These are the important questions for revision rhinoplasty patients: does my original surgeon have the skills and experience necessary to perform the revision? Does this surgeon frequently perform rhinoplasty and, more importantly, revision rhinoplasty? Do I still feel a very high level of trust in my original doctor, and do I still feel confident and comfortable moving forward? If you are unable to answer yes to the above questions, I strongly recommend that you begin to seek out other options to find the perfect fit for you and for this procedure. The fact of the matter is, revision rhinoplasty is among the more difficult procedures performed, and experience and expertise are essential for this more delicate surgery. The anatomy of the nose has changed and there is already a build up of scar tissue, which adds a level of complexity not present in other surgeries.

The other most important consideration is time. Typically it takes around a year for the first rhinoplasty results to settle in. Revision rhinoplasty should not be performed before 12 months of recovery have passed. Waiting the appropriate amount of time leads to fewer complications and a more reliable result, and believe me, these benefits far outweigh the advantage of making changes sooner. Having patience can help you achieve the nose you’ve always wanted for the rest of your life. It might mean waiting a few more months for that rest of your life to begin. Getting it just right? That’s worth it.

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