Given that rhinoplasty is typically expensive, requires you to take a week or so off from work, and takes a few months for results to completely appear, it's understandable that you'd want the surgery to come out right the first time. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
There are plenty of reasons why you might not be ecstatic with the results of your first nose job. You and the initial surgeon might not have been in sync in terms of your expectations.
Or, the first surgeon might not have been very skilled or experienced. In some cases, you are happy with the initial results, but then suffer an injury to the nose that damages it.
Luckily, if you aren't pleased with your new nose, you are not stuck with it for good. A revision rhinoplasty surgery can correct deformities or other issues caused by the first surgery.
It can also fix any functional problems you might have developed after the initial procedure, such as trouble breathing. When considering a revision procedure, also called a secondary rhinoplasty, it's important to choose your surgeon with care and to weigh the costs and benefits carefully before proceeding.
Should You Wait?
One important thing to remember when deciding if a revision surgery is right for you is that the results from the initial rhinoplasty can take some time to fully develop.
If you look in the mirror three or four months after the first surgery and don't like what you see, give it more time.
While some patients can get a revision procedure after six months or so, it's generally recommended that you wait a full year after the first surgery before deciding to undergo a revision.
You might hate your nose at four months, but by the time 12 months have passed, you may decide that it is what you wanted and that it works on your face.
What Surgeon to Use?
Rhinoplasty is a tricky surgery and requires a skilled hand to perform it well. A revision rhinoplasty is even more difficult to perform, as the surgeon has to work around scar tissue and also has less cartilage and bone to work with.
While you might consider going back to your first surgeon, it's usually a good idea to find a new, very experienced, and skilled surgeon to perform the revision.
Look for a surgeon who's not only board certified, but has demonstrable experience in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. A good choice would be Dr. Nachlas who has performed more than 3,000 surgeries on noses of all shapes and sizes.
What to Expect
As with primary rhinoplasty, the surgeon can either perform an open or closed revision procedure. During a closed rhinoplasty, the incisions are made inside the nose and there is less visible scarring.
Due to the complexity of the surgery, it's more common for a surgeon to perform an open revision procedure. The doctor might make the incision along the first incision line so that a patient isn't left with additional scarring.
The surgery itself takes several hours and it’s often performed using general anesthesia. That means the patient is completely asleep during the procedure.
Recovering from Surgery
The recovery time and process from a revision rhinoplasty is very similar to the recovery from a primary rhinoplasty.
Most people go home the same day after the surgery. After resting at home for about a week, you'll be able to return to work, as long as your work doesn't involve a lot of physical activity.
You'll want to be very gentle with the nose as it heals. Don't blow it or sniff very hard. Try to wear button-front or zip-front shirts for a few weeks, to avoid bumping the nose when you get dressed in the morning.
You'll also want to sleep on your back, with your head propped up for the first few days after the surgery, to keep swelling down.
It's important to see your doctor for follow-up visits after the surgery for best results. After about a year, you should be able to enjoy the final results from the surgery.
Talk to an experienced surgeon about your revision options. Dr. Nathan Nachlas is double board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has more than 30 years experience.
For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.