After having a rhinoplasty surgery that didn’t turn out as they had hoped, most patients begin evaluating their revision rhinoplasty options. During that initial evaluation process, many patients worry that they may be at risk of complications during their revision surgery because their original procedure didn’t go exactly as planned and they expect the revision to be a more complex operation. Speaking with an experienced revision rhinoplasty surgeon in northern NJ will allow you to fully evaluate your risk of encountering complications.

However, studies have shown that nasal surgeries are generally extremely safe and have a low number of associated risks. As a result, revision rhinoplasty risks are extremely low for patients who are in good health. Under the supervision of a revision rhinoplasty surgeon in Bergen County, the majority of these types of complications can be treated quickly and effectively.

The cosmetic risks associated with any nasal surgery will vary greatly according to the patient’s unique circumstances. Typically a primary rhinoplasty comes with a lesser degree of risk when an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon conducts it. Primary rhinoplasty is less of a risk because the structures and tissues in your nose had likely not been manipulated before. A revision rhinoplasty carries an increased risk, as your surgeon must work within the confines of what has already been done during your first surgery.  In my experience, the scope of the surgery is not completely different than in primary rhinoplasty. Revision rhinoplasty simply requires a greater degree of expertise and demands a higher level of meticulousness.

Some revision rhinoplasty complications and risks may stem from the results of your prior surgery which can include internal scarring, compromised blood supply, diminished skin elasticity and damaged or missing cartilage and bone. In rare cases, the deformities created by an unskilled primary rhinoplasty are so severe they prohibit the complete repair and normalization of the nose in a single revision procedure.

Statistically speaking, the majority of cosmetic rhinoplasty patients do not experience serious complications. Some patients experience undesirable outcomes due to the poor technical execution on the part of the surgeon. Therefore, the need for an experienced and skilled revision rhinoplasty surgeon in Bergen County with a thorough knowledge of surgical techniques is recommended. Despite your health status and the information your surgeon has discussed with you, no one can guarantee that there is a 0% chance of complications.

Common revision rhinoplasty complications and risks can be divided into four basic categories according to when they occur:

  • Intra-operative – Occurring during the surgery.
  • Immediate postoperative – Occurring within the recovery suite.
  • Short-term postoperative – Occurring within the days or weeks following surgery.
  • Long-term postoperative – Occurring within the months or years following surgery.

There are certain risks that are associated with every surgery you may undergo. These risks include bleeding, bruising, swelling, infection and scaring and can all be minimized with expert medical care and an experienced surgeon. Other common risks are reactions to general and local anesthetics, which can be minimized with the knowledge and skill of an anesthesiologist, surgeon and attending staff.

Intra-operative Revision Rhinoplasty Risks and Complications

Loss of dorsal supportA skilled revision rhinoplasty surgeon in Passaic County who maintains a healthy respect for the internal structures of your nose can avoid loss of dorsal support of the structures of the nose. Often this results in a ‘ski slope,’ ‘inverted “v” deformity’ or worse yet a ‘saddle nose deformity.’  During revision rhinoplasty, your surgeon may be attempting to correct a previous over-resection and confront a deficiency of remaining tissue. This usually calls for the use of ancillary cartilage or bone grafting.

Unstable nasal bonesUnstable nasal bones can be the result of the brittle bones found in older patients or the result of an unskilled prior nasal surgery.  During a revision rhinoplasty, unstable nasal bones can generally be alleviated and stabilized with the proper surgical techniques.

Perforation of the SeptumA septal perforation can occur during a mismanaged prior nasal surgery, but can generally be alleviated with proper skill and technique during the revision rhinoplasty.

Immediate Revision Rhinoplasty Risks and Complications

Airway obstruction:  Any surgery on the upper respiratory tract can cause temporary nasal airway obstruction.  This tends to make it difficult to sleep and when coupled with sleeping on your back may make for snoring. It is important for the attending staff to carefully monitor the patients breathing and respiration in the recovery suite and immediately resolve any airway obstructions.

BleedingPostoperative bleeding is usually minor and temporary. Moderate nasal bleeding usually stops with temporary nasal packing.

Visual impairment: Temporary deterioration or impairment of a patient’s vision may occur after a local anesthetic and/or vasoconstrictor injection.

Short-term Revision Rhinoplasty Risks and Complications

AsymmetryCertain asymmetries may be observed in the various visual structures of the nose immediately following surgery. However, treatment should be delayed until the swelling has completely abated and the healing is complete.

Bleeding from the nose: Also known as epistaxis, bleeding may occur as a result of sneezing or hypertension resulting from excessive pain, nausea and vomiting.

Infection: Surgical site infections are fairly rare and can often be successfully treated with antibiotics. However, if an implant or other foreign structure becomes infected an additional surgery may become necessary to fix the problem.

Long-term Revision Rhinoplasty Risks and Complications

Airway ReductionMany of the techniques used to refine the aesthetics of the nose can result in airway obstruction. However proper technique and skill of the surgeon should minimize any problems.

Excessive Tearing: You may experience this as a temporary side effect when swelling is at its greatest. However, when excessive tearing persists after the swelling has resolved it may be the result of damage to certain structures within the face and should be examined closely by your surgeon.

Nasal DripAlso called rhinorrhea, a persistent nasal drip is an extremely rare complication that can be alleviated with a medicated nasal spray. The sense of smell may be affected for a short period of time.

In addition to these conditions, other unpredictable results of healing like excessive scar tissue, contracted skin or warped cartilage can also hinder a satisfactory surgical effort. It is important that you speak with a revision rhinoplasty surgeon in northern NJ about your health and your possible risks.

Select the Best Revision Rhinoplasty Surgeon in Bergen County to Avoid Risks and Complications

Even in the hands of a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, the results of a revision rhinoplasty can be negatively affected by unanticipated tissue changes that occur after the procedure has been completed. A combination of realistic expectations, a thorough understanding of the patient’s circumstances and a skilled revision rhinoplasty surgeon will help produce a successful outcome without complications. Schedule a consultation with one of our expert surgeons at our Bergen County NJ office to get a full understanding of revision rhinoplasty risks and how they would impact your results.

revision rhinoplasty NJ

Dr. Winters

About Dr. Winters

Dr. Winters specializes in primary, revision, reconstructive, functional and teenage rhinoplasty surgeries. Dr. Winters is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and maintains active memberships in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and others.