Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, and also one of the most complicated. Besides reshaping the nose, rhinoplasty can also help alleviate breathing problems for many people. Unfortunately, sometimes rhinoplasty doesn’t go as planned or turn out as you had hoped.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your primary rhinoplasty, you may be considering revision rhinoplasty surgery in NJ. Since you have already had one disappointing result, it’s quite normal to be anxious when thinking about a second surgery. You might even fall prey to some myths that are circulating about revision rhinoplasty. Don’t let misinformation hold you back.
Revision Rhinoplasty Facts and Myths
There are a variety of myths that exist about rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. With more than a decade of experience I’m here to address many of the ones that may have you worried about surgery.
Most rhinoplasty surgeries require revision or a few “touch ups” to get the desired result.
Rhinoplasty is meant to be permanent. While it’s true that some people have their nose done 3 times or more in their lifetime, that is the exception. The goal of rhinoplasty is to make a permanent improvement in the look or function of the nose–and most of the surgeries succeed.
Secondary rhinoplasty is not in the initial plan, but it is sometimes necessary or requested by the patient. Secondary or revision rhinoplasty is as far as most patients (and surgeons) go, because trauma to the nasal tissues can weaken the structure of the nose each time it is repeated.
The third surgery is often considered a reconstructive procedure because rhinoplasty surgery becomes more complex and delicate each time. Physicians screen patients very carefully, especially when seeking a third surgery, as it may be a sign of unrealistic expectations.
There are many patients who are excellent candidates for a secondary rhinoplasty or third revision, which ideally should be performed by a reconstructive surgeon due to the in-depth anatomical knowledge and experience required.
I can get my nose fixed with facial filler. It’s safer and cheaper than a nose job.
Facial fillers are used off-label to temporarily “fix” (by filling in) certain problems with the nasal contours. The long-term safety of injectable facial filler products when used in the nose has not been studied. Still, facial fillers are used to fill in a dent or even out a slight bump in the nose–with mixed results.
There are a number of problems associated with injecting facial fillers in the nose. The filler material will be absorbed into your body (it will gradually disappear) over 6 months or more. Because of the temporary nature of fillers, you would need to go into the doctor’s office on a regular basis to add filler. (Rates for filler vary widely depending upon where you live and the type and amount of filler needed.)
Over time, you will spend more money on temporary fillers than you would for the permanent solution, rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty surgery in NJ. In addition, fillers can be problematic when used in or near the nasal tip where they can block blood flow and cause tissue death. This can also occur in any area where a lump of filler is placed in a single spot, such as to fill in a dent or irregularity in your nose. Tissue necrosis (skin loss/skin cell death) can lead to deep, visible scarring. Facial fillers can also place you at risk for infection, which can happen anytime the skin is penetrated.
Surgeons won’t reveal the percentage of primary rhinoplasties that end up needing revision rhinoplasty surgery, in NJ and across the US.
Your plastic surgeon should be honest with you about the number of surgeries they perform and the percentage of complications and revisions. As far as nationwide stats, it has been estimated that 5 to 20 percent of patients will undergo a secondary rhinoplasty.
The percentage range is so wide because accurate data is hard to come by. Top surgeons have a very low percentage of patients who need revision, which could be as low as 1%. Others (inexperienced plastic surgeons) have a much higher percentage of unsatisfactory outcomes, which might approach that high figure of 20 percent.
The wide statistical variation makes an industry average not very revealing about any individual surgeon. We do know, however, that individual success stats closely correspond with the experience level of the rhinoplasty surgeon.
Why overall stats are lacking: Since some patients go back to their first surgeon for revision and others go to a new surgeon, it’s hard to get an industry-wide count of revisions. Unless surgeons carefully follow up with their patients over many years, they may never know about some revisions of their work that are done.
If you feel your revision rhinoplasty surgeon is not being honest with you about his or her record of success, you could (and should) check his or her medical record with the state for sanctions, which can set your mind at ease.
Combine this information with your other research, such as checking board certification, verifying surgical privileges, looking at photos of past work and other ways you have of vetting the surgeon. This information should allow you a clear picture of your surgeon’s overall trustworthiness.
However, don’t choose a surgeon if you have a strong feeling they are not being honest with you about anything—even if they appear golden in your research. You must choose a revision rhinoplasty surgeon that you trust.
It’s better to have revision rhinoplasty surgery in NJ with no external scar (using the closed approach rather than the open approach).
Sometimes it is, but many times it is not best to do a closed, no-scar rhinoplasty for a primary rhinoplasty. (The closed approach involves only interior scars, so it is not truly a no-scar procedure.)
For a secondary or revision rhinoplasty, the open approach allows for a much better result in a majority of cases, and is the preferred method of many top NJ rhinoplasty surgeons, including me.
The open approach involves a 5-millimeter-or-so scar across the columella, which is the skin between the nostrils. This scar is typically never seen, since it is “under” the nose when you are interacting with most people.
Even when someone looks up your nostrils, the scar is often hardly visible due to the staggered technique used to make (and obscure) the incision.
In exchange for that tiny scar, your revision rhinoplasty surgeon is able to see the entire nose at once to help ensure the final result is balanced. An open approach allows the surgeon to work with the delicate nasal structures more carefully. This is, of course, extremely important for revision rhinoplasty surgery in NJ.
In addition, grafts are often required in secondary rhinoplasty and the open approach allows grafts to be placed properly to fully stabilize the “new” nose.
If your surgeon plans an open approach for your revision rhinoplasty, you need not worry and, in fact, you can expect a more attractive and stable result.
Rest assured that your revision rhinoplasty surgeon will chose the surgical technique that best fits your specific case and discuss the plan with you well before your surgery.
Secondary rhinoplasty is more painful and it takes longer to recover than the initial nose job.
Most patients are surprised at how little pain they feel after revision rhinoplasty. The swelling and bruising make it look like you must be in pain, at least for the first few days. In fact, you will likely only feel discomfort rather than pain.
Some patients don’t even use prescription pain killers after surgery and others use them only for a day or two, before switching to over-the-counter pain relievers.
Recovery should take about the same length of time as primary rhinoplasty recovery, provided your overall health is about the same.
Revision Rhinoplasty in NJ
If, after your primary rhinoplasty, something about your nose still bothers you (or you have a new nasal problem), don’t hesitate to find out how the issue may be corrected.
When you are ready to learn more, contact Cohen/Winters Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery for a no-charge consultation about revision rhinoplasty.