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Revision Rhinoplasty: Will a Different Surgeon Get Different Results?

By Daniel Baker

Rhinoplasty has one of the highest revision rates of all cosmetic surgery procedures. It’s estimated that 15-20% of patients opt for revision nose surgery, also known as secondary rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. The two main reasons people cite are

  • Dissatisfaction with the way their nose looks
  • Dissatisfaction with the way it functions

The goal of revision surgery, therefore, may be to restore structure, or function, or both.  The procedure calls for exceptional analytical and surgical skill. Only surgeons with extensive training and significant rhinoplasty experience can restore breathing function and improve less-than-desirable results from previous nose surgery.

This leads to a common question: Should I have the same surgeon perform my revision rhinoplasty as performed my original nasal surgery?

The short answer: It depends.

When a Rhinoplasty Surgeon Has Failed You

Rhinoplasty is by far the most difficult of the facial plastic surgery operations. If your nasal surgery didn’t turn out as you expected, either your surgeon didn’t explain things to you prior to operating or he/she was not truly an expert.

In either case, this is not the surgeon you want taking a second bite at your nasal “apple.”

Buyer beware. Allowing a mediocre surgeon to perform your revision rhinoplasty – even at a reduced rate – can lead to more dissatisfaction and even more revision surgeries.  That’s no bargain.

Revision Rhinoplasty: To Be Expected

It may surprise you to know that patients of even the finest cosmetic surgeons may require revision rhinoplasty. Here’s why:

  • Appearance – from a cosmetic perspective, patients may feel that the overall effect is either too subtle or too dramatic a change. They may also identify new, post-operative changes they don’t like that have been caused by scarring inside the nose or other healing abnormalities.
  • Function – function is another major factor in rhinoplasty revision. No matter how much you may like or dislike the way your nose looks on the outside, if it isn’t working properly on the inside, there’s a problem.
  • Complexity of Condition – in some instances, it’s not possible to address all surgical issues at the same time.

None of these reasons for revision rhinoplasty reflect upon the skills of the original surgeon. Therefore, if you did excellent research to identify the best cosmetic surgeon for rhinoplasty and the problem with your nose after surgery is a well-defined, isolated problem, then you can be confident about staying with the same surgeon.

Choosing a Revision Rhinoplasty Surgeon

Before you make a decision about your revision rhinoplasty, you should have a blunt and open conversation with your primary rhinoplasty surgeon about what you would like to change. It will help you determine whether you should allow the same person to perform the procedure or whether you should seek out an alternative provider.

Remember to keep your expectations realistic. Even if your surgeon is an expert rhinoplasty surgeon, he/she might not be able to make the corrections you seek.