Revision Rhinoplasty: The Second Time’s the Charm

Revision rhinoplasty is the technical term for any nasal reshaping that is performed after an initial nose job has already been done. In many people’s minds, the idea of multiple nose surgeries conjures images of obsessed pop stars and other individuals who seem to never be satisfied with their appearance. Contrary to popular belief, however, recent studies have shown that most people seek revision rhinoplasty for concrete reasons and are satisfied with the results. Rather than seeking a third, fourth, or even fifth nose job, about 97% of patients who have revision rhinoplasty report satisfaction with their results and presumably do not seek further revision.

There are many reasons why a patient might seek a second nasal reshaping. Rhinoplasty is a delicate procedure that requires great skill and planning on the part of the surgeon. The underlying structure of the nose can be extremely complex and delicate to deal with. Further complicating these issues is the healing process itself. Even if a plastic surgeon takes all the necessary steps to create the nose the patient wants, in some cases the tissue heals in an unforeseen way, causing changes to the nose’s final appearance. When this happens, many patients seek a revision procedure to account for those changes that were not adequately foreseen by the original surgeon.

In other cases, revision rhinoplasty is sought by a patient because they are simply not satisfied with the results of the first procedure.  Although many doctors have an ability to provide patients a fairly accurate idea about the kinds of results they can expect, many people find that the nose they originally agreed to still has flaws. But some people, upon seeing the final result of their rhinoplasty procedure, decide that there are certain aspects that should have been addressed the first time around. The vast majority of these patients find that although the initial procedure was too conservative, the revision surgery now has a high degree of success to create a nose that is just right.

The most common reason for seeking a revision rhinoplasty procedure comes down to the experience of the surgeon, according to board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. William Binder. Rhinoplasty is the most popular facial cosmetic surgery performed in the United States each year, and it consistently ranks among the most popular cosmetic procedures overall. With so many individuals seeking rhinoplasty, it’s no wonder that many of the doctors performing this procedure are undertrained. There are a number of techniques employed during a nose job. However, novice surgeons may not be well-versed in many of the more complicated methods. The result is a nose job that utilizes inadequate techniques to achieve the end result. For example, many patients want to increase the projection of the tip of the nose. Most surgeons use a tip graft to achieve this. By itself, this procedure produces results that are neither natural nor satisfactory. In these cases, revision rhinoplasty performed by an experienced surgeon can be a great help in its ability to produce the desired result.

Revision rhinoplasty procedures are usually successful for a number of reasons.  Patients who had prior nasal procedures have the knowledge and benefit of their own experience to better understand the outcome of the surgery.  They know what they want and have a much better idea about the kind of results that a nose job can produce. They can discuss their goals and the problems of their last procedure with the new surgeon, allowing her or him to make the necessary adjustments to achieve the patient’s ideal results. Finally, patients tend to be more selective the second time around and avoid the discount surgeons who led them to seek revision in the first place. Rather than obsessive plastic surgery addicts, these patients are shrewd consumers with the benefit of hindsight. It’s no wonder that so many of them find that, when it comes to rhinoplasty, the second time’s the charm.

Why is Rhinoplasty So Popular?

According to the latest study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly a quarter of a million rhinoplastyprocedures were performed in the United States last year, about the same number as the year before. That made it the most popular facial cosmetic surgery, which begs the question: why is rhinoplasty such a popular procedure? Although every individual has his or her own reason for seeking this procedure, the enduring popularity of rhinoplasty can be traced to a number of reasons.

Reconstructive nose surgery dates back thousands of years to ancient India, where physicians would repair damaged noses using a variety of techniques. Today, people still seek rhinoplasty to surgically repair damage to the nose. Usually, this is because of an accident that has caused a nasal fracture. In cases like these, nose surgery can be used to correct functional issues and restore the appearance of the nose. However, at least as many people (if not more) seek rhinoplasty for purely aesthetic reasons.

Concern about the appearance of one’s nose is nothing new. The nose is the central focus of the face, the most prominent feature in many people’s minds. If you feel your nose is too large, too flat, hooked, etc., rhinoplasty can be used to give you a nose that more closely resembles your ideal. In many instances, correcting this one facial feature can have the most dramatic impact of any facial cosmetic procedure.

But the importance placed on the appearance of the nose isn’t the only reason for the popularity of rhinoplasty. Among cosmetic procedures, rhinoplasty is quite affordable. For many patients, the idea of plastic surgery is appealing, but cost can be a barrier. Having one affordable procedure to greatly enhance your appearance is an appealing prospect for many of these individuals. In addition, financing options are usually available for most patients.

Another reason for the popularity of cosmetic nose surgery is the relative ease of the procedure, at least for the patient. Although a good nose job  is a sophisticated procedure for the surgeon to perform well, it is less invasive than other cosmetic surgeries.  The incisions used are typically small and the recovery period is relatively short, especially compared to a procedure like a facelift. A facelift can be a larger surgery and more invasive than rhinoplasty, with a longer postoperative recovery.

Older techniques focused on reducing the size of the nose by removing tissue, usually from the bridge of the nose or the tip. But new methods have opened the door for people from all ethnic backgrounds, further increasing the popularity of this procedure. Doctors can now augment noses to give them a greater projection, reduce nostril width, and generally reshape noses that were once difficult to operate on.   Recently, ethnic rhinoplasty has become an important subject that is currently being taught in academic institutions and is becoming increasingly more popular throughout the world.  Instead, the emphasis has shifted to fashioning noses that work harmoniously with the patient’s existing facial features to create an overall improvement in appearance.

Perhaps the most important factor in the enduring popularity of structure rhinoplasty is the great and enduring results that are typically achieved. Surgeons like to talk about the “predictable” results that the vast majority of patients experience. Advances in rhinoplasty techniques have allowed plastic surgeons to give their patients the noses they want, resulting in an extremely high level of overall patient satisfaction. When it comes to improving your appearance, who wouldn’t want to use a procedure that is likely to produce the best, most noticeable results?

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