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How Soon Is Too Soon for Revision Rhinoplasty?

by | Apr 5, 2019 | Blog

As common as rhinoplasty may be, this transformational procedure is one of the most complex of all facial plastic surgeries. It is also a surgery that many people choose to repeat (revision rhinoplasty) for a variety of reasons:

  • Unacceptable aesthetic results from previous rhinoplasty
  • Breathing problems caused/not addressed by previous rhinoplasty
  • Unrelated injuries that occurred since the previous surgery

It’s easy to understand why people with these problems are eager to schedule revision rhinoplasty as quickly as possible. When it comes to scheduling additional nose surgery, “Timing is everything,” observes Dr Marcells.

#1 Thing You MUST Do Before Revision Rhinoplasty: Wait

“The most important factor to consider before you consider revision rhinoplasty is whether or not your nose has healed from a previous surgery,” says Dr Marcells. Typically, the wait is 12 months. During that time, your nose will continue to change, dramatically at first and then more gradually. “What appears to be a problem in aesthetics or function after three months can easily resolve on its own over time,” notes Dr Marcells. If problems do persist, the decision to go ahead with revision rhinoplasty is one you will make with your surgeon.

While it can be too soon to schedule revision rhinoplasty, it is almost never too late. We’ve had patients return to our practice years after their first rhinoplasty for aesthetic changes.

Older patients who chose an aesthetic correction in their youth may return to correct functional problems caused by ageing. “Changes in cartilage and soft tissue structure can cause progressive nasal obstruction,” explains Dr Marcells, quickly noting that seniors want to look good, too. “Revision rhinoplasty can correct a droopy nasal tip and create a more youthful profile,” he says.

Too Much of a Good Thing

In some cases, multiple revision rhinoplasty surgeries are absolutely necessary to achieve full functionality and/or to achieve certain aesthetic goals. However, patients should be aware that each surgery increases the risks of complications. “It is very challenging to attempt revision rhinoplasty on a nose that has little of its original structure left to use as a guide,” explains Dr Marcells. “Furthermore, each surgery changes the shape of the cartilage inside the nose which can lead to the growth of troublesome scar tissue.”

There is a risk/reward ratio that should be considered when thinking about revision rhinoplasty. Factors that should be weighed up when considering a third or fourth surgery include:

  • Status of nasal framework
  • Viability of the nasal skin
  • Amount of scar tissue leftover from previous surgeries
  • Extent of deformities caused by post-surgical healing
  • Whether patient’s expectations are realistic

Revision Rhinoplasty: The Fix is In (So Is the Doctor)

If you’ve had a previous nasal surgery and are dissatisfied with the way you look and/or feel, we can help. We invite you to speak personally with Dr Marcells and discover what this expert facial plastic surgeon can do for you. Please reach us by phone or online form and let our friendly staff schedule your appointment.

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Meet Dr Marcells

Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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