It’s been years since your rhinoplasty and you’ve become increasingly unhappy with the results. It could be that your nose is more crooked than it was before the surgery or that the initial surgery didn’t make your nose as small as you had hoped. A revision rhinoplasty can help fix the results of your first surgery, giving you a nose that is more in line with what you had hoped for. If rhinoplasty is considered one of the most complicated surgeries, the revision procedure is even more complicated. The surgeon who performs a revision surgery, sometimes called secondary rhinoplasty, not only has to focus on sculpting a nose that meets your expectations. He also has to work around scar tissue from the first surgery, which makes things more difficult. Choosing the right surgeon for the job is essential when you are thinking about a revision procedure. Before you agree to work with a doctor, ask him or her a series of questions to get an idea of whether he or she will be the right person for the job.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
The more experienced your rhinoplasty surgeon is, the better. You want a facial plastic surgeon who has experience performing revision rhinoplasty, not just primary rhinoplasty. The revision procedure is slightly different than the primary, so you need a doctor who understands the particular complexities and demands of the surgery. Ask the surgeon how many years he or she has been in practice and the average number of revision surgeries he or she performs each year. You can also ask the surgeon about success rates for both primary and secondary rhinoplasty. Are patients walking out of the surgery happy with their results?
Is This Surgery Appropriate for Me?
Not everyone is a good candidate for a revision procedure. Your health and expectations play a role in deciding whether the surgery is a good fit for you or not. Your surgeon will let you know if he or she thinks that a revision surgery is appropriate during your consultation. If you have certain conditions, it might not be a good idea to undergo surgery at the moment. Emotional and psychological factors also play a part in determining if the surgery is a good idea. For example, the appearance of your nose and the way you think your nose looks might not be in alignment. You may think that you need another surgery when your nose is actually in good shape.
How Will You Fix My Nose?
Ask what the surgeon will do to your nose to improve its shape, size or function. For example, the surgeon might use a graft, made of your own cartilage or of material such as GoreTex, to sculpt and shape your nose. In some cases, the surgeon will use computer imaging to give you an idea of what he or she will do to the nose and how it will look after the procedure.
What Technique Will You Use?
You might also want to ask the surgeon what technique will be used during the revision procedure. Typically, a doctor can use either an open or a closed technique. The open technique gives the surgeon greater access to the structure of the nose, which helps produce the best results. The incision is made on the outside of the nose during an open procedure, but the scar is usually small and not very noticeable.
What Will Happen to Me During the Surgery?
Find out what type of anesthesia your surgeon plans on using, where the surgery will be performed and how long it will last. In many cases, the surgery is performed with the patient under twilight sedation. You won’t be fully under and you will be able to breathe on your own, but you won’t feel or remember the surgery. Ask if the surgery is going to be performed in a surgical center or at a hospital.
Can You Provide Pictures or References?
Talking to past patients and looking at pictures of past surgeries is a good way to get an idea of the surgeon’s skill performing revision rhinoplasty. Ideally, the surgeon will be able to provide references from previous patients. Ask those patients what they thought of the surgery and if they would go back to that doctor. Study any photographs to get an idea of what your nose will look like after the surgery. Dr. Jeffery Epstein is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon with over two decades of experience performing rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty procedures. He performs about five rhinoplasty surgeries each week. To learn more about whether a revision surgery is right for you, contact his practice for a consultation in either Florida or New York City. In Miami, call (305) 666-5884. Call (212) 759-3484 for an appointment in New York.