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When is a revision rhinoplasty appropriate?

Revision Rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as secondary Rhinoplasty, is a complex area in aesthetic surgery.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 26th February 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 1st February 2024

When is a revision Rhinoplasty appropriate?

Revision rhinoplasty, sometimes referred to as secondary rhinoplasty, is a complex area in aesthetic surgery. Certain surgeons even refuse to carry out this procedure. But why is revision rhinoplasty such a difficult area, and when is it appropriate to carry out further surgery on the nose? 

What is a revision rhinoplasty?

Revision rhinoplasty involves a patient having a nose job for the second time. Sometimes you may even have undergone more than one previous surgery in their quest to further improve the appearance of their nose. 

Revision rhinoplasty often requires cartilage for structural support for the tip and/or bridge of the nose. There is often a deficit of cartilage in the septum and plastic surgeons sometimes must take cartilage from elsewhere in the body to make this up or use donor cartilage. Sometimes this may come from the ear or even the ribs. Soft tissue irregularities along the bridge of the nose or tip may also require tissue from another part of the body. Some surgeons favour the hairline. Occasionally, scarring within the nose requires the use of skin grafts to reopen a distorted and narrowed nasal airway. 

Revision rhinoplasty can be carried out to either correct complications that arose in the original procedure, or to further enhance certain results that were not originally achieved. 

Why Do Patients Have Revision Rhinoplasty?

Patients turn to Revision Rhinoplasty to correct the results of a previous rhinoplasty surgery. You may be unhappy with the result because you feel your nose is still too big, it may have negatively impacted the proportions of the face, or you may be suffering from breathing difficulties as a result of previous rhinoplasty surgery. These are not always the fault of the surgeon and of course not every aspect of healing is under the surgeon’s control. It is also important to have realistic expectations of what your original (and the revision) rhinoplasty could achieve.  

How Common is Revision Rhinoplasty? 

Despite a surgeon's best efforts, revision rhinoplasty has a higher revision rate than primary rhinoplasty (no prior nasal surgery). Statistics vary, but it is believed that around 15 per cent of primary rhinoplasty require revisions for one reason or another.  

It is important that patients are aware of this as no ethical plastic surgeon can guarantee the outcome of revision rhinoplasty or any other cosmetic plastic surgical procedure. 

How Long Do I Need to Wait for Revision Rhinoplasty? 

Any patient wishing to undergo a revision rhinoplasty should wait until they have completely healed from their last rhinoplasty. It is recommended that a patient should wait at least a year since their previous surgery. Returning for surgery any sooner could cause further, more serious, damage to the nose which could prove very difficult to correct. 

The decision to undergo revision rhinoplasty is not one which should be taken lightly, and it is important to discuss every element of your initial surgery and the revision surgery with your surgeon. 

Why are Revision Rhinoplasties so complex?

Revision rhinoplasties is among the most difficult cases aesthetic plastic surgeons face for several reasons. 

Revision rhinoplasty is a much more difficult procedure as scar tissue from prior rhinoplasty is often an issue in revision cases and can limit the final outcome since it may recur even after successful revision rhinoplasty. Also, revision rhinoplasty often requires the use of cartilage to replace damaged and/or deficient cartilage removed in the prior surgery. 

It is important that you understand that further rhinoplasty may not be successful in completely correcting cosmetic deformities which were not corrected in the last surgery or occurred  because of surgery. 

Quite often, subjective assessments disagree on whether a nose job is a success or not. The chances are that if a patient expresses dissatisfaction about the results of their rhinoplasty once, they are likely to express further dissatisfaction later on. 

 To undergo any surgery here at the Cadogan Clinic, our expert surgeons must be convinced that you are both physically and psychologically fit and healthy. 


How Long Does Revision Rhinoplasty Take to Heal?

Your surgeon will outline your recovery timeline and aftercare instructions as part of your  one-to-one consultation. Depending on the extent of your revision rhinoplasty, the recovery may be longer than your primary rhinoplasty, and you may need to follow certain instructions, such as sleeping on your back for 8-12 weeks. It is important to follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions to make sure you get the best result from your revision rhinoplasty, and minimise the risk of complications. 

Will My Revision Rhinoplasty Definitely Be a Success?

No surgeon can ever guarantee that any surgery will be a success. There is always the potential for complications, however slim this chance may be. Revision rhinoplasty is a complicated surgery and as a result some surgeons may refuse to carry out this complex procedure. It is important to find a revision rhinoplasty specialist, who is confident in carrying out this type of surgery. Due to the nature of this procedure, it can be difficult to define the overall revision rhinoplasty success rate. 

A patient should always have realistic expectations of the outcome of their revision rhinoplasty. The results which could potentially be achieved are dependent on various factors, including the existing makeup of the nose and how much this has been affected by previous rhinoplasties. 

Depending on which consultant you see at the Cadogan Clinic, a visualisation of what outcome you can expect from your revision rhinoplasty will be made via Crysalix 4D imaging technology. This can help you to picture how your new nose could look. 

Where is the Best Place to Get Revision Rhinoplasty in the UK?

For revision rhinoplasty in London, the Cadogan Clinic can offer the very best experts in their field. 

We have invited a selection of the country's very best revision rhinoplasty surgeons to practise with us at our Chelsea based clinic, so that you can be sure that whatever your nose concerns you will be seeing one of the top surgeons in the UK. 

Our specialists have performed many thousands of rhinoplasty cases between them, and regularly feature in the media as ranking among the very best rhinoplasty surgeons in the country. 

Our consultants have all received the very best specialist nose surgeon training and are committed to the delivery of the very best results and outcomes. 

Ahead of surgery, a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding the post-procedure and recovery phase. 

If you are deciding whether revision rhinoplasty is worth it, or right for you please get in touch today to book an initial consultation. 

It is also worth considering that revision rhinoplasty cost can be more expensive than the primary surgery, as it is a far more involved surgery and can take a lot longer and may involve grafts or specialist equipment. The Cadogan Clinic will be able to quote you a price once you have had an initial consultation with one of our specialists. 


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Revision Rhinoplasty may be necessary when previous nasal surgery hasn't met patient expectations or has resulted in functional issues such as breathing difficulties. Deciding on revision surgery involves careful consideration and consultation between patient and surgeon, weighing up factors such as desired outcomes, functional limitations, and surgical risks. We aim to navigate the complexities of Revision Rhinoplasty, to achieve aesthetic refinement and functional improvement. It's a collaborative process rooted in trust and shared goals for the best results.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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