I see many patients who are disappointed in the outcome of rhinoplasty procedures performed by other surgeons. In fact, about 30% of the rhinoplasty surgeries I perform at my Chicago practice are to revise undesirable results from previous surgeries. In some cases, I see patients who have undergone 3 or 4 rhinoplasty procedures.
Revision rhinoplasty is a delicate procedure and one of the most challenging to perform because the nose is actually quite fragile, with skin and soft tissue draped across cartilage. Only the bony area in the upper third of the nose prevents scar tissue from forming. Scar tissue that forms during the healing process is often the culprit when rhinoplasty isn’t successful, distorting the desired outcome and often resulting in an asymmetrical nose.
So what does a revision rhinoplasty involve? Surgeons must carefully expose the underlying framework of the nose, without damaging it, to gain access to the troublesome scar tissue. Removing the scar tissue is the next step, again without causing any structural damage. Once the scar tissue is gone, I strengthen the framework and modify the nose’s shape, usually by grafting cartilage taken from the septum or the ear. In some cases, it’s necessary to use cartilage from a patient’s rib.
Experience is a significant asset when performing revision rhinoplasty. Years of doing these procedures and knowing how to minimize scar tissue allows me to make the necessary adjustments to the framework of the nose without creating a large, bulky result. I’m also able to perform revision rhinoplasty using just local anesthetic with sedation, which reduces swelling and allows patients to recover more quickly. The advanced techniques I use get reliable outcomes with results that appear natural and meet the patient’s original aesthetic goals.
More follow-up appointments are needed after revision procedures to closely monitor the healing process and get the outcome you desire. I find this kind of challenge and commitment is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my practice. Rhinoplasty is among the most popular cosmetic surgeries because when done well, it creates a desirably balanced, harmonious facial appearance.
If you have had a rhinoplasty with disappointing results, take heart in knowing that although you still have a challenge ahead of you, a beautiful outcome is within reach with the right surgeon.