Preparing for Revision Rhinoplasty: How to Get It Right the Second Time (Updated 2023)

Woman (model) holds a hand up to her face.

Most people who undergo rhinoplasty enjoy results that transform their appearance and boost their confidence. In some cases, however, the outcomes don’t live up to expectations, and patients need revision rhinoplasty. This can be emotionally draining, but it is important to properly prepare for the revision procedure to ensure it’s the last time you’ll need nose surgery.

Give Your Nose Time to Completely Heal

Your nose is a delicate structure made of small pieces of bone and cartilage. These components dictate the shape and size of your nose and how well it functions. When a surgeon restructures or alters the cartilage and bone, it can take a long time to heal. Having undergone rhinoplasty surgery already, you know this to be the case. With revision rhinoplasty, surgeons now have to work with scar tissue leftover from the original procedure and ensure that they don’t permanently damage the internal structures of your nose. For this reason, most rhinoplasty surgeons require patients to wait at least 12 months before revision rhinoplasty. During this time, the scar tissue becomes flexible enough for the surgeon to work with and for all the swelling to subside.

Find a Rhinoplasty Specialist

You aren’t obligated to return to the same surgeon who did your first rhinoplasty. If you didn’t like the results of that surgery, you probably don’t want to spend more money to be disappointed again. Many plastic surgeons specialize in revision rhinoplasty, meaning they are specifically trained and qualified to work with patients unhappy with their previous surgery. A facial plastic surgeon focuses exclusively on the face and likely will have more rhinoplasty experience. 

Do your research. If a doctor specializes in rhinoplasty, check if they specialize in other sub-areas. Do they have experience in revision rhinoplasty? Are they board-certified? What do current and former patients think of their experiences? Look through before-and-after pictures to see if you like the doctor’s work. Ensure you are comfortable and confident in your doctor’s abilities before agreeing to a second surgery.

Revision Rhinoplasty Before and After Photos

Communicate With Your Surgeon 

Once you find a doctor you like, don’t be afraid to say exactly what you want. Tell your doctor how you want your nose to look or what parts of your nose you would like changed. Explain why you are unhappy with the previous rhinoplasty results so the doctor understands why you seek revision rhinoplasty. If you aren’t clear about your goals, you could wind up with a second nose that you don’t like.

Listen to Your Surgeon

On the flip side, it’s essential to understand that a revision rhinoplasty is more complex than the original rhinoplasty. The surgeon now has to deal with scar tissue that is even tougher than untouched soft tissue. The cartilage and bone structures could also be more fragile after the previous surgery. Or there may not be sufficient nasal cartilage, and the surgeon must harvest cartilage from the ear or rib and graft it to the nose

Because of this, your doctor may not give you precisely what you want without causing severe damage to your nose. However, an excellent plastic surgeon will try to work with you so that you can be satisfied with how your nose will look after surgery, even if it isn’t exactly what you were hoping for.

Prepare for a More Difficult Recovery

Revision rhinoplasty involves working on the same delicate structures previously operated upon. Because of this, your nose is prone to a more difficult recovery. The swelling and bruising you experienced after your first surgery will likely be even worse, and your nose as a whole will probably take even longer to heal again. The good news is that your recovery will be the same, with bandages, splints, ice packs, and pain medications.

As part of the preparations, you’ll want to consider when you would like to schedule your surgery. Since the recovery can take longer and be more demanding on you as a patient, you’ll want to avoid having the surgery within a few months of any important events, such as a conference, business meeting, or maybe a wedding or family reunion.

Revision Rhinoplasty From Dr. Hobgood

If you want to have your nose fixed after previous rhinoplasty surgery, request a consultation using the online form to meet with Dr. Hobgood at our office in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Hobgood is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in revision rhinoplasty. Up to 40% of the nose surgeries he performs are revision cases. Dr. Hobgood gathers as much information as possible about the previous surgery and you, including your overall goals for the appearance and function of your nose. Your comfort and satisfaction is his primary goal while achieving the most natural-looking results possible.

You can reach our office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone or in person. You can also contact us using our patient information page on our website. Call (480) 214-9955 to schedule your initial consultation!

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