Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery to alter the appearance of the nose. Sometimes, if a patient is not satisfied with the results, he may wish to undergo revision rhinoplasty. This additional procedure attempts to modify the nose's appearance in accordance with the patient's desired outcome.
A revision rhinoplasty may also be performed for non-cosmetic reasons. For instance, the patient may experience difficulty breathing and wish to correct the problem. Other candidates for surgery may have a nasal birth defect.
During the initial consultation with the plastic surgeon, the patient should discuss realistic expectations of the results. The surgeon will evaluate the facial and nasal structures, and offer guidance. Patients should disclose all previous nose surgeries and injuries, as well as other medical conditions. Allergies, medications, herbal supplements, as well as any use of recreational drugs should also be discussed.
To prepare for a revision rhinoplasty, the surgeon will provide specific instructions on ceasing any medications or taking additional vitamins to promote healing. The surgeon will also provide guidance on when to stop eating and consuming liquids before the surgery. Patients will be directed to wash their face on the day of the procedure with a specific soap. They should arrive at the facility wearing no lotions, makeup, perfumes, or other products, like deoderant. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can provide additional comfort on the ride home.
Depending on whether the revision rhinoplasty requires extensive nasal reconstruction, the patient may have local or general anesthesia. With general anesthesia, the patient will be unconscious. Local anesthesia means that only the facial or nasal area will be numbed. Those using this latter option will typically be given a sedative to ease anxiety.
The specific techniques used during the surgery will vary, depending on what the surgeon is correcting and how extensive the changes will be. In general, however, the skin is first separated from the bone to allow access to the nasal structure. The bone and cartilage will be re-shaped, and the skin will then be re-attached.
For about a week after the revision rhinoplasty, the patient will have a small splint or cast taped to the nose for support. They will experience swelling and bruising for about 10 days to three weeks. The surgeon may recommend applying ice packs to the nasal area to reduce swelling. Breathing through the mouth for a few days after surgery may be necessary. Patients will need to rest and avoid strenuous activities for several weeks.
During the recovery period, patients should alert their surgeon to any complications they experience. These may include recurring nosebleeds, numbness, and persistent pain or swelling. The final result of a revision rhinoplasty may not be evident until a year after the surgery.