Possible Risks or Complications following a Revision Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty does not always produce satisfactory results. Your surgeon may create digital predictions of the final results, but you might still end up with some issues. The problem might be your appearance or your breathing. If you have such problems, you can go for a secondary procedure.

Revision rhinoplasty is more complicated than the primary procedure and should only be performed by a surgeon who has sophisticated knowledge of the nasal structures. Since the tissues in your nose will be compromised, the procedure will be more delicate compared to the primary surgery. As you would expect, there are greater risks and complications associated with the secondary procedure. Here are some of the biggest risks:

  • Bleeding

Bleeding during and after the procedure is normal. It is also typically minor, except for patients who use blood-thinning medications or herbal supplements. After the surgery, your doctor will use nasal packing to control bleeding. Nasal packing should be used for about two days after the surgery. If you don’t have a bleeding problem, it is unlikely that you will need to be hospitalized for bleeding as it will never get to that level of seriousness.

To prevent excessive bleeding, you should follow your doctor’s instruction before, during and after the surgery. They will instruct you to avoid all blood-thinning medications, including mild ones like baby aspirin. You should also not engage in strenuous activities after the procedure and should be careful enough not to bump your nose on any surface.

You should also be open with your doctor on any health problems you may have since these can increase the risk of excessive bleeding.

  • Adverse Reactions to Anesthesia

Your doctor is likely to put you under general anesthesia for the secondary procedure. Although it is possible for you to experience adverse reactions to the anesthesia, the chances of this happening are very low. Top plastic surgeons work with anesthesiologists to make sure the products used to numb you will not affect you negatively.

Your doctor will also place airway tubes in your throat to make sure you can still breathe properly in case the anesthesia causes adverse side effects.

  • Poor Sensitivity to Smells

Some people end up becoming insensitive to smells. This might be because of perforations in the septum or the blockage of the nose. Usually, the nose gets blocked by scar tissues from the secondary procedure. The nasal structures might also collapse because of being weakened.

If you have any pre-existing breathing problem, you should let your doctor know. Revision rhinoplasty surgeons will typically run a thorough medical examination before the procedure and come up with a plan on how to execute the surgery safely.

  • Depression

Just like the primary surgery, revision rhinoplasty carries the risk of depression. This usually stems from the feeling of being unattractive. After the surgery, your nose will be swollen and will generally not be presentable for at least three months. It will take a full year to heal completely and assume its final size and shape. Some patients are unable to cope with their appearance in this period.

  • Infection

An infection in the nasal structures will delay your recovery significantly. Fortunately, infections occur in a very small percentage of patients. You should watch out for the symptoms of an infection so it can get treated before it causes major problems to your nasal tissues. Some of these symptoms include excessive swelling, pain, a discharge from the nose and fever.

  • Changes in Your Vision

The procedure might affect your vision temporarily. This might be a simple deterioration of your sight or complete visual impairment.

Will You Still Experience the Side Effects of Primary Rhinoplasty?

Revision rhinoplasty will also come with all the risks of primary nose jobs. The risks are even higher in the revision procedure. These complications include:

  • Pain in the nose
  • Permanent damage to the nerves
  • Bursting of blood vessels on the surface of the nose
  • The collection of blood under the skin
  • Bruising
  • Scarring

You should also remember that this procedure is not guaranteed to produce perfect results. Just like the primary procedure, you will have to wait for about a year before you will see the final results of the surgery.

How Can You Reduce the Risks of the Procedure?

Certain precautions will reduce the chances that you will experience adverse complications. It is important to make sure you work with a cosmetic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Rhinoplasty is one of the most complicated facial surgeries and should never be performed by an inexperienced surgeon.

You also need to follow the instructions of your doctor. Here are some instructions you will be given regarding the procedure:

  • Avoid tobacco for at least two weeks before the procedure
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements
  • Don’t engage in strenuous activities for at least three weeks after surgery
  • Sleep with your head elevated for some days after the surgery. Bending should also be limited.
  • Don’t expose your nose to direct sunlight
  • Be very careful when walking or applying makeup since the nasal structures will not be strong enough to sustain bumps or pressure. If you have glasses, be sure to ask your surgeon when you can continue wearing them.
  • Apply cold compresses to your nose
  • Avoid blowing your nose with force
  • Facial movements should also be limited

Finally, you should wait for about a year before going for a secondary rhinoplasty. Otherwise, your doctor will be forced to work with weakened structures and tissues, and this will increase the risk of developing complications from the procedure.

About Dr. Daniel G. Becker

Dr. Daniel G. Becker carries out primary and revision rhinoplasty procedures in New Jersey. He aims at using his science and art to come up with a natural and un-operated facial appearance. You can visit his website at https://www.therhinoplastycenter.com/ to view before and after pictures of his previous patients. Contact him on 856-772-1617 or 609-436-5740 for a safe and satisfactory procedure.


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