Revision Rhinoplasty: Open vs Closed Surgery


You had high hopes when you turned to a plastic surgeon to help you with one problem area on your body that you could not change on your own. It was your nose. You were never happy when you looked at yourself in the mirror. Cosmetics and changes in hairstyle were never enough to soften the appearance of your nose. It made you self-conscious about yourself. After a great deal of consideration, you decided it was time to place yourself in the hands of a surgeon who focused on enhancing the face through surgical intervention. You waited with great anticipation to see your results only to find that you were worse off than when you started. You’re very disappointed with the end result. You’re also experiencing difficulty breathing since you had your surgery. It’s time to consider revision rhinoplasty.

Choose Your Plastic Surgeon with Care

If you are not satisfied with your experience after your first rhinoplasty procedure, you are not alone. Rhinoplasty is a complex procedure in that it takes great skill and experience to get the best possible outcome. Many patients will request a revision. Some will be back several times in a quest for the results that will make them happy. Take your time in reviewing your options in order to find a plastic surgeon who gets your vote of confidence. When you choose a plastic surgeon who has excellent reviews and a record of first rate results, you will have peace of mind that you’ll get the outcome you wanted in the first place the next time around.

Should You Have an Open or Closed Procedure for Your Revision Rhinoplasty?

A closed revision rhinoplasty procedure is less involved and involves making incisions inside the nose. An open revision rhinoplasty procedure is more complicated and involves making an incision at the base of the nose, allowing your surgeon to peel back the skin of your nose to have better access to the underlying bone and cartilage. Which type of procedure will depend on your personal needs. Your surgeon may be able to take a simple approach in which a minor amount of excess cartilage or bone needs to be trimmed away. In this case, your incision will most likely be closed. However, you may need a complex procedure in which grafts from other tissues in the body, such as the rib, temple, or ear, can be used to reconstruct the nose. If you had too much of the tissue from your nose removed in a previous procedure, you are more likely to need a complicated, open procedure. You also need to be realistic about your eventual outcome as other tissues are used in order to compensate for what has been removed. Scarring will be likely, but your competent plastic surgeon can rebuild your nose to give you more appealing results when a previous rhinoplasty has failed to meet your expectation.

How Long Will Revision Rhinoplasty Take?

The amount of time for your procedure will depend on the complexity of your procedure. If you only need basic revisions, your procedure could be completed in as little as an hour and a half. However, you may involved in a procedure that could take as much as three hours if you need major revisions. You have several options for anesthesia. Your surgeon may choose:

  • Local anesthesia
  • General anesthesia
  • Twilight anesthesia, in which the patient breathes independently while unconscious

The type of anesthesia may depend on the complexity of the procedure, your anxiety level, and the preferences of your surgeon.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

You can expect to have stitches and a splint following your procedure. These are typically removed within a week after your procedure. Swelling, bruising, and mild discomfort are common after rhinoplasty. Your plastic surgeon may prescribe medication for pain relief if necessary. Otherwise, over-the-counter medication may be sufficient. Bruising should clear up in a little over a week, although you may have some swelling for months to come after your procedure. You should anticipate a week off from work. You will need to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for up to three weeks after your revision rhinoplasty. Also, be sure to protect your nose from exposure to the sun following your procedure. You do not want to damage the delicate skin after your revision rhinoplasty.

Remember that Function and Appearance are Equally Important

The appearance of your nose may be your top priority when you consider revision rhinoplasty. Don’t forget that the proper functioning of your nose is extremely important as well. You want to be able to breathe clearly. You should open yourself up to an increased risk of sleep apnea or sinus infections. When you sit down with your plastic surgeon, be open about any problems you have been experiencing since you had your original rhinoplasty procedure. If your issues go beyond results that were not attractive, you want to be sure that your plastic surgeon is aware of functional problems. Your surgeon will look at the big picture. The end goal will be a nose that fits your idea of what is attractive and allows you to breathe clearly. When you place yourself in the capable hands of a plastic surgeon who specializes in revision rhinoplasty, you can expect a promising outcome.

Dr. Andrew Frankel is highly experienced in surgery involving the head and neck including revision rhinoplasty in Beverly Hills, CA. His expertise in facial and reconstructive surgery gives him an advantage over other plastic surgeons. With over twenty years actively in practice, he has been transforming the appearance of countless patients for the better over the years. To learn more about his practice and make your appointment, go to


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here