patient guide

Rhinoplasty  Complications  and  Revision  Surgery.   Tel: 09 529 5783


Despite the best planning and execution it is possible to have problems following Rhinoplasty or indeed any surgical procedure. Swelling, scarring, skin-type and other variables can reduce predictability. There is a revision rate of 5-10% for Rhinoplasty and this may affect either the function or the appearance. Beware of surgeons who claim revision rates less than this. Of course this means that 90-95% of the time the outcome is satisfactory. In general it is best to wait for at least six months before considering further surgery as the effects of scarring and swelling will not have subsided and some problems will resolve in this period. It is unusual to need a complete revision. Typical problems involve minor irregularities of the bridge or tip.

At the initial consultation, your nose will be examined and any features likely to lead to problems will be noted and explained to you. Some noses are more prone to airway problems, rim retraction, upper lip changes etc, depending on the pre-existing anatomy. Recognition of these factors prior to surgery allows for modifications of technique and means you are aware of the limitations.

Very occasionally patients are unhappy with the results of surgery despite the surgery going well and the surgeon being happy with the result. This is why it is important to be realistic about your expectations. Minor irregularities exist even in the most beautiful of noses.


Cosmetic surgery is not a cure for relationship problems or other life stresses. Before going into surgery it is important to examine your motivation and be comfortable with your decision. Sometimes it is appropriate to discuss life stresses with a psychologist.

Although there is generally no surgeon’s fee for revision surgery there may well be costs associated with the operating facility and anaesthesia.

Sometimes it is necessary to reoperate on noses for unsatisfactory results of surgery performed elsewhere. This may be due to an inexperienced surgeon, an unexpected complication or other factors.

Techniques change over the years and a Rhinoplasty performed ten years ago may benefit from a more modern approach.

Minor touch-ups may be quite straightforward but total revisions are more difficult than primary surgery and will require the use of structural grafts in many cases.

Recovery time tends to be longer after secondary surgery. Where possible it is ideal to have a record of what was done at the initial operation and photos of the nose before surgery. [ costs ... ]