This is a question we face a lot in our practice. If you spend time on rhinoplasty discussion forums, you will leave feeling very depressed about your chances for the nose you’ve always wanted. These sites are chock full of nightmare stories of bad results and even worse interactions between the patients and surgeons. Having had a bad result already, many patients find themselves understandably bitter, suspicious of doctors, and despairing for the nose they had.
It’s enough to scare off someone considering a first-time rhinoplasty. More sad is that many revision rhinoplasty patients are so scarred from their experience that they are too scared to even think about jumping in the pool again after they’ve almost drowned, even if they can afford to take the chance! And, the picture may not appear much brighter if you read our blogs.
Patients say, “You talk about high revision rates and how hard the surgery is…is it even worth it?”
There are few surgeons who make a practice of doing rhinoplasty, let alone revision rhinoplasty. The technical challenges seem insurmountable in many cases and it can also be very hard to win back a patient’s trust. Well, the story should not be one of doom and gloom. Just because rhinoplasty and, especially, revision rhinoplasty are challenging does not mean that they cannot be consistently done well.
If you find a rhinoplasty expert, and a handful can be found in every part of the country, you should have reason for cautious optimism and even excitement. That’s because a good rhinoplasty surgeon should be able to promise you, barring any unforeseen complication, a very high probability of a very good result.
If not, you shouldn’t have the surgery and your surgeon shouldn’t suggest you do. Modern techniques, used appropriately, will allow for a high degree of precision and for very specific alterations to be made. And, an experienced surgeon will tell you what changes are outside the realm of reality.
Yes, healing can be unpredictable. Yes, there are no guarantees with an operation such as this. And, yes, we can’t tell how what we do will change your nose down to the submillimeter. But we can get darned close.
So, is rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty worth it? First, you have to find the right surgeon you can really trust. Then, you have to look inside and be really honest with yourself about your motivations, your obsessions, and what changes it will take to make you happy and settled with your nose. Will you really be happy with an 80% or 90% improvement, if not perfection? And, finally, you have to decide if that hope of a chance for happiness with your nose is something you want badly enough to make the pool worth trying out.