Since I have thick skin doctors can't use cartilage grafts in my nose to make it so I can breathe again. Any suggestions?(photo)

After 2 failed rhinoplasties I can no longer breathe. I went to see Dr. Hilinski in San Diego, he didn't examine me very thoroughly and he said the only way I'll be able to MAYBE correct my breathing is to build the bridge up again, resulting in a bigger nose. Which I don't want because my first surgeon made my nostrils so small it will look very abnormal. I wan't to know others opinions on this. I've been told I have very thick skin.

Doctor Answers 3

Pictures would be helpful

Hi sophiaannem, first off I would tell you that if you post photos (before and after your first surgeries if possible), it will be much easier to give you advice as your current situation and you will likely get a great more number of responses. That said, it sounds like potentially your nose was over-resected during the initial procedures leading to some collapse and subsequent breathing issues. This is much more likely with thicker skin patients. Unfortunately, thicker skin also means to improve the breathing in these types of cases, the nose usually needs to be made "bigger". There needs to be more support under the canopy / skin to fill it out / hold it up better. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the nose will look worse just because it is technically larger. By adding volume and support in key specific areas, it is definitely possible to achieve a better looking nose with better breathing function still. Best of luck to you!

Thick skin

It sounds like you had your nose overly reduced with the first surgery, leading to collapse of the nasal bridge and nostrils.  Thick skin is not a limitation to correcting nasal obstruction.  Please seek consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon experienced in the management of nasal breathing problems, cosmetic rhinoplasty and complex revision rhinoplasty.

John Frodel, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Thick Skin and Options

The exam in your situation is critical.  Lots of options are available from a reconstructive standpoint and cartilage grafting is a viable option regardless of skin thickness.  But the diagnosis of where the problem is located in conjunction with other nasal anatomic relationships in your new operated nose is key.  I would strongly recommend visiting with someone who specializes in revision rhinoplasty in your area! 

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.