Of the thousands of people who undergo rhinoplasty each year, as many as 15% will be dissatisfied enough to seek out a revision procedure. The motives can vary, and some patients have both aesthetic and functional reasons for returning to the operating table-often under the care of a different plastic surgeon.
A study published in the latest issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery examines the reasons why patients seek revision rhinoplasty and how they may see their situations differently than the doctors performing the second surgery.
The most common complaints from the 104 patients in the study were, aesthetically, an asymmetrical tip or crooked middle third of the nose, and functionally, breathing or blockage problems. However, while 79% of the doctors assessed the patients in a way that matched their concerns, the doctors identified issues that didn’t coincide with 55% of the patients’ reasons for dissatisfaction.
The researchers believe this discrepancy is probably due to a “more comprehensive review of nasal anatomy by the trained eye of the surgeon, who follows a systematic method of evaluating the nose against a classical standard.” Furthermore, there’s the possibility of being critical of other surgeons’ or even their own work. “Patients, on the other hand, may have more subjective and varied opinions on their ideal appearance.”
Ultimately, even if your plastic surgeon identifies separate or additional issues to address during revision rhinoplasty, it is imperative that he or she take your concerns into consideration, in order to increase the chances of satisfaction the second time around.
“To optimize patient satisfaction from revision rhinoplasty, the surgeon must be keenly aware of the functional and cosmetic deficiencies that the patient considers most problematic,” the study authors wrote. “These findings emphasize the importance of physician awareness of patients’ concerns, understanding the causes of postsurgical nasal obstruction and clearly explaining nasal aesthetics to patients seeking revision rhinoplasty.”
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