You may have heard that revision rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult plastic surgeries to get right. That may be true, but experienced revision specialists work hard to meet any challenge a nose might present. Take, for instance, thick nasal skin. Even in primary rhinoplasty, this is considered a major challenge. But why? And is it possible to get a good result from revision rhinoplasty if you have thick skin?
Here’s what you need to know about thick, oily skin if you’re thinking about secondary surgery.
Why Does Thick Skin Cause Problems in Rhinoplasty?
The skin drapes over the structure and contour of the nose, ideally allowing the beautiful results of rhinoplasty to be seen. However, thick skin can make the nose appear undefined, camouflaging work that was done on the nose. The nasal tip is also often pulled downward from the weight of the thick skin. Finally, patients with thick skin may find that it takes longer for swelling to resolve—especially after revision rhinoplasty surgery.
The Minor Benefit of Thick Skin
Though thick skin is more of a challenge than anything, there is one benefit to the characteristic. Any small imperfections in the nasal structure will not be obvious, due to the fact that thick skin can hide undesirable contours.
Revision Rhinoplasty and Scar Tissue
All surgery produces scar tissue, and revision rhinoplasty surgeons must contend with scar tissue under the skin, in addition to the thick skin envelope. The amount of scarring and tough tissue that develops after primary rhinoplasty is often greater for patients with thick skin, which can make a secondary procedure more difficult.
Nasal Structure & Thick Skin
Heavy, thick nasal skin can put stress on the bones and cartilage, causing issues if there are any areas of weakness. During primary rhinoplasty, structures are altered and can become less sturdy, and become more precarious with future surgeries. However, experienced revision surgeons will take care to preserve as much structural support as possible.
Hope for Patients with Thick Skin—and Realistic Expectations
While thick nasal skin presents revision surgeons with significant challenges and obstacles, an experienced plastic surgeon can make a world of difference from a poor result in primary rhinoplasty. By using techniques to maximize definition and preserve nasal structure strength, surgeons can typically make substantial improvement in the overall appearance of the nose during revision surgery. Patients with thick skin can have hope for great results, as long as the surgery is performed by a specialist.
With that said, patients need to understand the limitations of both the procedure and their skin and have realistic expectations for the results of revision rhinoplasty. Taking a close look at before and after pictures, as well as discussing the issue with a plastic surgeon can help greatly.
Because it takes longer for the swelling to go down following rhinoplasty for thick-skinned patients, revision surgery should not be performed until at least 12 months following primary surgery. Swelling from secondary procedures can take even longer to subside—sometimes 18 months or more, so prospective patients need to be prepared to wait for the results of revision rhinoplasty. However, most patients feel that a beautiful result is well worth the wait, especially since rhinoplasty is a permanent procedure.
An Expert Can Help
There may be a lot of negativity surrounding thick skin in revision rhinoplasty, but don’t let that get you down. There are very talented revision specialists out there who are able to make significant improvement, even in very challenging cases. Carefully schedule a few consultations and get a personalized opinion on your nose, and what can be done to help you reach your goals.
There are many plastic surgeons in the Beverly Hills area offering revision rhinoplasty, but Dr. Andrew Frankel is a standout specialist, with a background of consistent, custom, beautiful results. If you’d like to speak with an expert about your revision rhinoplasty expectations, come to the Lasky Clinic for a consultation with Dr. Frankel. Call (310) 552-2173 today to schedule your consultation.