Choosing a medical professional to perform facial surgery is always a big decision. It is even more so when the surgery is a secondary or corrective procedure like a revision rhinoplasty. Theoretically, there is not a limit to how many times a patient may have a rhinoplasty redone, but for many reasons, the goal should be to provide the maximum improvement through a minimum number of procedures. When searching for a rhinoplasty revision surgery provider, here are some things to keep in mind.
Choose an expert in rhinoplasty revision
Choosing a surgeon to correct or improve your rhinoplasty is a much different decision than choosing a general health care practitioner. Rhinoplasty is a delicate specialization that requires an innate understanding of the complex anatomy of the nose. Rhinoplasty experts work with very small structures – and even smaller margins of error – to improve the function of the nose. At the same time, they must remain conscious of the effects that inward alterations have on the outward appearance of the nose – not just immediately, but also after months or years of settling and stretching.
Secondary or corrective rhinoplasty is not just another rhinoplasty. Revision experts need to understand the healing process of a repeated procedure in order to anticipate how the operation site will look and feel in the future. Since they perform procedures where another surgery has already been performed, they must take into account accumulated scar tissue, already altered bone structures, missing cartilage, and other unique challenges not present in an initial facial surgery.
Look for proper board credentials
Seeing a list of initials after a surgeon’s name can be impressive and instill confidence in the doctor’s abilities. But not credentials are made equal.
In addition to a medical degree, a rhinoplasty surgeon should be board certified in multiple areas. Specifically, look for certification in the areas of both plastic surgery, such as by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and facial surgery, such as by the American Board of Otolaryngology. This is to ensure the physician is up-to-date and competent in multiple areas impacted by these complex surgeries.
Choose a surgeon who adopts modern techniques
Medical technology is constantly evolving. A trustworthy physician will stay on top of the technological advances, and possibly even promote new developments based on their experience in this highly specialized field.
Ancient Egyptian manuscripts detail rhinoplasties that occurred as early as 3000 B.C. but the methods have been evolving ever since. Traditional surgical tools and techniques have been improved through adaptation to the needs of small nasal structures. Minimally invasive techniques have been perfected. But not all surgeons are using the most advanced procedures so be sure to understand your prospective rhinoplasty provider’s approach before signing on.
Understand what insurance does and does not cover
There can be some misconceptions about insurance coverage and revision rhinoplasty. Since the procedure often has both functional and cosmetic benefits, it is important to understand the impact of each because insurance policies will often cover a portion of the procedure to account for the functional aspect.
Why do you seek a revision of your surgery? Is it strictly to improve the appearance? In that case, insurance is not likely to cover the bills. Are you having issues breathing following an earlier rhinoplasty? Then your insurance may partially cover the medical costs. This is something to discuss ahead of time.
Understand the surgeon’s philosophy
Some surgeons take an aggressive approach to rhinoplasty, seeking aggressive cosmetic changes first. This can lead to a future failure of the procedure, either soon after the swelling resides or years later when tissues collapse. Other surgeons take a more minimal approach to provide a natural-looking improvement while considering the structure and function of the nasal anatomy.
During a consultation, take the time to speak with a surgeon to understand both your goals and the surgeon’s approach. In some cases, you and the surgeon may not be a good fit. In other cases, perhaps understanding the surgeon’s medical reasoning will impact your goals and provide you with a plan in which you can feel confident.
Schedule a revision rhinoplasty consultation
Dr. Daniel G. Becker is a medical doctor and plastic surgeon certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) and the American Board of Otolaryngology (ENT). He is the co-director of the University of Pennsylvania Aesthetic & Functional Rhinoplasty Course, which draws surgeons from across the country and around the world.
Dr. Becker has committed himself to being an expert in the field of rhinoplasty and rhinoplasty revision. In addition to having written four surgical textbooks and over 100 scientific publications on the topic, Dr. Becker has designed specialty medical instruments to suit the delicate needs of the rhinoplasty procedure. He is located in New Jersey and is proud to serve patients from the tri-state area, as well as those who travel across the country or around the world. Contact Dr. Becker if you’re in need of a revision rhinoplasty in the Princeton area.