Imagine going under a nose job with the hopes of getting the nose you’ve always wanted, but having things turn out quite unexpectedly. Instead of having the cute nose of your dreams, you end up with a nose that is equally unpleasant—or worse, a nose that’s even more unattractive than before! Or perhaps you do get the nose you want, but you suddenly have difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, these worst case scenarios do happen. In fact, a botched rhinoplasty or nose job is no longer uncommon. According to the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, an astonishing 20% of rhinoplasty procedures require revision surgery. While this number should concern you, it shouldn’t deter you as these statistics are an average. This statisic applies the typical plastic surgeon, not a rhinoplasty specialist. When in the hands of an expert, the odds of needing a revision rhinoplasty are remote. And if you do, these revision cases are usually minor touch-ups usually to due to poor healing, not surgical error.
Sadly, there are not many rhinoplasty experts, and many patients fall into the hands of rhinoplasty surgeons who, as it turns out, do not specialize in rhinoplasty at all. While their surgeon may have performed rhinoplasty procedures, these operations represent only a very small portion of their overall practice. In fact, the average plastic surgeon performs a mere 12 rhinoplasty surgeries per year. This is nowhere near the experience necessary to ensure a successful rhinoplasty outcome. In comparison, a top rhinoplasy surgeon, like Dr. Anil Shah, performs hundreds of surgeries annually. In fact, he performed 308 surgeries in the previous year alone.
What does all this mean for you as the patient? Quite simply, if rhinoplasty does not represent a large percentage of your surgeon’s practice, this means it is very likely that he does not invest time learning the latest and most advanced rhinoplasty techniques. In addition, these surgeons are completely lacking the necessary experience required to perform such a difficult and complex operation. Unfortunately, a surgeon who wants your business will not willingly tell you that he is inexperienced or lacking training in the most advanced techniques. Instead, he will convince you that he is the best surgeon for the job in order to take your money. It sounds terribly unfair, but it can (and does) happen.
Superficial and Function-Related Rhinoplasty Complications
Superficial and Function-Related Rhinoplasty Complications
While there are many complications that can arise from rhinoplasty, most of them fall under two common categories: superficial and function-related. Superficial complications refer to nose job results that do not meet the patient’s expectations. My first rhinoplasty fell under this category. According to my research, superficial complications are caused by surgical errors and failure of communication. In my case, I believe it was both. My first surgeon simply did not take the time to listen to what I wanted and did not include me in setting goals for the surgery. The second category of rhinoplasty complications is function-related and is generally characterized by breathing problems. Believe it or not, some patients who undergo rhinoplasty in order to improve their breathing are still under the risk of a botched nose job. In these cases, they can also undergo revision rhinoplasty.
While researching rhinoplasty, I also discovered the most common potential cosmetic and functional complications associated with nose jobs. These include asymmetric nose shapes, drooping or poorly defined nose tips, sagged middle portion, visible grafts or implants, too long or too short nose length and breathing difficulties due to scar tissue buildup or damage to the nasal structure. Although there are many complications and deformities that result from botched rhinoplasty surgeries, I will be focusing on the most common complication—which happens to be the one I also suffered from.
The first complication I suffered from is known as the Pollybeak Deformity. In this complication, your nose ends up resembling a parrot beak in profile. When a normal nose is seen in profile, it is usually the tip or the fleshy end that is the highest point of the nose. There is also a fairly obvious breakpoint between this tip and the end of the nose bridge. A Pollybeak complication is when the end of the bridge (just right above the tip of your nose) becomes the highest point of your nose. This typically happens when the rhinoplasty surgeon neglects to reduce cartilage above the tip of your nose. On the other hand, it can also happen even if your surgeon does reduce the cartilage. In some cases, the skin over this area does not contract or flatten as expected. As a result, the space where the cartilage was removed end up being filled with scar tissue. Another cause behind this complication is when your surgeon does not provide enough support for your nasal tip. This lack of support will cause the tip of your nose to droop, making the end of your nose bridge look higher and too full. In my case, the surgeon committed not one, but two errors: not only did he not provide enough support for my nasal tip, but he also failed to remove cartilage from the end of my nose bridge. These errors caused a hump in my nose just above the drooping nasal tip.
Over-Projected Nasal Tip
As if this first complication wasn’t enough, I also suffered from an over-projected tip, which is another common malformation associated with botched rhinoplasty operations. In this condition, the tip of the nose seems to extend too far out from the face. Many rhinoplasty patients go under the knife in order to reduce the bump that they find unattractive in their noses. However, what these patients don’t realize is that once the bump is gone, the tip of the nose can look disproportionately big and overly prominent. The second reason behind an over-projected tip is the fact that surgical methods to reduce nasal tip projection are extremely advanced and many rhinoplasty surgeons simply do not have sufficient training in the area. These surgeons will refrain from de-projecting the nasal tip and tell you that it’s for aesthetic or health purposes. The real reason why they won’t do it is because it is simply too difficult for them but they would never admit that.
It’s devastating to think that I suffered two of the most common rhinoplasty complications in the hands of a supposed “expert” rhinoplasty surgeon. What more if I ended up going to a third-rate surgeon? But thanks to Dr. Anil Shah, I have a new lease in life (and nose!). I now believe that even if you suffered from complications like me, the right surgeon—like Dr. Shah—can still give you the beautiful and functional nose you deserve.