Secondary Nose Surgery

Nose surgery revision

The more experienced a cosmetic plastic surgeon becomes, the more cases of secondary surgery on other surgeon’s patients one has to perform. Secondary surgery is in reality a euphemism for a surgery where a patient is unhappy with a surgical result and wants improvement. Secondary nasal surgery is particularly challenging, and patients should be prepared for multiple interventions before their desired result is achieved.

Causes for secondary cosmetic surgery

Secondary surgeries may occur as a result of:

  • Complications after initial surgery
  • The surgeon’s technique
  • An unusual healing process
  • Patient dissatisfaction

More information on rhinoplasty can be found here:

Even though secondary surgery is sometimes necessary in all surgeries, it seems to be more prevalent in cases of rhinoplasty because of:

  • Greater visibility—the nose is where it is!
  • The fact that cartilage in the nose can warp months after surgery
  • Difficulty in surgeon seeing result during surgery because of swelling

Common reasons for secondary rhinoplasty


Excess cartilage on top of nose

This is a very common cause for secondary surgery. This deformity is commonly called a “parrot beak deformity” due to the shape of the lower nasal portion, where excess cartilage gives a parrot beak shape!

Uneven nostrils

Removal of cartilage in the lower portion of the nose can lead to a caving in of the nostril rims and uneven nostrils. Some patients have uneven nostrils to begin with from developmental causes, and though a wide nostril can be made narrower, an elevated nostril is very difficult to bring down.

Pinched nose tip

Removal of too much cartilage from a nasal tip in an attempt to narrow a nose can cause a pinched nose deformity. An ear or septal cartilage graft may be necessary to correct such a nasal deformity.

Too much removal of cartilage

Sometimes the original surgeon has removed too much of the cartilage and/or bone from the top of the nose, the nasal dorsum. The resultant deformity usually requires re-operation on the nasal bones along with cartilage grafts from the ears or septum.

Unexpected warping of the nose cartilage

Nasal cartilage has the irritating ability to warp, much like wood! The warping can be immediate or occur over years. The nasal septum is usually to blame if the whole nose has deviated to the side, but the smaller cartilages can also change their shape over time, requiring correction.

Secondary nasal surgery is a common cosmetic procedure, with about 10% of rhinoplasty patients requiring a second surgery. An experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon is your best bet for these difficult surgeries.

Here are some photos of nasal surgery: