Although you might not want to embark on a surgical procedure thinking about what will happen when it goes wrong, it's not something you can avoid. Certainly a good surgeon will discuss the risks with you at the consultation and at TreatmentAdviser.com one of the questions we advise prospective patients to ask is: what is your policy on revision surgery?
Certain procedures have a much higher rate of revision than you might think. It is thought that approximately 5 to 12 per cent of rhinoplasty patients will need a revision to some degree and it can be much more challenging than the initial procedure.
You may have the revision surgery with the same surgeon as they work to improve the outcome of the procedure or the revision procedure may be performed by a different surgeon – in fact, revision rhinoplasty can be so much more challenging that some surgeons have built their reputation on this procedure alone.
Revision breast augmentation is also a relatively common procedure – either to improve the aesthetic outcome or to correct problems that occur over time. In a recent survey, the majority of women were not aware that they may need a revision breast augmentation procedure at some point, which is something that should definitely have been discussed at their consultation.
Liposuction is less likely to need revision but there may be some dents or lumps that might need correcting either with fillers or with a secondary liposuction or energy-assisted fat removal procedure such as LipoSonix.
Revision surgery: Am I suitable?
The question of timing is very important. Most surgeons don't like to do a repeat procedure in the first year as the healing process can take that long and can produce dramatic results.
Revision surgery: What do I have to do to prepare?
Expectations are often a crucial factor in revision procedures. Some patients can have unrealistic expectations and are not satisfied with the outcome of a procedure however much it might be perceived as a success by others.
Alternatively, it might be your expectations were realistic but a lack of communication between you and the original surgeon means you ended up with something you didn't want. Therefore, it is important, before embarking on a revision procedure, to have a number of consultations with reputable and experienced surgeons to find a practitioner with whom you can share good and clear communication.
Revision surgery: What’s the treatment like?
Revision rhinoplasty – just like the initial procedure – can be performed for both cosmetic or functional reasons or a combination of both. Dips can be filled with implants and bumps can be filled down further to a produce a smooth contour. It can also be possible to improve scarring from the previous procedure.
Just as with the initial op, there may be restrictions on what the surgeon can achieve in a rhinoplasty procedure and further difficulties will be caused to the changes that have been made to the bone and cartilage and the presence of scar tissue.
Even if you were happy with your breast augmentation in the first place, there can be aesthetic changes over time; this can include movement of the implant either higher or lower in relation to the nipple or changes to the implant itself, such as 'capsular contracture', implant rupture or rotated implants.
The principals are exactly the same for revision breast augmentation as they are for the original procedure but it may be that the surgeon has to perform a combination of different techniques to get the best aesthetic outcome – this can include removal and replacement of the implants, elevation of the nipple, mastopexy (breast uplift), removal of sagging skin and tissue and even redefinition of the inframammary fold.
Revision surgery: What about after?
It can be the case that results from the original surgery were compromised by not following the surgeon's instructions to the letter for wound care or activity levels so it is essential that you follow their advice this time round to get the best outcome.
Revision surgery: Are there any risks or side effects?
Risks associated with revision surgery will be the same as those associated with the original procedure. However, there may be implications in relation to scarring.
Revision surgery: What will it cost me?
As a revision surgical procedure is usually a more complex procedure than the original op if you are having this surgery with a new practitioner than the cost will usually be more expensive than the original cost.
However, if your original surgeon is performing the procedure then they may waive their fee although there are some costs such as the anaesthetist or the hospital that you might still have to pay.