Q: Dr. Eppley ,How many rhinoplasties have you performed? What is the percent of having to redo a rhinoplasty that did not come out as desired.

A: I have performed over 500 rhinoplasties in my career. The number of medical complications, such as infection, in rhinoplasty surgery is very low as I have seen only two. (both that involved the use of synthetic implants) Revisional surgery in rhinoplasty surgery, however, is not rare and in fact is actually common. These revisions are for aesthetic reasons and the  national average is around 15% if not higher. That number is my rhinoplasty surgery experience is about right although it may be a bit lower. There are a large number of reasons for rhinoplasty revisions and some of that is driven by the patient themselves. Some patients can tolerate minor imperfections in their nose while other patients continue to seek absolute perfection and may go on to have multiple revisions. I have seen patients who are quite content with their result even if I has wished I could make some further improvements of it. Conversely there are other patients that desire a rhinoplasty revision when I would have preferred and thought more medically appropriate that they leave it alone. The point is that the risk of revisal surgery in rhinoplasty is real and not rare and one that every patient who undergoes the challenging operation of rhinoplasty must accept.

It is also important to differentiate the risk of revisional surgery based on the type of nose that is being treated. There is an enormous difference in the likelihood of needing a revision in a cleft rhinoplasty procedure that someone who only wants a small bump on their nose to be reduced.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana