The demand for revision surgeries is at an all time high, according to some surgeons whose waiting rooms are filled with patients who seek out their special expertise and aesthetic judgment. As the number of people electing to have plastic surgery continues to rise across the country, and the number of doctors electing to do cosmetic procedures is increasing, it is not surprising that the number of corrective or revision surgeries would also be growing.
According to New York City Facial Plastic Surgeon Sam Rizk, “At this point, about fifty percent of the procedures I perform are revision surgery. Although rhinoplasty has historically been the number one revision procedure, patients are also seeking secondary facelifts, neck lifts and blepharoplasties (eyelid surgery) in record numbers.”
Factors That Influence Secondary Surgery
Revision surgery may be necessary after complications from disappointing results or from problems that arose which may have been avoided by a more experienced surgeon.
Because risks increase, and the likelihood of pleasing cosmetic are less predictable and more complicated with every surgery, mainly because of accumulation of scar tissue and the loss of cartilage. Revision surgeries are also more expensive than first-time surgeries and usually take longer and require a longer recovery. For example, a first-time rhinoplasty usually takes one to two hours, whereas a revision could take three or four hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
“I see many patients who have had two or three or more surgeries before coming to see me,” said Dr. Rizk. “It’s a vicious cycle. Patients who are undergoing multiple procedures are much more anxious and fearful of the results because of their past experience. They are also often harder to please.”
More doctors are trying to do cosmetic surgery, and are luring patients in with discounts, deals and promotions. However they may not have the extensive surgical training and experience needed to perform complex cosmetic procedures of the face, eyes and nose. There is no such thing as bargain cosmetic surgery. In fact, it may not end up being a bargain when you factor in the costs of additional procedures, hospital fees, anesthesia and recovery time.
“It is entirely preferable to have a successful primary surgery to avoid needing revisions later on,” said Dr. Rizk, who turns down many patients who have unrealistic expectations or are too psychologically damaged to make them good candidates for additional surgery. “Especially with rhinoplasty, there is no margin for error because even a few millimeters can make the difference between an acceptable result and a great result. The nose is a very delicate structure and it has to function as well as look good with the individual’s other facial features,” he said.
For more information on Sam Rizk, MD, FACS, visit http://www.drsamrizk.com.