Why Rhinoplasties May Fail Years Later

As a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience, I have seen many patients who are concerned about the long-term success of their rhinoplasty surgery. It is a common misconception that rhinoplasty is a one-time procedure with permanent results. In reality, the nose, like any other facial feature, is prone to aging and changes over time. Rhinoplasty failure is not as common as many people believe, occurring in only 5 to 10 percent of cases. However, when it does happen, it can be emotionally devastating for the patient.

Failed nose surgery can lead to a decrease in self-esteem and confidence, affecting a person's social activities and overall well-being. So why do some rhinoplasties fail years later? The answer lies in the natural aging process and the techniques used during the initial surgery.

The Nose and Aging

The nose is made up of cartilage, soft tissue, and fat. The soft tissue contains collagen, which breaks down over time. This means that even without any previous surgery, the nose will eventually change shape and size as we age. However, these changes may be more noticeable in a nose that has undergone rhinoplasty. When a patient undergoes rhinoplasty, the internal structure of the nose is altered.

As the nose continues to age, these changes can affect the patient's respiratory capacity. This can lead to breathing difficulties that may seem to appear out of nowhere. However, this does not mean that all rhinoplasties will fail in the long term.

The Importance of Choosing an Experienced Surgeon

One of the main reasons for rhinoplasty failure is the use of outdated techniques. In the past, rhinoplasty was a more invasive procedure that involved removing a significant amount of cartilage and tissue.

This can lead to long-term complications and unsatisfactory results. However, with newer, more advanced techniques, better long-term results can be achieved. As a plastic surgeon, I have seen firsthand the difference these techniques can make in the success of a rhinoplasty surgery. That is why it is crucial to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in rhinoplasty to ensure the best possible outcome.

The Need for Revision Rhinoplasty

Even with the most advanced techniques, some patients may still require revision rhinoplasty in the future. This is because the nose continues to change and age over time.

While the initial surgery may have been successful, these changes can affect the appearance and function of the nose. Additionally, some patients may have undergone rhinoplasty at a younger age when their nose was still developing. In these cases, the surgeon may not have used advanced techniques, leading to unsatisfactory results in the long term.


In conclusion, while it is true that some rhinoplasties may fail years later, it is not a common occurrence. With advancements in surgical techniques and choosing an experienced surgeon, patients can expect long-term success from their rhinoplasty surgery. However, it is essential to understand that the nose will continue to change over time, and some patients may require revision surgery in the future.

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