Everyone knows what a rhinoplasty or “nose job” is, but most people have little knowledge of how the surgery itself is performed.
Since it is one of the most popular major cosmetic surgeries available, there is a great deal of information available to prospective patients on the internet. Unfortunately, some of this information is unclear, outdated, or just plain false.
Understandably, rhinoplasty patients want to be informed about their surgery prior to the actual procedure, and many are nervous about aspects of the surgery, such as breaking the nose to help reshape it. Since there is often a lot of confusion on this issue, it’s important to understand when and if the fracture of nasal bones is necessary, and why is it is done.
Why is the Nose Broken During Rhinoplasty?
Purposely breaking the nose in order to shape it is done to narrow the bridge or correct asymmetry in the nose. Breakage is not called for in every rhinoplasty, but it is an accepted technique for helping to resolve many common aesthetic and functional nasal issues.
Cartilage vs. Nasal Bone Reshaping
One of the major factors in whether or not breaking the nose will be required is what part of the nose will be operated on. If the changes will mostly be made to the cartilage of the nose, then the nose will typically not need to be broken. Bone reshaping, however, usually requires a more invasive surgery, including breaking the bones.
A nose that has suffered previous trauma or breakage may not have healed correctly and, as a result, appear crooked. Rhinoplasty to correct such a problem involves breaking the bones, as they can then be re-set to heal properly.
A common complaint for rhinoplasty patients is a “bump” on the nose, also known as the dorsal hump. This type of hump can make the nose appear larger and broader from the front, with a noticeable bump from the profile view. In order to fix this problem, the nasal bones must often be broken and moved closer together to create a slimmer appearance from the front.
When Breakage Is Not Required
Procedures such as tip rhinoplasty and nostril reshaping rarely require bones to be broken, as these areas of the nose are all made up of cartilage. These soft tissue changes are not affected by the nasal bones.
Benefits of Breaking the Nose
While many patients are worried about their nose being broken, in reality, the technique will not make the nose weaker in any way, and may help the nose heal correctly and predictably.
How it is Performed
Surgical nasal bone breakage is a very controlled and safe technique. A chisel-like tool and hammer are used to lightly tap the bones. The fractured bones are then moved closer together to narrow the bridge. Setting the nose this way allows for a more refined nasal appearance.
Nasal Fracture Recovery
Though recovering from a rhinoplasty involving breaking the bones takes a little more time than the procedure without this technique, patients can expect nearly the same recovery period. The most noticeable difference is how long it takes for bruising around the eyes to subside. Patients who undergo bone breakage may need to stay home from work a few extra days.
Each Procedure is Different
Due to the factors outlined above, It is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to the question “will my nose have to be broken during my rhinoplasty?” since each nose and situation is unique. Only a skilled rhinoplasty specialist can assess on an individual basis when it is appropriate to break the nose during nose reshaping surgery, depending on the nasal structure and surgical goals of the patient.
Putting Safety First
Rhinoplasty is a very safe procedure when performed by an experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, so you should not be alarmed if your surgeon suggests your nose may need to be broken during your procedure. Picking the right surgeon is the most important decision you can make regarding your rhinoplasty, and if you make a good choice, you have a high chance for success. Make sure you understand everything your surgeon tells you and follow all instructions to ensure your safety and promote a positive outcome. Experienced rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Robert A. Mounsey offers professional advice and expert care at his Toronto practice, Revesse. Call 416.438.2499 today to set up your consultation.