Not all patients who seek out rhinoplasty do so because they’re unhappy with the way their nose looks. Some need surgery to improve or restore the function of their nose after experiencing physical trauma.
The trauma can come from any number of sources, but the most common include playing sports, an accident, or physical abuse. Rhinoplasty surgeons can perform post-trauma rhinoplasty to give patients back their nose by considering both its structure and appearance.
The Two Most Common Types of Trauma
The nose consists of small pieces of bone and cartilage that determine how the nose looks and functions. These materials are tough and can withstand a lot. But the right amount of force in the right place can create an injury. The most common injury from playing sports or physical altercations is a cracked or broken septum.
The septum is the cartilage that separates the left side of the nose from the right and is responsible for controlling the flow of air through the nose. It’s also more susceptible to injury because of its placement and orientation. A broken nose usually means the septum has been cracked, bent, or broken and is almost always accompanied by significant bleeding.
A common nasal injury in car accidents is a collapsed nasal bridge, commonly referred to as a saddle nose. The cartilage that makes up the bridge of the nose becomes so damaged that it loses all of its structural integrity, resulting in a nose that has a deformed or nonexistent nasal bridge.
When to Seek Treatment
A broken nose can range from a cracked septum to a complete loss of structural integrity. Regardless of the extent of the damage, you should see a doctor within a couple weeks of the injury at the most. Your general practitioner can treat simple breaks or cracks, but more extensive damage will often require rhinoplasty surgery.
Some injuries can’t be treated right away because the nose needs to heal enough for the surgeon to do the procedure. Generally, surgeons advise waiting about six months after an injury to have post-trauma rhinoplasty, but each nose injury is different and requires special consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Rhinoplasty Treatment Following Trauma
The word rhinoplasty means to shape the nose, and that includes both the inside and outside of the nose. Rhinoplasty surgeons who are skilled in both cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty can shape the nose so that it looks and works like a normal nose — even after experiencing trauma.
The process starts with a complete examination of the inside and outside of the nose, which can involve using a camera on a scope, an x-ray, or a CT scan to determine the extent of the injury. Next, the surgeon will discuss the details of the injury with the patient: how it occurred, the amount of time that has passed since the injury, and any other treatments the patient has had.
The surgeon will also ask for details about how the patient’s nose looked prior to the injury and how the patient wants the nose to look after surgery. This is where it is really important for the patient to be clear about what they’re looking for. If they want their nose to be restored back to its original appearance, some pictures from before the injury will be especially helpful to the doctor. If the patient wants a different looking nose or wants to make some alterations to the original, they have to be able to communicate this to the surgeon.
Once the exam is complete and all the information is gathered, the surgeon will formulate a plan for the rhinoplasty and determine the best way to restore the look and function of the patient’s nose.
Schedule Your Rhinoplasty Consultation Today
To learn more about rhinoplasty to treat your injury contact Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists. A facial plastic surgeon such as Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein can provide further guidance. You can contact us by email or call 845-863-1772. Dr. Rubinstein’s practice, Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, has two locations in New York, one in Newburgh and one in Manhattan.
Dr. Rubinstein has been practicing in the Hudson Valley for more than 15 years and specializes in esthetic laser producers, facial plastic surgery, nasal, and sinus disorders. He uniquely combines his medical and surgical expertise to help patients feel better and look better. He holds dual board certification from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, is a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, and is an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.