How Surgeons Fix Nasal Form and Function after Injury

man with soccer ball

You may think of rhinoplasty surgery as an option to make cosmetic changes but it’s also a very common form of corrective measure after sustaining a nasal injury to avoid lasting effects on the appearance and function of your nose. While not all nasal injuries require surgery, corrective rhinoplasty can repair issues concerning aesthetics or functionality that may arise.

Common Nasal Injuries

Nasal injuries range from minor bumps and bruises to more severe fractures and lacerations. The nose’s complex structure, composed of bones, cartilage, blood vessels, and mucous membranes, makes it vulnerable to various types of injuries and can vary in appearance, sensation, and severity. Each case is treated individually based on the patient’s needs. The most common nasal injuries include:

Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture)

Nasal fractures occur when the bones in the nose break due to a significant impact or trauma. This type of injury often results from accidents, falls, or sports-related incidents. The symptoms of a nasal fracture may include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, the nose may appear misaligned. Without proper treatment, a nasal fracture can lead to long-term aesthetic and functional issues, such as a crooked nose or chronic breathing problems.

Nasal Abrasions and Lacerations

Nasal abrasions are minor injuries caused by scraping or rubbing the nose against a rough surface, resulting in superficial skin damage. On the other hand, nasal lacerations refer to cuts or deep wounds on the nose’s surface. Both types of injuries can cause bleeding and pain. Nasal lacerations often require stitches to promote proper healing and reduce scarring. Prompt medical attention is crucial for preventing infection and ensuring optimal cosmetic outcomes.

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is a common nasal injury that occurs when the thin wall separating the nostrils is displaced. While not caused by direct trauma, it can lead to breathing difficulties, chronic sinus issues, and recurrent nasal congestion. Surgical intervention may be necessary to correct a severely deviated septum and improve breathing.

Improving Aesthetics After a Nasal Injury

One of the most common concerns following a broken nose is how the injury might affect the shape or symmetry of the nose. If left to heal on its own, a broken nose could set in a crooked position or create a dorsal hump or flatter bridge. 

To avoid permanent changes to the appearance of your nose following a nasal injury, it is best to speak with a facial plastic surgeon within the first week after the injury before the bones have a chance to set into a new position.

Improving Function After a Nasal Injury

Even if aesthetic changes are minimal after a nasal injury, functionality issues such as trouble breathing or sleeping, or recurring sinus infections may still occur. In these cases, broken nose reconstruction may be necessary to restore proper nasal function and minimize the risk of medical complications. 

Many patients look for a blend of form and function improvements in their rhinoplasty following a nose injury.

If you are considering rhinoplasty to correct form, function or both after an injury, call our Houston office at 281-557-3223 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.