Broken Nose Surgery – Break Your Nose?

Surgery to Fix a Broken Nose – Symptoms, Treatment & Recovery

  • Did you suffer a nasal fracture?
  • Do you have difficulties breathing through the nose?
  • Do you want to know more about surgery to correct a broken nose?

The most common fracture around your face is a broken nose. Did you know that men break their nose twice as often as women do? A broken nose can heal on its own in less than a month, but you might experience severe pain and complications. You could end up with a bent nose and have difficulty breathing in future. This is the reason why you should seek medical help ASAP if you think you might have a broken nose. Nose surgery or Rhinoplasty is often the optimal solution to correct a previously broken nose.

Dr Michael Kernohan is a specialist plastic surgeon in Sydney. Find out more about broken nose surgery and what to expect before and after the surgery.

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Symptoms of a Broken Nose

A broken nose is called a nasal fracture in medical terms. It is a common injury that implies a rupture of a bone in the nose. This can cause a lot of pain, swelling and bruising around the nose or under the eyes. The most common symptoms of a broken nose include:

  • Intense pain
  • The nose area is very sensitive to the touch
  • Swelling in the area
  • Bleeding through the nose
  • Bruises under the eyes and around the nose
  • A change in the shape of the nose
  • Breathing difficulties

There are different causes of a nasal fracture. Most often, these fractures can occur during sports activities or as a result of car accidents, fighting, or falling down. Engaging in a contact sport like rugby or football is one of the most common causes of broken noses.

While a broken nose can heal on its own, the recommendation is to see a doctor at your local Emergency Department if you suspect you have a nasal fracture. There are many complications that can occur if your broken nose is not treated properly including:

  • infections can occur at the level of the nose, sinuses or nose bones
  • permanent breathing difficulties
  • a crooked nose
  • nasal septum deviation
  • Partial or complete loss of smell

Diagnosis of a Broken Nose

In most cases, a nasal fracture is diagnosed by physical examination. This means that the doctor will touch your nose and face to see if there is a rupture or not. If you are in too much pain, an anaesthetic might be used to numb the area and allow the doctor to perform the physical examination. An X-ray is not usually required, unless your doctor suspects other facial fractures. In this case a CT scan might be necessary.

Treatment for a Broken Nose

It is essential to get proper treatment to make sure you avoid unwanted complications associated with a broken nose. A nose splint, manual realignment or a rhinoplasty surgery might be necessary to correct a broken nose.

Cold compresses can be used during the first two days after the injury occurred to help reduce the swelling and bruising. Antibiotics can also be prescribed to help avoid infections after the fracture occurred.

Broken Nose Surgery

There are two types of nose surgery procedures that can be performed to fix a previously broken nose.

1.     Rhinoplasty

The surgery performed to change the shape of your nose is known as rhinoplasty. It is done to reshape the nose when there are multiple fractures or if the injury to your nose has affected the shape. The procedure is also preferred when there is an obstruction in the air passage.  This particular surgery can also be done for cosmetic purposes or to correct the birth defects of the nose. Dr Kernohan will create a customised plan for your surgery after taking into consideration your facial features

2.     Septoplasty

When there is damage to your nasal septum or it is torn, it may affect normal breathing through your nostrils and can also cause infection. The deviated septum is corrected surgically with a septoplasty.


FAQs about Broken Nose

Can I fix my broken nose myself?

  • You shouldn’t try to fix your broken nose because there may be some complications that you are not unable to assess. You might exaggerate the condition unknowingly rather than fix it. Always visit the healthcare provider as soon as possible when you suspect a broken nose.

Is a broken nose an emergency?

  • If you experience severe nose bleeding, difficulties breathing, pain and swelling in the area you should seek medical attention. High fever, disorientation or severe headaches are also signs that you might be dealing with a severe medical emergency.

What to do before rhinoplasty surgery?

  • To prepare for your rhinoplasty surgery you should avoid smoking for several weeks. You should cease eating or drinking at least 8 hours before the procedure. Get enough rest and have a balanced diet before the surgery to make sure you have a quicker recovery.

How long is the recovery period after rhinoplasty surgery?

  • It can take up to two or three weeks for most of the swelling and bruising to subside after the broken nose surgery. Some swelling may persist for up to 12 months. Most patients can resume normal activities and return to work after two weeks. It’s important to avoid strenuous physical activities for at least two more months after the surgery.

Does broken nose surgery leave scars?

  • No, you do not normally need to be worried about the scars after the broken nose surgery. Corrective rhinoplasty can be done through incisions hidden within the nostrils or sometime across the base of the centre of the nose (the columella) – these are normally very discreet and difficult to see. It is rare to have visible scars after the surgery. You may have swelling, pain, tenderness, and blood or mucous discharge from your nose after the surgery but these are normal side effects that subside in time.

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Further Reading about Broken Nose Surgery