Will you have to break my nose during rhinoplasty?
Will the doctor break my nose during my rhinoplasty?
This is a question that we get on a weekly basis from patients that are desiring to have Rhinoplasty surgery. Patients are afraid of the notion that their nose will be “broken” during their rhinoplasty surgery and associate it with more pain or discomfort after surgery.
Let’s dispel some myths:
1) “Breaking the Nose” – Breaking the nose does not mean that we put you to sleep and kick your nose in (sarcasm). This is a very precise and exact cutting of the bone in order to narrow it or straighten it in certain areas. The technical term for what most describe as “breaking the nose” is called an osteotomy. An osteotome is the tool used to do this and it is NOT a chisel. A chisel chips away at a hard surface. An osteotome cuts the bone. This is why performing an osteotomy is so precise.
2) Does it cause more pain? – We find that pain after rhinoplasty is minimal and is NOT increased if an osteotomy is performed. Pain after rhinoplasty can be very subjective. Some patients may not need any pain medications, while others may need some. We do not want anyone to ever be uncomfortable, so if you have any pain, take the medications that we prescribed for you. Since Dr. Steiger stopped packing noses after surgery, we have found that the post-operative rhonoplasty course is much easier and more comfortable.
3) Why are osteotomies performed? – Osteotomies are performed in order to change the position of the nasal bones, which are located at the upper 1/3rd of most people’s noses. This is performed on many patients who have crooked noses, especially from prior trauma to the nose / nasal fractures. In some patients that have large nasal humps, reducing the hump can make the nose look wider from the front (called on open roof). Osteotomies will narrow the nose again and improve the front view of the face (close the roof). We have created this image to better explain to you what we mean by an open roof and a closed roof.
3) Do you “break the nose” in every Rhinoplasty procedure? No. Osteotomies are only one small part of a Rhinoplasty surgery. Some people need it while some people do not. The best Rhinoplasty surgeries are customized to your nose. Every patients surgical plan is different and not everyone needs to have an osteotomy.
The goal of a Rhinoplasty is to give you a beautiful, customized and natural-looking result. There are many plastic surgeons, but few Rhinoplasty specialists. Make sure you find a doctor who is a rhinoplasty specialist to get the best possible result for your nose.
View this video animation to learn more: