How Do You Know if Cartilage Has Warped?

I had a Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty and Nasal Graft surgery 9 weeks ago to help me with a breathing problem I had. I had a slight bump to my nose at 7 weeks post operation. I am worried my nose is ruined. I went to see the doctor and he said everything is fine, but when I don't feel fine. I feel like there is something in my nose that moved? I think cartilage might've warped. How do you know? Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

How do you know if cartilage has warped? #nosejob

This is mainly diagnosed by physical exam by your surgeon. Remember, things are going to feel different and you will need many months to get used to the changes. Being that said if you truly feel something has happened then go see your surgeon for an exam. If they are not telling you what you want to hear then either you have to trust in them or seek another opinion. My hunch is you just need to give this time. You are still very early in the post operative period and I think in time you will  see that things will settle down. If they don't then you deal with it at that time, but I would wait a minimum of 6 months before you really worry. 

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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How Do You Know if Cartilage Has Warped?

 The nose becomes crooked or asymmetric indicating that the grafts used during Rhinoplasty are dissolving, shifting or otherwise changing which affects the nasal contour and shape.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

A cartilage grafting the nose will not work in nine weeks.

Your nose may not turn out the way you wish but one would not expect any warping of cartilage in nine weeks. Continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon and carefully express your concerns about the nose.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Cartilage Warping after Rhinoplasty

Thank you for sharing your concerns. You are still very early after rhinoplasty and warping is unlikely. Also, if the only cartilage that was utilized was septal cartilage you have very little risk. It inherently has little tendency to warp. Alternatively, ear cartilage starts curved and tends to stay that way. Rib cartilage (autogenous costal cartilage) does have a higher chance of warping unless it is carved correctly and partially allowed to declare itself prior to placement in the nose. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, this can be used with reliable results. Overall, you should share your concerns with your surgeon and be patient. I hope this helps. Take care.  

Robert Brobst, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Cartilage warping is a late phenomenon.

When placed into the nose during rhinoplasty, cartilage can warp or resorb. Typically, this is a late phenomenon, occurring months, sometimes years, later.  9 weeks is too early for this to be the problem. I suspect as the postoperative swelling is starting to resolve, you are now seeing definition that you didn't see earlier.  If your surgeon said everything looks fine, try not to worry. He/she is the one who placed the cartilage and secured it into proper position. He/she will be able to tell you if there is a problem, such as warping. Be patient and give your nose time to heal. 

Randolph Capone, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.