Will septoplasty straighten the outside appearance of my nose? (photo)

After getting elbowed in the nose playing basketball a few years ago, I noticed in pictures that my nose appears to be pushed off to one side among some breathing problems I've had on that side too. I saw an ENT doctor a few months ago who confirmed I had a deviated septum. However, I only want to get surgery if it will straighten the outside appearance of my nose back to the way it was before. Would septoplasty be the best option here?

Doctor Answers 3

Will septoplasty straighten the outside appearance of my nose?

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No,  a septoplasty will not change the appearance of the nose. A septoplasty is performed in the back of the nose to improve airflow dynamics when their blockage and restricted breathing. A rhinoplasty is performed to straighten the crooked nose which can include osteotomies to straighten the nasal bones, and a cartilaginous  spreader graft placed in the mid-portion of to straighten that component. Expect to pay for the cosmetic component yourself,  while a septoplasty is usually billed the patient's medical insurance once medical necessity has been documented at the time of the examination and consultation. For more information about the differences between the two procedures, please see the link and the video below 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Nasal fracture reduction

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A deviated nose cannot be straightened along with septoplasty.  It usually involves osteotomies to straighten the nasal bones as well.  The technical term is called open reduction of nasal fracture and nasal septum.


Dr. J

Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Septoplasty to straighten to nose?

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Good question.  Only on rare occasion will a septoplasty alone have an impact on the straightness of the outer nose as seen from front view as in your photo. However, septoplasty alone might frequently impact the look of the nose when viewed from below - looking up the nose. In most cases, when the appearance of nasal "straightness" is altered by a trauma, most of the change occurs due to an alteration of the two "nasal bones" which comprise the bridge area - upper 1/2 of the nose. It is not possible to adequately assess your particular case from photos alone, however, your "acquired nasal deformity" would probably best be served by an "open reduction of a nasal fracture" (and possible septoplasty) to realign the nasal bones shifted by the basketball elbow. An open reduction requires special tiny curved bone chisels (applied up the nose while the patient is under general anesthesia) to separate the nasal bones from the maxillary bones (and sometimes frontal bones and septum) - to improve the front-view nasal appearance. Good luck.

David Hartman, MD, FACS
Dover Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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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.