Is it possible to match a nose to an old photograph post traumatic injury?

I broke my nose leaving a bony bump on the left side, curved cartilage on same side,& an indent under the bump. I'm wondering how possible it is to recreate the nose I had when I was younger if I bring a few photos. I always had a big nose, but when I was younger, it fit my face well. I would be so happy to keep the same shape it used to be but more proportionate (as it was when I was younger). I am very scared of looking like a different person/being unrecognizable. Just want to be me again!

Doctor Answers 7


Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear about your injury. I think it can be very helpful if patients bring in former pictures of themselves if they've had nasal trauma. It's great to be able to get an idea of what your goals would be. It's less helpful if people bring in pictures of celebrities because in a lot of cases those kind of results won't be realistic for a given patient. However, since the earlier pictures are actually of YOUR nose, I think it would be helpful.

College Station Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Is it possible to match a nose to an old photograph after a broken nose?

There are a lot of variables that depend upon where the nose is broken and how severely it was broken including the status of the two nasal bones, two upper lateral cartilages and to nasal tip cartilages. It is possible to shave down the dorsal hump and straighten the nose so that it looks reasonably close to what it used to look like prior to the injury. For many examples of broken nose repair in our practice, please see the video and the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Restoring you to your former nose

Bringing in photos of your old nose would be extremely helpful for any surgeon. Without seeing you in person and assessing the extend of your injuries, it's impossible to say what could and couldn't be achieved, but a good rhinoplasty should always deliver the nose that is not only right for your face, but that you want.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


You would have to be seen in person and it might be a good idea to bring in some old photos to compare.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Very likely

If your unhappy with the appearance of your nose then you need to change it.  The best thing to do is look for plastic surgeon's before/after photos to see if you like their work and if there are any photos of noses that look like your nose and see if you like the after surgery results.  You can get very close to the nose you had before the trauma, if not the same exact nose.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Nose surgery after trauma

Your nose can be fixed and straightened.  Usually we are not accustomed to restoring older bumps, or irregularities in nasal shape, but restoring your nose to match your face can be accomplished.  A visit with your local plastic surgeon would be a good place to start and after examination and some photos, I try to simulate results for my patients with photo imaging software.

I don't think you will look different or unrecognizable.  Unless you're Barbara Streisand or Owen Wilson, most people don't look at a nose as a distinctive feature to recognize someone.

Hope that helps,

Christopher C. Chang, MD
Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Christopher C. Chang, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Nasal trauma

It is difficult to determine if your nose can be returned to its pre-injury status without photos for evaluation.  It is best if you schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon for evaluation.  Be sure to bring photos of your nose prior to injury so he/she can determine if it is realistic to return your nose to its original state. 

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 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.