Does Closed Septoplasty Weaken the Nose?

Well this procedure involves removal of part of the septum. Does it weaken the nose structure and is there a risk of the nose collapsing? Should I be more careful with my nose and possibly say goodbye to combat sports after this procedure?

Doctor Answers 5

Closed or External Septoplasty

No.  If performed correctly a septoplasty performed via the external or closed approach should not weaken your nose.  When performing a septoplasty an adequate strut needs to remain intact particularly in key areas of the nose.  Septal collapse is a known risk and complication of septoplasty but this is mostly secondary to overaggressive removal of the cartilage and not leaving an adequate strut.

Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Septoplasty should not weaken the nose

A septoplasty should not weaken the nose because there is always 1-1.5 cm of both dorsal and caudal cartilage leftover in the nose.  The cartilage and bone that is removed is typically nonstructural so it does not weaken the nose.  It is best to have any septoplasty procedure after a patient is done with hard contact sports since patients do not want to reinjure the work that has already been done.

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

Septoplasty will keep the structure of the nose.


Dear Stan,

When a Septoplasty is done properly the structure of the nose is retained. In fact doing sports after septoplasty is easier because the breathing difficulties that are present before the septoplasty are fixed. I do a lot of septoplasty on male athletes due to trauma incurred in sports. After surgery these patients return to their professional sports and regular sports activities. It is important to take precautions in the immediate post operative phase and your surgeon will direct you when to return to your full activities. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D. 

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Septoplasty does NOT weaken structure of nose

Done correctly, a septoplasty does NOTweaken the structure of the nose.  Surgeon are taught to leave significant part of the top and bottm part of the septum intact to maintain integrity and stregnth to the nose.  You should be able to play contact sports and live life normally after a properly doen septoplasty.

In fact, your quality of life should be better because you will breathe better!

Robert Guida, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

The effect of septoplasty on the structural integrity of the nose

Most surgeons performing septoplasty today adhere to several principles that will maintain the structural integrity of the septum and the nose.  Typically deviated portions of the septum are removed during the procedure (bone and cartilage).  This must be done judiciously to prevent collapse of the bridge (dorsum) and cause something we call a "saddle nose" deformity where the bridge of the nose collapses and causes it to look like a saddle.  Your nose will remain strong as long as sufficient bone and cartilage is preserved.  

Your question about whether or not you should avoid contact sports is a bit more difficult to answer.  If you look at a lot of boxers, hockey players and MMA fighters that have repeatedly had broken noses, many of them have "saddle noses" without ever having had a septoplasty.  Septoplasty will not significantly increase the chance of your nose collapsing with contact sports if done properly.   

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial 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.