Hit hard in nose about 2 wks ago from the side. Do I need surgery ASAP to repair or wait? Will it heal without surgery?

Nose swelled more on 1 side, front teeth hurt & top lip swollen = went to dr. Note: rhinoplasty 15+ yrs ago to repair deviated septum, no issues until now. CT SCAN – Mild deformity of bilateral nasal bones – Superimposed fracture cannot be excluded – Reduction of nasal valve angle bilaterally, left greater than right – Mild-to-moderate deviation of nasal septum to left NOW: Still in pain & issue breathing from one side of nose. - Are there options besides taking ear cartilage to repair nose?

Doctor Answers 11

Do I need a revision rhinoplasty

Surgery following trauma to the nose is necessary if you have breathing problems or if you have a cosmetic deformity. If this is the case, it is possible to perform surgery within a couple of weeks of the incident in order to reduce the fracture. If it has been more than a couple of weeks you would likely benefit from waiting 9-12 months to allow the bones to set before reducing the fracture.

Often times people experience trauma to the nose and get an X-ray or a CT scan and a non-displaced fracture of the nasal bones is identified. If this is the case, surgery is not necessary. Follow up with and experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who can give you options.

Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Nasal injury

Photos would be helpful in evaluating your case.  If you do require surgery, you don't necessarily need a cartilage graft. It depends on what the specific problem is and that would require an in person exam. Unless your nose is obviously crooked from the injury, you should wait until the swelling resolves.  If it is crooked, then the bones have been broken and it should be straightened, but that should not require a cartilage graft.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Nasal trauma causing valve collapse and fracture

The decision to perform a reduction of the nasal fracture and operate upon the nose is made if there is a breathing problem, or a significant deviation of the external portion of the nose. To reduce the nasal fracture, medial and lateral osteotomies of the nasal bones are required.  To widen the nasal valves, spreader grafts composed of the patient's nasal or ear cartilage can be performed. Any further deviation of the septum can be addressed at the same time. It is best to try to attempt to repair these sooner rather than later since the nose heals crooked and it will be harder to fix. 

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

Surgery Following Nasal Trauma?

You said you saw a Dr. following nasal trauma two weeks ago - what specialty was this physician? You should see a rhinoplasty specialist to examine you and review the CT scan. Surgery may or may not be necessary but you should be evaluated ASAP; If the appearance or function is different than before the accident correction may be easier at this time.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Nasal fracture treatment

Often, nasal fractures can be reduced without surgery during the first week following the injury. Since you're outside that window now would be a good time to seek a consultation with a nasal surgery expert. Most rhinoplasty surgeons will let your nose heal for several months prior to performing rhinoplasty to remedy the damage from your injury. For a primary rhinoplasty, ear cartilage is rarely necessary. Cartilage, if needed, can be obtained from your nasal septum. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Trauma to the nose

I'm sorry to hear about your nasal trauma.  It would be best to see a facial plastic surgeon who can evaluate the inside and outside of your nose to ensure that your nasal airflow will not be impaired as you heal.  There are other options than using ear cartilage to repair the nose.  Sometimes just resetting the nose can fix the problem.  

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Nasal fracture?

An exam is needed to see if this is old or new and how your airway is compromised. See an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for the best results.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Nasal Injury


I am sorry to hear about your injury.  There are two schools of thought regarding repair of displaced nasal fractures. First I will digress by saying that fracture of the nasal bones is irrelevant unless it is visibly deformed, and then it is obvious and doesn't require an elaborate CT scan to document.

One school of thought is to reduce and align the nasal bones early, within the first week.  However, there is a high rate of reoperation in this group, mostly due to persistent defects.  I choose this route if the deformity and/or loss of function is severe and the patient will be ameliorated by doing so.

The other school of thought is to wait 3 to 6 months to allow healing and resolution of swelling. This will allow a better idea of the extent of deformity and will allow a better repair.  If you are at the two week mark, then you would still fall into one category or the other depending on the severity of your nasal appearance or function.

You should be evaluated regardless so that you can get the best advice possible.  It matters not whether you choose a board certified facial plastic surgeon or general plastic surgeon.  Both have excellent training in this matter.  What matters more is experience. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Hit hard in nose about 2 wks ago from the side. Do I need surgery ASAP to repair or wait? Will it heal without surgery?

   Really these questions need to be answered after an exam.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of rhinoplasties. Look for great reviews and great before and after pictures.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Nasal fracture

You need to have the nose evaluated by a board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon.  If the bone is deflected inward, it can easily be reset. This would have to be done in the next few days.  This will be easier than rebreaking the bones at a later date.  Hopefully, your exam will only show swelling and no surgery will be needed.  However, get it checked out.  Good luck!

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 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.