Nose Swelling from Being Broken or Septoplasty?

Three months ago, I got punched in the nose and fractured it in 2 places. I had a deviated septum and could not breathe out of my left nostril, so I had a septoplasty to repair it.

Today, my nose is still larger than it used to be, especially the bridge of the nose, which is now wider. I talked to my doctor who performed the septoplasty, and he said it could be bigger because of scar tissue in the nose. I was wondering, is my nose is big because it's still swollen from being broken, or from the surgery? Will my nose be permanently larger?

Doctor Answers 8

Nose Swelling After Septoplasty

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Typically, septoplasty causes little to no external swelling to the nose.  If the nasal bones were broken traumatically and three months have passed, it is likely that the nasal bones are wider than they were preoperatively.  Discuss your case with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Broken Nose Surgery and Treatment

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A broken nose may contain a fracture of the nasal bones or a fracture of the septum.  The widening of the nose may be a result of residual swelling or from a splaying or fracture of the nasal bone support .

Septoplasty will not repair a broken nose

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Septoplasty will not repair a broken nose; it will only repair a fractured septum or a deviated septum to improve airflow dynamics through the nose. To reduce the size of a larger and crooked nose after a fracture it has to undergo an open reduction nasal fracture, which is a resetting of the nasal bones and removal of the scar tissue. There is a callous formation that occurs across the top of the nose, usually where the bones meet the junction of the cartilage on the bridge, and this is what creates the large bump making your nose look bigger.

Rhinoplasty swelling

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The septoplasty treats the septum only. This is usually performed for deviations and to improve breathing. The broad dorsum from a fractured nose may be from the bones being wide. At three months, most swelling will have subsided. If it is too wide for your tastes, then you probably need a corrective rhinoplasty.

Septoplasty has little to do with external shape

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Septoplasty has little to do with external shape. The damaged bone and swelling under the skin have much more to do with widening of the nose. You should reconsult with your doctor about that and consider a rhinoplasty.

Evaluation for another nose surgery is necessary

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If you sustained enough force to fracture your septum, then you also had enough force to displace your nasal bones. There is always some thickening if the bones were fractured, especially if they were in small pieces. Your soft tissue and skin hold these small pieces of bone together while they heal.

In another 6 - 9 months, your external nasal shape should be re-evaluated and then it may be determined if an external Rhinoplasty will be needed to restore your nasal contour and shape. For now, you just need more time.

Nose will probably go back to the original size

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Often, when patients have a septoplasty, the doctor breaks and resets the bone. If this is what he did, your nose will be swollen for 6-12 months. If he did not do this, the nose swelling usually will be gone after 3 months from the time of surgery.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Nose Swelling 3 Months After Septoplasty Following Nasal Fracture

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Hi Eskimo,

At 3 months after septoplasty most swelling should have resolved. Septoplasty alone should not cause noticeable permanent external swelling of the nose.

Wait another 3 months, if still widened at the bridge of your nose, revisit your surgeon. Sometimes when the nasal bones are fractured there is splaying of the bones laterally. If that is the case, and it troubles you cosmetically, then osteotomies of the nasal bones will narrow the upper 1/3 of your nose.

Your nose is larger at this time from a combination of the trauma of the fracture as well as the corrective surgery. Be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.