What Happens when One Bumps the Nose After Rhinoplasty?

What happens if you sometimes bump your nose, especially after Rhinoplasty? And why is it that after someone gets hit in the nose, the structure changes, looking more swollen or small humps appear? Are these changes permanent? What should one do to prevent that, such as first aid tips? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 9

Nose after rhinoplasty

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A nose that recently underwent a rhinoplasty is more prone to break early after surgery. One has to be careful for the first 6 -8 weeks.  Small bumps after banging nose may simply be swelling that usually goes away with time.

No prevention needed

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Once you are well healed from a rhinoplasty (1 year on average) you do not have to protect your nose. If you get hit on the nose the most important thing is to make sure you do not have a 'septal hematoma'. That is a collection of blood inside the nasal septum (the partitioning wall that separates your nose into two halves. The way you can tell if it happens is inability to breathe through your nose. This is an emergency and you must see a doctor the same day or go to an E.R.

If you are able to breathe well but nose has some swelling, apply ice and wait for the swelling to go down over the next few days. After 3 days if the nose looks crooked, then you should see a physician.

The small bumps could be changes in the cartilage with time that can show through the skin. If it is very obvious then it can be removed by shaving down the cartilage bumps as an office procedure or in the operating room.

Please remember the advice here cannot subsitute a thorough examination in person.


It depends on when and jhow you bump it

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My general recommendation after rhinoplasty is to avoid contact, bumps, or any form of trauma for a minimum of 6 weeks. The reason: the nasal bones are frequently broken with a maneuver known as osteotomies during rhinoplasty and 6 weeks is the general time to allow for fibrous healing of the nasal bones. Any trauma during this period could potentially shift or move the position of the nose. During this early period of healing, lymphatic outflow is reasonably compromised, making the nose more susceptible to swelling.

After this initial period, the nose is set in place and the scar tissue that has developed will usually prevent shifts in nasal position. However, nasal trauma in the region of the nasal bones may cause a phenomenon known as periosteal remodelling. The periosteum is the lining of the bone and trauma to it can cause new bone formation or, in lay terms, "lumps". This can occur in patients who have had rhinoplasty and in those that have never had surgery.

I hope this is helpful

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Pain and tenderness

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After a rhinoplasty, the nose has to be hit relatively hard enough to be able to shift or fracture the nose. Just small bumps to the nose in the first month after the surgery will elicit pain and tenderness. No further surgery will be indicated unless there is an obvious nasal fracture and twisting of the nose after any injury.

Your nose may be easier to fracture after rhinoplasty.

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Your nose may be a more fragile organ, after Cosmetic Rhinoplasty. Especially if you had a bump removed with osteotomies. If you would like more specific information about your nose, you should consult with your surgeon. Hope this helps.Dr Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 429 reviews

Nasal Trauma After Rhinoplasty

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If one has had trauma to the nose after rhinoplasty, you need to be evaluated by your rhinoplasty surgeon. If there is trauma with no bleeding, usually there is no consequence. If you may have fractured your nose then you may need to have operative intervention.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Impact Following Rhinoplasty

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                  The nose is a relatively fragile structure that’s prone to injury because of its location. After rhinoplasty it takes about six to eight weeks for the nose to regain most of the pre-operative strength. During this period the nose is very susceptible to injury if bumped. If the impact is severe, the nasal bones may actually be displaced and this might result in the need for secondary revisional surgery.

                  For this reason, we ask patients to avoid situations that might result in trauma for at least eight weeks following rhinoplasty. Patients should avoid contact sports and other activities where the nose is at risk. In patients who can’t avoid these situations, rhinoplasty should be delayed until they are able to protect their nose. 

The nose is delicate while healing from a Rhinoplasty

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After a rhinoplasty, the nose is very delicate and must heal carefully. Often, the nasal bones are broken during a rhinoplasty. It takes several weeks for the bones to heal solidly in place. If it is bumped before it is fully healed, it might shift the bones thus changing the appearance.

Also, small bumps may form after trauma to the nose. If the nose is injured severe enough to cause a small chip fracture in the bone, or break in the cartilage, then it is possible that there may be irregular bone and/or cartilage growth during the healing process.

If the nose is injured, it is normal for there to be swelling. This is usually not severe and will resolve over a week or two.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Slight bump after Rhinoplasty won't be a problem

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Are these hypothetical questions? A slight 'bump' will produce no problems. Hitting the steering wheel will makean alteration to shape. Ideally, have your rhinoplasty and don't injure it in any way ever. Simple. No need to hit your nose ever.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

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.