Is Nose Hump After Septoplasty Just Swelling?

I had Septoplasty with turbinate reduction surgery 04/01/09. My doctor also "rasped" the hump that I had. I got my splint out 8 days later. I can breathe so well, but my hump is still there, and it's bigger. My ENT said he smoothed it down and the bump looked gone during surgery. Could it be swollen just enough to look the same as it used to? Should I worry about scar tissue? Is there anything I can do to get the swelling down?


Doctor Answers 7

Persistent Hump after Nose Surgery

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Give it a little time. When surgeons rasp (file down) a hump on the bridge of the nose, it will typically remain swollen for several weeks afterward. Your surgeon should be able to tell you whether or not the amount of swelling is normal. If there is still a residual hump there after 6-8 weeks, you may need to have it filed down some more.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Residual hump after surgery

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It is not unusual for swelling after rhinoplasty to give the appearance of a hump on profile. This usually will resolve as the swelling improves.   However, the vast majority of nasal humps are mostly cartilaginous.  Simply rasping the bone rarely completely smoothes a hump. 

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Hump after septoplasty may be a saddle nose deformity

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Sometimes after septoplasty the cartilage portion of the bridge of the nose can collapse and cause a hump (actually a pseudohump). This is called a saddle nose deformity. It can be prevented by some of the septoplasty techniques performed through an open rhinoplasty approach.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

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Could be 12 months until swelling fully resides.

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In the immediate post-operative period it’s difficult to differentiate residual swelling from residual nasal deformities for a variety of reasons.In the vast majority of patients, these deformities are subtle, while the associated swelling resulting from surgery is often severe.For these reasons, it’s important to allow time for swelling to resolve, before making decisions regarding revisional surgery.
In most patients, concerns about contour irregularity and asymmetry resolve as swelling slowly disappears.Under these circumstances, nothing needs to be done and patients are ultimately happy. In rare cases where nasal deformities persist after the residual swelling resolves, revisional surgery may be necessary.When this scenario arises, we generally like to wait at least twelve months before performing secondary surgery.

Nasal hump present after septoplasty

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 If your surgeon went in and "rasped" the bridge this is actually a rhinoplasty, not a septoplasty. A septoplasty  is performed through the nostrils into the back portion of the nose to remove obstructing and twisted bone and cartilage blocking air flow through the nose. The septoplasty performed for medical necessity and is billed  to the patient's insurance. Changing the shape of the nose, such as removal of a hump, is considered a rhinoplasty. The hump on the nose is composed of the bone and cartilage and can be rasped or shaved down. Most the time  once the hump has been removed, osteotomies of the nasal bones are required to narrow the bridge line.  For many examples of hump removal, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Swelling After Rhinoplasty Is Normal

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In general, some amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty is normal and can take several months if not a year to resolve. In some cases, you can get some abnormal scarring of the dorsum of the nose and may need steroid injections to resolve the problem. I would speak with your surgeon about your concerns and ask if he thinks that steroid injections would be helpful.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Normal healing after rhinoplasty

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In general, the swelling takes a full year to go away but you can start to get an idea of what you are going to see after a few months.  The persistent bump could be real or just an artifact but let your doctor guide you through your healing process.

Jason B. Diamond, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 13 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.