Hitting Nose After Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty Affect Healing?

I had a Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty operation done 5 days ago, and today I was washing my face when I accidentally hit my nose (it is still in the cast). It wasn't a hard hit--more like a slight knock with my fingers. But as I only had the operation 5 days ago, I was wondering if this could affect the healing process in any way?

Doctor Answers 7

6-8 Weeks Until Pre-Operative Strength

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The nose is a relatively fragile structure that’s prone to injury because of its location. After rhinoplasty and septoplasty it takes about six to eight weeks for the nose to regain most of its 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.
Fortunately, your history suggest that your nasal trauma was relatively minor. This level of trauma shouldn’t be associated with secondary deformities or have negative consequences.
Following surgery we ask patients to avoid situations that might result in trauma for at least eight weeks following these procedures. Patients should avoid contact sports and other activities where the nose is at risk.In patients who can’t avoid these situations, rhinoplasty and septoplasty should be delayed until they are able to protect their nose.

Bumping the nose after a rhinoplasty should not affect the healing

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 A gentle bumping of the nose after the rhinoplasty procedure should not affect the shape of the nose.  A very hard hit to the nose might break the nose and displace it within the first few weeks after a rhinoplasty procedure.

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

Trauma after Septorhinoplasty

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The nose gets stronger each day after a septorhinoplasty.  It is paramount that the nose is not hit during this period as it is delicate.  This is especially true if grafts were used or a complex reconstruction of the nose was utilized.

While a small tap is unlikely to alter the appearance of the nose, it definitely can.  You should speak openly with your surgeon about this and have him/her follow your nose along.  Often times it is not possible to tell if a hit to the nose was disruptive until much of the swelling has dissipated.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

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What degree of injury after Rhinoplasty is significant?

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We are all told not to move/shift the nose after surgery because it's in a weakened state and could more easily be altered. However over 20 years of practice only a few times has the course of healing been negatively affected by an injury. A small 'tap' on the nose is unlikely to cause trouble.

Nose hit after Rhinoplasty & Septoplasty

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You most likely have not injured anything. Although, tissue, cartilage, and bone may be relatively loose immediately after surgery, gently hitting your nose while the cast is still on the nose should not adversely affect healing.

Speak to your rhinoplasty surgeon about your concerns. Questions like these immediately after surgery should be answered by him/her.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Mild trauma to nose after septorhinoplasty should not be a problem

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I would not think that a slight knock to the nose after septorhinoplasty would be a problem. The cast should protect the nose from mild trauma. However, if you have any concerns, you should certainly contact your surgeon. As a surgeon, I would want to know if there were any issues in the postoperative period.

Jonathan Sonne, MD
Naples Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal trauma after Rhinoplasty

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A significant blow to the nose after septorhinoplasty can displace nasal cartilage and bone. A "slight knock" with your fingers is unlikely to have caused significant damage, so I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. The best thing to do is to mention the incident to your surgeon so he or she can carefully inspect your nose after the splint comes off.

Best of luck!

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.