Why is an X-ray Not Helpful in Post-op Monitoring After Rhinoplasty, to Detect if Bone Has Moved?

i want to know if my bone on bridge has moved or if it is just a bump due to callus/ swelling. can an xray not tell me this? why doesnt any doctor take an xray before or after a rhinoplasty procedure? all major surgeries involve xrays. so why not a rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 3

X Ray After Rhinoplasty

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An x-ray for nasal bone evaluation is not a sensitive test. The bones are so small and fragile that it is most likely that you will not pick up any defect at all. As a Rhinoplasty surgeon I rely heavily on my clinical physical examination of the nose to guide me. If I feel there is residual bone on the top or if the nasal bone fracture I have created has moved then I will suggest treatment. An x-ray plays little if any roll in delivering useful information in this situation. Even a nasal fracture may not show up on x-ray. Not a good test!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Rhinoplasty surgery

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Dear Petra.ss,

  • Nasal bones x-rays do not give the kind of detail we need because of the all the other bones around the skull
  • Our physical exams are great at determining fractures, calluses, or changes in the bone
  • Plus you get exposed to radiation to your face and brain without any benefit to the surgeon or the patient
  • The best thing to do is to bring up your concerns with your surgeon and go from there

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

X rays to evaluate nasal fractures and nose bone problems

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  • I rarely find nasal bone x rays helpful in evaluation of deformity and injury of the nose. When evaluating the nasal shape and function, plastic surgeons examine the skin, cartilage, bone and airway flow.  
  • If a visible or functional problem exists with one of these structures, then treatment may help, even if an x ray is negative for a fracture. I have also seen many x rays showing a fracture, though the patient has no visible deformity or airway blockage. In these cases, treatment is not necessary.  
  • Patient symptoms and physical exam usually mean more than an x ray. 

Michael Suzman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 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.