Do They Have to Break Your Nose for Rhinoplasty?

There is a common myth floating around that you’ll inevitably need to have your nose broken as part of a rhinoplasty (or “nose job”). As an Orlando facial plastic surgeon, I perform rhinoplasties on a very regular basis, some with nasal bone alterations and some without. While some people do benefit from having their nose “broken” during the surgery, it isn’t necessary for everyone—and it doesn’t really involve “breaking” at all.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss what this approach involves, who may benefit from it, and why there’s no need to let it scare you away from bringing the nose of your dreams to life.

What Does it Mean To Have the Nose “Broken” During a Nose Job?

What many people refer to as “breaking” the nose is actually a procedure called an osteotomy. Osteotomy involves precisely cutting certain nasal bones and moving them inward to close any gaps created in the bridge during your surgery. It’s a safe, common, and effective technique, especially in the hands of a board-certified facial plastic surgeon.

If I determine this is the right approach for you, I’ll use a very sharp and specialized tool to carefully cut small pieces of nasal bones and move them to more desirable positions. There is no reckless breaking involved—just a controlled cut that happens while you are under anesthesia and not feeling a thing.

Will You Have to Break My Nose During Rhinoplasty?

Not everyone needs an osteotomy to see their best results with nasal surgery. You may benefit from the approach if you:

  • Have a very crooked nose, especially as a result of trauma. (Learn more about reparative rhinoplasty in this blog post.)
  • Have a large nasal hump you would like to reduce.

Correcting these issues during surgery sometimes creates a temporary gap (or “open roof”) in the nose’s bridge. An osteotomy closes this gap to narrow the bridge and protect the nose’s inner structures from damage.

In many cases, this isn’t a necessary part of rhinoplasty at all. Procedures that mainly address the tip of the nose or the nostrils typically don’t require any adjustments to the bone, only the surrounding cartilage. If I do need to make minor adjustments to the bone, I can often do so without performing a controlled break.

Does Breaking the Nose Cause More Pain After Rhinoplasty?

There is little to no pain involved with any kind of rhinoplasty, as you are placed under anesthesia during your procedure. Nose jobs that include osteotomies do involve a little more swelling and bruising as you recuperate, but this shouldn’t significantly affect your recovery timeline.

How Can I Recover Faster After Having My Nose Broken During a Nose Job?

The best way to recover quickly after a nose job with or without an osteotomy is to closely follow the recovery instructions I’ll give you before sending you home. This helpful packet contains info on two of the most important aspects of recovery: nasal taping and massage.

Nasal Taping

Taping the nose minimizes swelling and keeps the tip lifted. I recommend starting this process 2 to 3 weeks after surgery and continuing it nightly for 2 to 3 months.

Nasal Massage

Starting 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery, you can reduce swelling and speed the healing process by massaging your nose in small circular motions. It’s best to do this for 2 minutes twice a day for 2 to 3 months.

Get in Touch

Do you have other questions about what happens during rhinoplasty or what to expect during recovery? I’d be happy to answer them. Please contact me online or call (407) 333-3040.

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