If you have recently suffered nasal trauma, then your nose is probably still quite sensitive. Unlike other body parts, however, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if your nose is actually broken after an accident.
While the best way to find out is to seek medical attention, it is possible to give yourself a preliminary assessment. Here is what you need to know about broken noses and fixing the damage.
Assessing Your Nose
There are several signs and symptoms to look for when assessing your nose for breakage. Of course, you should seek medical help right away if you experience uncontrollable bleeding from the nose, trouble breathing, or severe pain following the trauma. If the trauma produced less severe results, here are some things to look for when determining if your nose is broken:
- Crooked nose
- Swelling and bruising
- Trouble breathing
- Pain and tenderness (particularly when touching the nose, and after seven days following injury)
- Blocked nasal passages
- Tangible irregularity in the bone
Ongoing Effects of a Broken Nose
A broken nose can cause both functional and cosmetic issues that are ongoing, if the problem is not treated promptly and properly.
Sometimes, nasal breakage can cause mild to severe breathing problems, depending on where the break is located. The septum can become displaced through this process as well, causing a deviated septum which makes one nasal passage larger than the others. Any type of nasal blockage can be irritating, distracting, and detrimental to everyday activities or contribute to nosebleeds, congestion, and sleep problems, such as snoring.
Nasal Crookedness and Deformity
On a cosmetic level, a broken nose can cause significant nasal crookedness, or a bump that was not present before the trauma. While this does not bother some people enough to seek treatment, most people would prefer to reverse the changes to the nose, and even fix other flaws that may have been sources of anxiety in the past.
Broken Nose Treatment
If a broken nose has healed improperly, or simply has caused functional or aesthetic issues, often the best course of action is to treat the problem with nasal surgery, known as rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is a complex surgery that involves the manipulation of nasal bones, cartilage, and skin to produce improvements in breathing and appearance. While not all nasal issues can be resolved with rhinoplasty, it is a very versatile surgery that can address a wide range of problems. Many people who seek treatment for a broken nose also wish to have aesthetic issues addressed, which can be done at the same time. Sometimes, the nose will need to be re-broken to repair the damage. Rhinoplasty is a fairly intensive surgery, requiring an initial recovery period of about two weeks.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get insurance coverage for rhinoplasty to fix a broken nose. In the cases where insurance will cover the nasal reconstruction, it will still be the financial responsibility of the patient to cover the cosmetic portion of the surgery. Before you schedule your operation, be sure you are clear on what your insurance will and will not cover, and be prepared to finance any additional costs that are involved.
If you are interested in reconstructive rhinoplasty, you will need to do your research thoroughly before making any decisions. Here are some tips for your potential procedure:
- Choose a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty
- Take your time in selecting your surgeon
- Decide on any cosmetic changes you want before your consultations
- Ask potential surgeons specific questions
- Make sure you understand the surgical process
- Choose your financing carefully
- Stop smoking, if you are a smoker. You will need to do this several months before surgery
- Follow all of your surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions
- Set up your recovery area before your surgery
- Keep your expectations realistic and reasonable
Rhinoplasty is a complex procedure that requires a lot of research and diligence. However, the results of a well-planned and executed nasal reconstruction should be very positive and lasting.
An Experienced Surgeon
Choosing your plastic surgeon is the most important aspect of rhinoplasty. Because of the complexity of the surgery, rhinoplasty should only be attempted by dedicated specialists who have devoted many, many hours to the art and science of nasal surgery. If you would like to speak with a facial plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of rhinoplasty experience, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA, to meet with acclaimed surgeon Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover strives to give each patient a natural, custom result. Call either location today to schedule your consultation.