Nasal fractures (broken noses) are among the most common facial injuries. Whether you are involved in a car accident, an accidental fall, a contact sport, or an altercation, breaking your nose is an incredibly common occurance in emergency rooms around the world.
There are three general approaches to the timing of when to fix your broken nose. In my New York City based practice, I use all three of these approaches, depending on the person and situation.
Approach #1: Immediately
If your nose is broken and you are most concerned about getting it back into correct anatomic alignment as quickly and efficiently as possible, fixing a nasal fracture right away may be a good option. Before massive swelling has set in, your plastic surgeon has the opportunity to numb your nose with a nerve block and use special instruments to replace the broken pieces where they are supposed to go. The advantage of this approach is its immediacy. The disadvantage is that it is slightly imprecise and may not be the best course of action if you are a model or actor.
Approach #2: At 1-2 weeks
Another option is to wait for the swelling in your nose to settle down a bit. Fixing a broken nose at 1-2 weeks is a good option because your bones have not yet set into the broken position, and your plastic surgeon will be able to fix their placement with a small surgical procedure. Fixing a broken nose in a delayed fashion will give you an excellent result, avoid swelling that makes acute fracture reductions more challenging, and get you back to normal relatively quickly.
Approach #3: After 6 months
If your main concern is having your nose look perfect, you may require a revision rhinoplasty 6 months after your broken nose. Even if the bones were re-set immediately or at 1-2 weeks, 6-12 months later, more of the swelling will have decreased, and your plastic surgeon will be able to reshape your nose in a more controlled fashion. If you are someone who makes a living with your facial appearance, or if you would like your nose to be more refined or perfect than it was before, this is an excellent option.
For questions about nasal fractures, septal fractures, septal hematomae, rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, or other nose surgery, I see new patients in my New York City office and in the emergency rooms of Lenox Hill Hospital and Greenwich Hospital. Please do not hesitate to email me at info@LaraDevganMD.com or call my office at 212-452-2400 if you have a broken nose and need help.