How Fixing a Nasal “Hump” Can Make Your Nose Look Smaller
For those who are unfamiliar with a dorsal hump, it is a bump on the ridge of the nose that contains excessive bone or cartilage. When viewed from the side, a dorsal hump generally starts around the upper part of the nose closest to the eyes and ends at the nasal tip, the lower third of the nose. While dorsal humps do not cause pain or discomfort, most individuals find that they are aesthetically unappealing and will seek the expertise of a highly-skilled cosmetic surgeon to have them reduced.
What Causes a Dorsal Hump?
A dorsal hump is usually caused by genetics, meaning the condition runs in the family. As such, most cosmetic surgeons will discourage younger patients from undergoing surgery to correct the problem until their nose is fully developed. In addition to genetics, dorsal humps can be caused by nasal trauma. To further put this into context, significant trauma that results in the upper lateral cartilage and septum becoming separated from bone can cause the nose to cave in. And when this happens, the nasal bone becomes even more prominent, often appearing as a bump on the nose.
Dorsal humps that are caused by nasal trauma can usually be treated at home as long as the nose was not broken. These at-home treatments will often include taking over-the-counter pain relievers and applying a cold compress to the nose periodically to help reduce swelling.
However, if nasal trauma has resulted in the nose being broken or if pain and swelling persist for more than a few days, it would be a good idea to be seen by a physician, preferably a certified facial plastic surgeon. The same also applies to those who have a dorsal hump related to genetics and are interested in having it reduced.
Can Fixing a Dorsal Hump Make a Nose Look Smaller?
Whether your dorsal hump is related to genetics or caused by trauma to the nose, closed rhinoplasty surgery can help improve its appearance. For those who are unfamiliar with this surgical procedure, closed rhinoplasty entails making small incisions inside of the nose to gain access to the bones, cartilage, and other nasal structures. These procedures are ideal for patients who are interested in reducing the size of a relatively small dorsal hump. However, for those with larger dorsal humps, open rhinoplasty is a better choice in that the procedure allows the surgeon to remove even more tissue from the nose to improve its appearance. With open rhinoplasty, the incisions are made across the tissue between the nostrils and also inside the nostrils as well. In short, either of these two procedures can go a long way toward making the nose appear smaller.
What To Expect During Nose Surgery?
Whether the patient is undergoing a closed or open rhinoplasty procedure, after the surgeon makes the necessary incisions, he or she will then determine the best approach for reducing the size of the dorsal hump. Some of the factors that may influence their decision include whether the hump is primarily made up of mostly bone or cartilage. The size of the hump and its location on the nose will likely also be factors as well. In cases, where the dorsal hump consists of mainly bone, the surgeon will remove the excess bone, which will make the hump appear less prominent. Conversely, if the dorsal hump is more cartilage than bone, the surgeon will cut away the excess cartilage, which can also make the hump appear smaller.
After undergoing dorsal hump reduction surgery, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to fully heal. During this time, the excess skin that was left behind from cutting away the cartilage or bone to help reduce the dorsal hump will start to drape itself over the newly-shaped nasal bridge. Depending on the amount of tissue removed from the nose, most patients will experience mild or severe swelling after undergoing dorsal hump reduction surgery. To help resolve these symptoms, most physicians will provide patients with prescription-based pain and anti-inflammatory medications. Additional aspects of recovering from dorsal hump reduction surgery will also include the following:
Removal of nasal packing – Most surgeons will insert nasal packing into the patient’s nose to round out a dorsal reduction surgical procedure. These materials are used to absorb blood, mucus, and other fluids in the nasal cavity. Nasal packing can cause stuffiness and mild discomfort; however, these materials are generally removed by the surgeon during the post-surgery follow-up appointment, which is usually about 2 days after the surgery.
Nasal splint removal – Along with nasal packing material, many surgeons will insert a nasal splint into the nose, which is used to help promote healing. In most cases, patients will have these devices removed by their surgeon about a week after undergoing surgery. Following the splint removal, the nose will start to heal even faster. Also, any bruising or swelling left on the nose will become less pronounced.
After about 2 to 3 weeks following surgery, your newly-shaped nose will start slowly revealing itself. And if everything goes according to plan, you may even be given the go-ahead by your cosmetic surgeon to return to your normal activities. However, you should still use sound judgment and avoid overly strenuous activities along with excessive sun exposure as it can make scars appear more pronounced.