Removing A Dorsal Hump With Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is performed for a myriad of reasons. One of the primary reasons that a person may desire a rhinoplasty is due to a large dorsal hump. Patients often describe this as a “bump” on their nasal bridge. The bump is often not noticed when looking directly in the mirror, but it becomes much more visible when looking at an angle or side view picture. As social media has become more popular, people are increasingly exposed to their own facial photos from every possible angle. And it’s these photos that may be one factor that leads them to consider rhinoplasty for correction of the bump.

What Is A Dorsal Hump?

A dorsal hump can arise several different ways. Some people are born with a straight nose, and then develop the hump after a nasal fracture. Commonly this occurs with a traumatic nasal injury, such as a motor vehicle accident or sports injury. In other people, the dorsal hump is largely genetic in nature, and it may be seen as a family trait. Some families enjoy their dorsal hump, as it is a way for them to relate to their family members. In other families with a dorsal hump, it is a tradition or rite of passage to undergo rhinoplasty to remove the hump in early adulthood. Simple aging is yet another way of developing a dorsal hump. In these cases the nose appears straight throughout the majority of life, and the hump becomes more apparent as the nasal tissues begin to sag and drop with age. The good news is that the process to remove the hump is the same regardless of how the hump arose.

Anatomically, the hump is composed of several different types of tissue. The majority of a dorsal hump is composed of cartilage, and it includes the cartilage of the nasal septum, as well the upper lateral cartilages on each side. Oftentimes, the nasal bones also contribute to the dorsal hump. Although the nose is also comprised of skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscle, these tissues usually do not contribute to the dorsal hump.

Rhinoplasty Surgery Options

There are several methods available to treat a dorsal hump. The first method can be thought of as camouflage. This method is the nonsurgical or “liquid” rhinoplasty. This technique involves injecting filler material both above and below the hump in order to make it less conspicuous. The best candidates for this option are those people with a relatively small dorsal hump. Another factor to consider is that the filler material is a temporary solution, and the procedure would usually need to be repeated approximately every nine months for sustained effect. The most effective and permanent method to treat a dorsal hump is with rhinoplasty surgery. This surgery can be performed either through an open or closed approach. The closed approach, also known as the scarless approach, is our preferred method. It involves incisions made entirely on the inside of the nose. Through this approach, the dorsal hump can be surgically removed, resulting in a straight nose from every angle, all without an external scar. This outpatient procedure typically lasts about 1.5 hours and has a recovery time of approximately 1 week. Patients are typically thrilled, and dorsal hump removal continues to be one of the most satisfying nasal procedures, both for the surgeon and patient.

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