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How Does Saddle Nose Deformity Happen?

A woman during a saddle nose repair consultation with a plastic surgeon.

Those with a marginally upturned nose tip are blessed with a cute and attractive facial feature. However, an overly noticeable upturn might be due to a depression or collapse of the nasal bridge. Since it looks like a saddle in profile, the condition is known as “saddle nose deformity“. Nasal surgery may be necessary if the condition is severe.

What is Saddle Nose Deformity?

Saddle nose deformity results from a collapse in the cartilage of the bottom portion of your septum. It is not aesthetically pleasing and can cause severe respiratory problems; it is hard to breathe when your nasal airway is blocked.

What Causes a Saddle Nose Deformity?

Any injury or trauma to the nose can destroy the bridge’s septal cartilage and jeopardize vital support structures.
Athletes, particularly the ones who participate in contact sports such as hockey and boxing, are susceptible to these types of injuries and, therefore, at a higher risk of developing a saddle nose deformity.

Appearance is not the only concerning factor. Without treatment, the blood flow could be compromised and the cartilage can deteriorate.

While trauma accounts for the bulk of saddle nose cases, there are additional explanations. The most frequent saddle nose causes are:

  • Overaggressive rhinoplasty can result in saddle nose deformity when extra cartilage is removed from the nose to lower the bridge’s height. If the surgery leaves insufficient cartilage and bone, the central region of the nasal bridge can collapse.
  • Intranasal cocaine usage can result in vasoconstriction—the constriction of blood vessels. Reduced blood flow to the nasal septum can cause the cartilage to deteriorate to the point where a perforation or hole forms in the septum. The blood vessels can heal if cocaine use is discontinued prior to irreversible damage. However, once there is a hole in the cartilage, the injury will not heal on its own. There is a significant risk of collapse at this point.
  • Various medical conditions can cause damage to the nasal septum, resulting in a saddle nose deformity, including congenital syphilis, ectodermal dysplasia, relapsing polychondritis and leprosy (Hansen disease).

People are rarely born with saddle nose because it is usually caused by trauma.

Saddle Nose Deformity Treatment

Dr. Khosh offers non-surgical and surgical treatments for saddle nose deformity, but which one is best for you depends on the degree of deformation. For example, in severe cases, breathing restrictions may require nasal canal widening, which employs spreader grafts to expand nasal passageways and raise the nose’s bridge.

Dr. Khosh is familiar with all forms of saddle nose abnormalities and can restore your nose’s function and form, whatever the cause. Contact him to schedule an appointment and explore nose repair possibilities.

What Dr. Khosh's Patients Say


Based on 55 reviews

Meredith G.
Saw Dr. Khosh for a fractured nose. He reset my nose beautifully (and with little discomfort to me) and then discussed some of my sinus issues with me upon my follow up visit. Never felt like he was rushing me out and felt very confident in his abilities. I would highly recommend to anyone needing plastic or reconstructive options!
Jackie C.
Great front office, really good experience after what was a terrible accident. I was made to feel comfortable. Dr. Khosh is very good at what he does. I'm still healing but I'm confident of the results
Kaitlin M.
Dr. Khosh takes exceptional care of his patients. He has operated on me twice, each time making me feel extremely comfortable and satisfied with the results. His staff is also very kind and knowledgeable.
Diana G.
Dr. Khosh & his staff Susan & Christine are absolutely amazing! They were so supportive & helpful from beginning to end & they are just wonderful people. Thank you guys I truly appreciate everything you guys have done for me. I would recommend them to anyone & everyone!
Joann M.
After visiting and being evaluated by several doctors, I kept going back to Dr. Khosh. His tranquil spirit and professionalism were captivating. Thank you for a job well done and keeping me calm throughout the entire process. A special thanks to your staff Susan and Christine for all of their support as well. Hi highly recommend Dr. Khosh.
Leah G.
Upon hearing of the overwhelmingly positive experience a friend of mine had in choosing Dr. Khosh as her surgeon, I decided to make an appointment for my own septoplasty/rhinoplasty/turbinate reduction. Although I was slightly skeptical as the praise I had heard seemed a bit hyperbolic, all uncertainty dissipated after meeting the Doctor and his staff. My pre- and post-operative experience was excellent in terms of concerns adequately addressed prior to the surgery and mitigation of any bruising in the convalescent period. Despite my apparent predisposition to rather slower healing, a year after the surgery, my nose looks really pretty and my breathing entirely unobstructed! I highly recommend Dr. Khosh!
Courtney G.
AMAZING!!!!!! I had Dr Khosh perform lipo on my chin/neck and my result is unbelievable! Better than I could have expected! I met with a couple of surgeons and the second I met with Dr Khosh I knew he was the one I was going with. He was compassionate and explained every detail of what would take place during the surgery and what to expect during recovery. I even emailed a few times during recovery with various questions and he got right back to me asap which was really comforting! I honestly fully recommend Dr Khosh, he did an amazing job and is an amazing person.
Frieda S.
i can finally breathe!! Dr. Khosh made the entire experience a breeze, it was truly a pleasure to be under his care. I am forever thankful and highly recommend him. Not only does his work speak for himself, but he has excellent bedside manner. His kindness and patience is above and beyond. He takes the time to answer to every question you have to help you understand the process while at the same time making you feel so comfortable. From the first consultation i knew i was in good hands. I am so pleased with the result and forever thankful.
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Saddle Nose Repair
Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Nasal & Sinus Surgery

580 Park Avenue Suite 1BE,
New York, NY 10065
(212) 339-9945
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Maurice M. Khosh, MD, FACS office lobby. Purple walls, mirror, an orchid on a beautiful table.