Saddle nose deformities occur when the nose structure is damaged, causing the bridge of the nose to collapse. The most common causes of this nose condition are trauma to the nose or surgical complications. When the nose is impacted by force or weakened from surgeries like rhinoplasty or septoplasty, a saddle nose deformity can occur. However, other less-known causes of damage to the nose cartilage can result in a concave bridge or over-rotated nasal tip.
Intranasal Drug Use
Drugs that are inhaled through the nose can cause damage to the cartilage. These can include recreational drugs like cocaine that are often “snorted” through the nose. Habitual nasal spray use can also damage the nasal cartilage. Excessive use of intranasal drugs can result in weakened septum cartilage which can collapse, resulting in breathing issues and a deformity of the nose.
Stopping intranasal drug use can prevent damage to the nasal cartilage, but the nose will not repair itself. Cartilage does not regenerate like other tissues – the only way to restore the structure of the nose is through plastic or reconstructive surgery. Saddle nose repair surgery usually requires harvesting cartilage from other areas to graft inside the nose to create a new nasal structure.
Autoimmune disorders are conditions when the body’s immune system backfires. It can begin attacking tissues in the body like they are a threat. This can include cartilage in the joints as well as the nose. If the cartilage in the septum is weakened from an autoimmune disease, it may collapse the nasal valves, bridge, or nasal walls. Wegener’s disease, granulomatosis polyangiitis, and relapsing polychondritis are some of the autoimmune diseases that can result in saddle nose deformities.
Early treatment of autoimmune disorders that are causing nasal cartilage damage can help prevent a saddle nose deformity. However, if enough damage occurs, the septum and nasal tissues could collapse in the future.
Certain bacterial infections can attack the cartilage in the nose and weaken the nasal structure. While not common, bacterial infections such as syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease) and leprosy can result in nasal cartilage deterioration. Over time, the nasal bridge can become concave and cause breathing and aesthetic concerns.
Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics, but it often goes undetected. Leprosy can also be treated in the early stages. Unfortunately, these infections can cause irreversible damage to the nasal cartilage when they are in the later stages.
Saddle Nose Deformity Repair in NYC
If you have a saddle nose deformity from trauma, previous surgery, infection, disease, or drug use, there are solutions to restore your nose form and function. Contact us at Saddle Nose Repair – Dr. Maurice Khosh is a dual-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty for saddle nose deformities. Call our office in NYC to schedule a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Khosh.