The upper jaw (maxilla) and the nasal structure are closely related. It’s not uncommon for people to find that their noses are wider after their upper jaw surgery. This change is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if you have a narrow nose, this can make it better. On the other, if you already have a broad nose to begin with, an increased nasal width is not attractive.
A wide nose after upper jaw surgery occurs because the nose and the maxilla are connected. Though changes are mostly in millimeters, this is enough to change your appearance. Surgeons sometimes do a rhinoplasty to account for this.
It is odd to think about jaw surgery, changing your nose. After all, you’re getting surgery to get your upper jaw done, not a nose fix. However, if you are getting an upper jaw surgery or a double jaw surgery, you can expect that there will be minor changes to your nose.
Of course, the effect of jaw surgery on noses does not always yield an undesirable result. Take a look at this paper by Worasakwutiphong et al. (2015) on the effects of double jaw surgery on nasal appearance. A good 37% percent of the sample size thought their nose’s post-op look was much better. And only about 5% said that their nose became wider and less attractive.
However, that does not negate the fact that jaw surgery can have adverse effects on the nose and its looks. If you fall into the category that doesn’t like the post-op look of their nose, you’ll benefit from reading the rest of this article.
First, let’s talk about jaw surgery. What is it, and why is it done?
Jaw surgery can be done for a multitude of reasons. A large chunk of it is to correct deformities with the jaw. In a lot of cases, it aims to fix breathing, alignment problems, and chewing. Orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) fixes issues in the jaws that cannot be corrected by orthodontic means. These problems can range from minor to major cases, and the surgery application depends on the complexity of the situation.
Apart from that, jaw surgery can also cater to the world of aesthetics and cosmetics. Many jaw surgeries we see today are for cosmetic reasons. And while it can be a hybrid of both functional and aesthetic purposes, the presence of aesthetics in jaw surgeries is undeniable. When function improves, so does form.
There are various types of jaw surgeries available today. It can be on the lower jaw (mandible), the upper jaw (maxilla), or both jaws. If the jaw surgery in question was only on the lower jaw, it’s no cause for alarm in nasal appearance. The nose will only change if the surgery was on the upper jaw.
Although there will be no physical changes to the nose in mandible surgery, there is a possibility of visual changes. This change is especially apparent when the patient ends up with a drastically different chin. When that happens, the nose will also look different in contrast to the chin’s new look.
Please note that jaw surgery IS an invasive procedure and carries a significant amount of risk. Like all other invasive procedures, there can be complications such as infections or fractures in the bone. These risks are why you need to hire a board-certified surgeon to do the job.
Changes in the Nose
So why does the nose change with jaw surgery?
Many things in our body are connected. When you do something to body part A, chances are another body part will also be affected. It is the same case with jaw surgery.
As you can see, the maxilla is not just composed of the palate and the surrounding bone. The maxilla is a collection of many parts. From the maxilla’s anterior surface, you can see that the nasal bones are part of the maxilla. Because of the upper jaw changes during surgery, the nose’s soft tissue will be affected.
Apart from widening the nose’s base, noses post jaw surgery can also look more upturned and pointed.
As much as research and technology have progressed, it is still impossible to determine surgery’s exact result. Surgeons today do their best to map out the final look for their patients to approve. However, these results are not always perfect.
In upper jaw surgery, the nose is almost always a part of the game plan. A specialist will consider what happens to the nose after the surgery to mitigate risks or changes to it. But despite their many preventive measures, it’s still impossible to determine how exactly soft tissue will react.
This uncertainty leads us to the next point, which is what the surgeon will do afterward.
Fixes for a Wide Nose After Upper Jaw Surgery
As previously stated, it’s common for people who get upper jaw or double jaw surgery to get nose fixes afterward. This will involve another invasive procedure called rhinoplasty. As you probably already know, rhinoplasty changes how the nose looks, depending on how the client wants it to look.
Normally, rhinoplasty would be safe about half a year of 6 months from the jaw surgery. It’s unwise to get a rhinoplasty before getting jaw surgery because the jaws are a major part of how a face looks. Because of their massive contribution, small changes in the jaws could lead to entirely different facial proportions.
When that happens, the look of the nose has to adjust as well. A nose is not universal. Most of the time, how well a nose fits a face depends on all the other features.
If your nose got wider after your jaw surgery, all you need to do is consult your surgeon about it. Try to see if they are qualified to fix it. If not, you can look for a surgeon that specializes in rhinoplasty. Sometimes, the surgeon might even schedule the procedure and plan for it in advance. This happens when the changes were expected and were likely to occur.
Jaw surgery carries with it the risk of significant-looking nasal changes. Sometimes, these nasal changes can even help a person breather better! If you think that a wider nose will make you look less attractive, factor it into the risks of getting jaw surgery.
If getting rhinoplasty after surgery is not an issue with you, go ahead and get the jaw surgery.
The satisfaction you get from jaw surgery is all up to you. Some people feel terrible about how their new nose looks, while others feel like they hit two birds with one stone.
Don’t mistake other people’s experiences for yours because your perspective might be different. The most important thing is that you are happy with the way you look and are satisfied with the outcome. If you are not, then it’s just another fix.
Remember that all these processes are surgical. What that means is that there are certain risks and consequences that you may have to face. These surgeries are not life-threatening. But they can still end up bad or botched if not done properly.
Consider your options and do A LOT of research beforehand. That extra step will, without a doubt, help you a lot.