What is an Osteotemy and Why Is It Used During Rhinoplasty?

What is an Osteotemy and Why Is It Used During Rhinoplasty?

What is an Osteotemy and Why Is It Used During Rhinoplasty?

What is an Osteotemy and What Does it Achieve?

An osteotomy is a precise surgical cut made through bone during surgery. In rhinoplasty, bone cuts are made to destabilize the bones so that they can be moved inwards after hump reduction. Doing so helps to ensure that there is no flat spot – otherwise known as open roof deformity – on front view of the nose. Osteotemies are made with an extremely sharp instrument called an osteotome.

See that dotted red line in this image? That shows where osteotemies for reducing a dorsal hump are often made. In reality, they are dramatically smaller and finer than what you see in this image. The arrows show how the nasal bones are narrowed on front view to close that dark area you see (to prevent the open roof deformity that we discussed above).

Some patients are concerned that their noses will be “broken” during rhinoplasty surgery and understandably they want to avoid this. In reality, the nose is not “broken” in the violent way the word suggests – the nose bones are safely and precisely cut so they can be moved. Osteotemies have no impact on recovery time.

There are different types of osteotemies depending on the changes that are to be made:

  • lateral percutaneous osteotomies
  • lateral crural osteotemies
  • lateral trans-nasal osteotomies
  • medial trans-nasal osteotomies
  • intermediate trans-nasal osteotomies
  • medial percutaneous osteotomies
  • intermediate per-cutaneous osteotomies

Related Resources

Would you benefit from a hump reduction?

Removal of a bone or cartilage dorsal hump creates a more balanced nose on profile view, often improving the illusion of chin and lip position. When performed by an expert, this is a high satisfaction procedure. You can submit your photos to a patient care expert for a complementary assessment, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Buonassisi. We are here to help!