Can Rhinoplasty Improve my Breathing?
What is a rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty also referred to as a “nose job,” involves reshaping and restructuring the cartilage, bone and skin of the nose. Every rhinoplasty that Dr. Weber performs has a cosmetic component that includes reducing the size of the nose and creating a more delicate, attractive nasal shape. In addition, most of the nasal surgeries performed by Dr. Weber also include a functional component performed to restructure the nasal airway to improve nasal breathing.
What nasal issues can be addressed with rhinoplasty to improve nasal breathing?
The most common causes of nasal breathing issues addressed with rhinoplasty include nasal injury and developmental nasal deformity. The areas of the nose that Dr. Weber most often restructures to improve nasal breathing include the nasal septum (straightening a deviated nasal septum), the nasal valve area (preventing or fixing collapse of the middle cartilage portion of the nose) and turbinate reduction (reducing the size of the inferior turbinates to open the nasal airway).
Why are nasal injuries so common?
Nasal trauma is a very common problem. The nasal bones are the most delicate bones in the body and are easily fractured with relatively mild injuries. Nasal fractures can result both in deformities of the nose as well as difficulty breathing through the nose. Common problems related to nasal obstruction include snoring, impaired exercise tolerance, “nasal” or congested voice and impaired quality of life.
Who is a candidate for septoplasty or rhinoplasty to improve nasal breathing?
Surgery is typically indicated for healthy patients with nasal obstruction that does not respond to medical therapies such as nasal steroid sprays and saline irrigation. The best surgical candidates are those that have nasal anatomy issues that correspond with their symptoms of nasal obstruction. Patients must be good candidates for surgery and not take any blood-thinning medications that will interfere with a safe recovery. Further, all patients must have reasonable expectations regarding the potential outcomes of surgery.
What can be achieved with functional rhinoplasty surgery?
Functional rhinoplasty surgery is focused on repairing all of the areas of anatomic obstruction:
- Septal deviation can be improved with a septoplasty
- Collapse of the internal nasal valve area of the nose is usually repaired by adding cartilage grafts to strengthen and reinforce the sidewalls of the nose.
- Obstruction of the external nasal valve area can be improved with a variety of maneuvers including placement of small cartilage grafts in the nostril tissue, straightening the bottom-most portion of the nasal septum and straightening of a crooked nasal tip.
- Crooked noses that result in collapse of the nasal valve area can be further improved with osteotomies that reset crooked nasal bones and allow placement of the nose in the middle of the face.
- Enlarged turbinates can be reduced with inferior turbinate reduction, a minimally invasive procedure
Can rhinoplasty fix a snoring problem?
This is a very complicated question. Snoring can occur anywhere from the tip of the nose all the way down to the Adam’s apple. In some cases, if the snoring issue simply involves the nose, rhinoplasty surgery can be expected to improve the severity of snoring. However, if the source of the snoring issue is the soft palate, base of the tongue or throat then nasal surgery would not be expected to change the character or severity of snoring.
Can rhinoplasty be performed to both improve nasal breathing and create a more delicate and attractive nose?
Absolutely! Every rhinoplasty that Dr. Weber performs has a cosmetic or aesthetic component in addition to a focus on optimizing nasal breathing. Septorhinoplasty surgery can be combined with straightening of the nose, narrowing or shortening of the nose, removal of a hump on the nasal bridge and reduction in the size of the nose depending upon your desired surgical result.
What is involved with nasal surgery?
Surgery typically requires 60-90 minutes of time in the operating room. Incisions are usually placed inside the nostrils where they are well hidden. However, on occasion, an incision across the base of the nose is required. This incision is usually very difficult to see as early as 2-3 weeks post-surgery. Delicate sutures are used to close all incisions and do not require removal. Most patients will require delicate steri-strip tapes and a nasal splint to minimize swelling of the nose following surgery. These will be removed five to six days following surgery.
What are the next steps if I’m interested in rhinoplasty surgery?
Is Dr. Weber an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon?
Stephen Weber MD, FACS is a double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who focuses on nasal surgery. He has performed over 1000 nasal procedures.
We look forward to seeing you soon.