Everything You Need to Know About Functional Rhinoplasty

August 15th, 2016 | Face - Surgical, Sinus

People tend to forget that rhinoplasties are more than a cosmetic procedure: they can also be used to repair defective nasal structures that can lead to serious breathing problems. Although functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty are usually completed together, certain breathing complications are serious enough that it’s important to get immediate treatment through surgery.

What Does Functional Rhinoplasty Fix?

Functional rhinoplasty can remove nasal obstructions caused by damaged structures in the internal valve, external valve, turbinates, and septum.

Nasal obstruction can lead to things like:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sinus pressure headaches

What Makes Me a Good Candidate for a Functional Rhinoplasty?

You might be a good candidate if you have suffered any combination of these conditions:

  • Nasal injury, like a broken nose
  • Overly narrow noses
  • Collapsed airways
  • Nasal congenital defects
  • Nasal trauma from repeated infections

What’s a Nasal Septoplasty?

The septum is a structure made up of bone and cartilage that divides your nose into two halves. When the septum is crooked – otherwise known as deviated – it can obstruct the airways and cause a litany of breathing problems. Septoplasty is a procedure that straightens up the septum using a customized set of surgical techniques.

Why Do a Turbinate Reduction?

Turbinates are parts of mucus-covered bone in your nose that sometimes enlarge and obstruct your airways. A turbinate reduction should open up the airways and improve your breathing.

What About Fixing My Internal and External Nasal Valves?

Your internal and external valves are two of the most important airways for your nose. Your internal nasal valve can start narrowing because of damage or aging, and that can lead to collapse and airway obstruction. The external nasal valve – which is the opening of the nostril – can also tighten, making it difficult for you to breathe. Nasal valves are usually repaired using grafts to provide structural support, which widens the airways to allow for easier airflow. It’s possible that your surgeon will customize surgical treatment to fit your particular condition.

Will It Affect How I Look?

Oftentimes, functional rhinoplasty can change the shape of your nose. For instance, if you’re widening your nasal valves, that means you’re essentially widening the width of your nose. That’s why a good surgeon usually pairs functional rhinoplasty with a cosmetic rhinoplasty. Functional rhinoplasty is meant to help you prevent a lifetime of breathing problems, but you should also feel happy about how your nose looks.

Health insurance will often cover a functional rhinoplasty, or the functional part of a combined rhinoplasty procedure. If you want treatment for a serious medical condition without compromising your natural-born aesthetics, contact My Houston Surgeons for a consultation.