Functional Rhinoplasty

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If you experience frequent nasal congestion, blockage of one or both nasal airways, or have recurring or chronic sinus problems then consider having your nose evaluated for underlying causes such as enlarged turbinates, deviated septum, nasal polyps, or nasal valve collapse. Functional Rhinoplasty combined with various nasal airway procedures is highly successful in correcting these abnormalities and restoring normal breathing through the nose. Our Board-Certified ENT Surgeons with Fellowship Certification in Rhinology offer advanced surgical solutions for a range of nasal conditions when medications fail.

Benefits of Functional Rhinoplasty

  • Increase nasal airflow and improve breathing
  • Relieve symptoms like nasal congestion and facial pressure
  • Often improves snoring and quality of sleep when impacted by poor nasal airflow
  • Can be combined with cosmetic rhinoplasty to correct nasal deformities and improve the appearance of the nose

What is a Functional Rhinoplasty?

Functional rhinoplasty refers to nose surgery that is performed to correct nasal structures or enhance nasal breathing ability. Septoplasty, Turbinoplasty, Concha Bullosa Resection, Nasal Valve Repair, and other procedures can be incorporated into a functional rhinoplasty procedure, which is a blanket term encompassing many options.

Who Needs a Functional Rhinoplasty Procedure?

If you are considering functional rhinoplasty or wondering if you’re a good candidate for this procedure, the first step is to schedule a consultation. Your surgeon will start with an examination of your nose, review your medical history, and go over your goals to determine the best course of treatment for you. CT Imaging of the nasal structures or nasal endoscopy may be used to further evaluate the nature of your symptoms. You will then receive treatment recommendations including medications (if appropriate) and a surgical plan if indicated.

What To Expect During Functional Rhinoplasty

Most nasal surgeries are performed under IV sedation or General Anesthesia and require someone to drive you to and from the facility on the day of your procedure. Pre-operative instructions and any needed pre-operative evaluations will be discussed in advance of your procedure date. Most functional rhinoplasty procedures last between one and three hours depending upon the extent of surgery planned. Except in rare cases, you will be able to go home after waking up in a recovery area and monitored until cleared for discharge by the staff. As most functional rhinoplasty procedures are performed endoscopically, there are no visible incisions and generally no visible bruising. Nasal valve repair and cosmetic rhinoplasty, however, will involve small external incisions at the base of the nose or nostrils and some degree of bruising during recovery.

Recovering From Functional Rhinoplasty

Following functional rhinoplasty, facial swelling is often minimal and pain improves quickly following the initial three to five days post-op. Most patients are able to manage their discomfort with combinations of Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil), and occasionally narcotic pain medications. Patients generally require 5 to 7 days off from work or school and should avoid exercise or exertion for 10 to 14 days following surgery. You will be scheduled for several post-operative clinic visits in order to monitor your recovery until fully healed.

FAQs About Functional Rhinoplasty

What’s the difference between functional rhinoplasty and cosmetic rhinoplasty?

While cosmetic rhinoplasty improves the nose’s external appearance, functional rhinoplasty corrects abnormal anatomy impacting breathing through the nose and focuses more on structures within the nasal cavities. When performed in the proper setting, cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty can be performed by a team of surgeons that possess optimal cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty skill sets and ensure that both function and appearance are optimally addressed. According to studies, 70% of patients who undergo secondary or revision rhinoplasty following cosmetic rhinoplasty were unhappy with their nasal breathing results from their initial surgeries.1

Am I a candidate for functional rhinoplasty?

You may be a candidate for functional rhinoplasty if you suffer from nasal obstruction symptoms and fail to improve with medications alone such as nasal steroid sprays. To evaluate your condition and explore your treatment options further, please make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled and experienced surgeons.

Does functional rhinoplasty have any risks?

When performed by a board-certified and fellowship-trained ENT surgeon with expertise in Rhinology, this procedure is considered safe and very likely to improve your nasal obstruction symptoms. As with all surgeries, however, functional rhinoplasty does have a slight risk of complications that are fortunately very rare. These may include temporary or permanent numbness of the nose, the roof of the mouth, or front teeth, movement of the septum while healing causing further obstruction symptoms, future enlargement of turbinates causing recurring obstruction symptoms, epistaxis (nosebleeds) requiring additional interventions for control while healing, and undesired alteration of the appearance of the nose.2

Learn More About Functional Rhinoplasty

The nose and sinus experts at My Houston Surgeons are dedicated to providing the highest standards of safety and quality care for our patients. Please contact us for more information on functional rhinoplasty or to schedule a consultation.

Trused Source Icon - Checkbox Sources

1 GMS Risks and complications in rhinoplasty. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3199839/. Accessed July 6, 2022.

2 Mayo Clinic. Rhinoplasty. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/rhinoplasty/about/pac-20384532#:~:text=Other%20possible%20risks%20specific%20to,of%20an%20uneven%2Dlooking%20nose. Accessed July 6, 2022.

The Doctors at My Houston Surgeons have either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Page last updated:

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