Will Rhinoplasty Improve My Breathing?

January 16 2019

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. But despite its popularity, there are some misconceptions about the procedure. For example, some people believe that all rhinoplasties or “nose jobs” are performed strictly for cosmetic reasons.

This isn’t necessarily true. There are some cases where rhinoplasty can be performed to improve the appearance of the nose and improve breathing function. The procedure may have a slightly different name (i.e., functional rhinoplasty or septorhinoplasty) but still include elements of rhinoplasty.

Read on as the team at Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists explains how a nose job can fix a breathing problem.

Aesthetic versus Functional Nose Surgery

Nose surgery can include an aesthetic component to improve the appearance of the nose, a functional component to improve breathing or a combination of both components. Certain patients pursue nose surgery exclusively for the aesthetic improvements; others pursue it strictly to improve breathing. But very often there is some overlap between the two issues, as the patient wants to improve the appearance of the nose and improve nasal airway function simultaneously. This is something that we see regularly at our Atlanta plastic surgery practice.

How Nose Surgery Can Improve Breathing

A nose job can improve breathing by widening the passage through which air flows through the nose. There are several reasons why the nasal airway may need to be widened.

One example is if the partition that separates the nostrils, called the septum, is crooked or “deviated.” This may be present from birth or it may develop after an injury or accident. A deviated septum can make breathing difficult and it can cause other complications, like increased congestion, sinus infections, nosebleeds and sleep problems.

Sometimes functional rhinoplasty is necessary to fix another issue, like enlarged turbinates, which are like the “humidifiers” of the nose that swell in response to certain environmental factors. For some people, the turbinates are chronically enlarged and impede proper breathing.

Other problems that can impair breathing are the collapse of the nasal sidewalls or middle “vault” of the nose, or problems with collapsed or narrow nostrils.

Sometimes a person has a combination of two or more of these problems, all of which can be corrected during nose surgery.

When seeking nose surgery, either for aesthetic purposes, functional purposes or a combination of the two categories, it is imperative to select a board certified plastic surgeon that understands all aspects of the nasal anatomy. At Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists, we will work with you to identify your specific goals and formulate a treatment plan around them.

To make an appointment with our team of plastic surgeons and discuss nose surgery, please call our Northside office at (404) 255-2975 or our Piedmont office at (404) 343-0897.

Categories: Blog, Rhinoplasty