Most prospective patients assume that rhinoplasty is predominantly performed for cosmetic reasons, but there are many functional problems that can also be solved with this nasal surgery. Cosmetic rhinoplasty is primarily concerned with the appearance of the nose, the aesthetic form so to speak. Changing cosmetic aspects can improve a patient’s self-image, but functional changes can do even more. When breathing problems or nasal injuries occur, functional rhinoplasty can correct the problem and alleviate medical issues. Functional rhinoplasty can also be combined with cosmetic changes to deliver optimum results.
The Most Common Nasal Function Issues
A surprising 70 percent of rhinoplasty patients throughout North America opt for the surgery to address various functional issues, sometimes in conjunction with cosmetic changes as well. Within this large percentage of patients, both large and small function problems are included. Some of the typical troubles faced by these patients are:
- Chronic sinus congestion resulting from severe allergies.
- A deviated septum, a condition where the cartilage flap between the nasal passageways is tilted and creates a blockage on one or both sides.
- Enlarged turbinates, which are found along the airways and can create blockages if they swell or grow too large.
- Nasal polyps.
- Nasal trauma, either recent or past, that has affected the nasal structure. Sometimes broken bones, cartilage damage, and other problems will result.
- Results of a botched rhinoplasty that have created disappointing results and functional troubles.
Best Candidates for Functional Rhinoplasty
When considering rhinoplasty surgery, it’s important to determine if you would be a good candidate for this particular type of procedure. Prospective patients for rhinoplasty should be in good overall health, be nonsmokers, and have realistic expectations for their results. To be considered a good fit for a functional rhinoplasty, you should have a need and a desire to regain complete functionality of your nose.
For patients who are only looking to correct their internal nasal issues, be sure to discuss all of your concerns with your facial plastic surgeon during your consultation. If you’re also looking to make changes to your nasal form for cosmetic reasons, include these thoughts in your conversation as well. Your rhinoplasty surgery can be designed to tackle both form and function at once. During your consultation, your facial plastic surgeon will give you an expert opinion on the improvements that could deliver the results you want. Together, you can plan a multi-faceted approach to make changes to your nose.
What You Need to Know About Rhinoplasty Surgery
Rhinoplasty surgery is typically performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, lasting one to two hours on average. Either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation will be used throughout the procedure. When the surgeon begins, either a closed or open approach will be used to perform your surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty, the incisions will be confined to the inside of the nostrils. For an open rhinoplasty, a very small incision may be placed under the tip of the nose in addition to the internal incisions.
Next, the skin of the nose will be separated from the underlying bone and cartilage, which can then be sculpted and changed into the desired shape. Other changes will then be made to correct internal irregularities, injuries, and other problems. Once the desired result has been achieved, your facial plastic surgeon will redrape the skin over the new framework of the nose and suture the incisions closed.
Success of a Functional Rhinoplasty
Following your rhinoplasty procedure and recovery period, the success of your surgery should be noticeable right away. If breathing troubles were to blame, you should see an improvement as soon as your post-surgical swelling begins to subside. Structural changes might be harder to notice at first, but should be visible when all swelling and bruising is gone. During follow-up visits, your facial plastic surgeon will evaluate your results and whether your functional objectives were achieved.
In the event that your complete final results are not satisfactory, you may choose to pursue a revision rhinoplasty. This secondary attempt is performed in a similar way and gives you the opportunity to refine the changes of the first surgery, if needed. Most functional rhinoplasty patients are satisfied after their first attempt, but it’s good to have a full understanding of the changes necessary to achieve optimal nasal performance and how your surgeon will handle them. Choose your facial plastic surgeon wisely to get your rhinoplasty right the first time around.
Begin Your Functional Nasal Changes Today
To plan the functional changes that will help you to breathe easier, consult with a recognized expert in facial plastic surgeryand guarantee your best results. Dr. Andrew Frankel is board certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (Ear Nose and Throat). He is exceptionally well trained in the field of nasal surgery and has been recognized for his original research regarding vasculature to the nose and rhinoplasty’s effect on it. Schedule your appointment today with a world-renowned facial plastic surgeon to guarantee your best rhinoplasty results. Contact Dr. Frankel’s office, located at 201 Lasky Drive in Beverly Hills, California, by calling (310) 552-2173.