Improving Form And Function Of The Nose
Each year thousands of people undergo surgery of the nose. Nasal surgery may be performed for cosmetic purposes, or a combination procedure to improve both form and function. It also may alleviate or cure nasal breathing problems, correct deformities from birth or injury, or support an aging, drooping nose.
Patients who are considering nasal surgery for any reason should seek a doctor who is a specialist in nasal airway function, as well as plastic surgery. This will ensure that efficient breathing is as high a priority as appearance.
When Should Surgery Be Considered to Correct a Chronically Stuffy Nose?
Millions of Americans perennially suffer the discomfort of nasal stuffiness. This may be indicative of chronic breathing problems that don't respond well to ordinary treatment. The blockage may be related to structural abnormalities inside the nose or to swelling caused by allergies or viruses.
There are numerous causes of nasal obstruction. A deviated septum (the partition between the nostrils) can be crooked or bent as the result of abnormal growth or injury. This can partially or completely close one or both nasal passages. The deviated septum can be corrected with a surgical procedure called septoplasty. Cosmetic changes to the nose are often performed at the same time, in a combination procedure called septorhinoplasty.
Overgrowth of the turbinates is yet another cause of stuffiness. (The turbinates are the tissues that line the inside of the nasal passages.) Sometimes the turbinates need treatment to make them smaller and expand the nasal passages. Treatments include injection, freezing, and partial removal. Allergies, too, can cause internal nasal swelling, and allergy evaluation and therapy may be necessary.
Can Surgery Correct a Stuffy, Aging Nose?
Aging is a common cause of nasal obstruction. This occurs when cartilage in the nose and its tip are weakened by age and droop because of gravity, causing the sides of the nose to collapse inward, obstructing air flow. Mouth breathing or noisy and restricted breathing are common.
Try lifting the tip of your nose to see if you breathe better. If so, the external adhesive nasal strips that athletes have popularized may help. Or talk to a facial plastic surgeon/otolaryngolgist about septoplasty, which will involve trimming, reshaping or repositioning portions of septal cartilage and bone. (This is an ideal time to make other cosmetic improvements as well.) Soft silicone splints are placed in the nostrils for 1 week to hold the septum in its new position. Patients may experience some internal swelling for a week or two. However, after the silicone splints are removed, most people enjoy a dramatic improvement in breathing that continues several weeks after surgery.
Frequently asked questions
The ideal age varies depending on the procedure. Some surgeries, like rhinoplasty, are often performed in late teens or early twenties, while others are more common among older adults seeking anti-aging treatments.
When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon in a accredited facility, plastic surgery is generally safe. However, all surgical procedures carry inherent risks, and individual factors also play a role in safety.
Recovery time varies depending on the procedure and individual healing abilities. Some treatments may have minimal downtime, while others may require several weeks of recuperation.
Skilled surgeons strive to provide natural-looking outcomes. Open communication with your surgeon about your expectations and goals is crucial for achieving the results you desire.
Most surgeries result in some scarring, but plastic surgeons aim to minimize scarring through careful incision placement and suturing techniques. Scar management post-surgery can also help.
The cost varies by procedure and location. We do not accept insurance.
It's crucial to select a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in the specific procedure you're interested in. Reading reviews, checking credentials, and scheduling consultations can help with this decision.