4 Types of Nose Surgeries

There are several types of nose surgery.  People seek the services of a nasal surgery specialist for two basic reasons:

  1. They are not happy with the appearance of their nose.
  2. The nose is not performing satisfactorily, meaning the airway is blocked. Perhaps one or more broken noses? Allergy? Sinus infections? All are valid reasons to fix the inside. And, at the same time as the cosmetic improvements

Let’s take a look at the various categories of nose surgery.

Types of Nose Surgeries

  • Rhinoplasty: The term rhinoplasty implies a change in the appearance of the nose. Not all patients require all changes.  
    • Removal of the bump or hump. 
    • Narrowing the upper portion, comprised of the two nasal bones. 
    • Narrowing lower or cartilaginous part of the nose including the tip.  Tip refinement is typically a critical element. 
    • Releasing the muscle that causes depression of the tip with smile. 
    • Correcting an asymmetry on the nostrils, if it is caused by a deviated nasal septum.  See septoplasty below.  
    • Lowering the entire profile of the nose. 
    • Recessing the nose. Bringing the nose closer to the face, particularly in the lower cartilaginous portion. 
    • Sculpting the nose-lip angle. Show more lip and less nose.  
    • Opening the angle between the nose. Corrects “ hang down” which can worsen with smile. 
    • Correction of  crookedness or asymmetry.  
    • Narrowing the base or sills of the nostrils.  
  • Septoplasty:  

Nasal septoplasty is correcting a crooked and obstructing nasal septum, the vertical partition that separates the two passages.  The crookedness of the nasal septum can contribute to a crooked external nose. Also, if the septum is off-center at the very front, between the two nostril openings, it may be the cause of an asymmetrical tip. It can be performed solely from within the nose, as in the closed rhinoplasty. No external incision is needed and dissolving stitches are used.

  • Reduction of Enlarged Turbinates

Turbinates are long, finger-like shelves running the length of the nasal cavity. Three on each side, positioned vertically, attached to the lateral internal nasal wall.  Only the lowest-positioned of the three, the largest and most misbehaving, the Inferior Turbinate, is typically corrected. Turbinates are not visible unless demonstrated by a nasal surgeon. They are bone and covered with a unique skin-like lining, identical to that they which lines the remaining nasal cavity and lungs. When enlarged, turbinates can be a key factor in nasal obstruction, particularly in people with allergies.  

The turbinate skin swells/thickens when provoked by a cold virus or allergic offenders. For some patients, because of blood flow instability, the skin can swell based on head position.  This is significant for people at night when they notice that one side clogs up. They then turn their head to relieve the blockage, and then the blockage switches to the opposite side. This common condition is called Vasomotor Rhinitis. Regardless of the cause, for some, the biggest burden is nighttime snoring.

Turbinate reduction is a practical,long-success procedure that can be performed at the same rhinoplasty or rhinoplasty and septoplasty session. Combining this procedure with the other nasal procedures offers further economy of dollars and recovery time.

  • Rhinoseptoplasty

Rhinoseptoplasty is the combination of cosmetic rhinoplasty and nasal septoplasty. Always wise to combine cosmetic and functional nasal surgery whenever possible and practical.  


Often, patients unaware that they have a breathing problem, are told of such at a consultation. This underlines the importance of a complete nasal exam when consulting for rhinoplasty. If there is a history of repeated sinus infections or of cold that “ take forever to go away”, it is likely there is nasal obstruction co-existing with the unsatisfactory appearance of the nose.

If indicated x-rays or CT scans should be performed to ascertain, with completeness, the problems that may exist and therefore be amenable to improvement.  Recovery from the functional and cosmetic combination operation is only a few days more to the recovery period than with the purely cosmetic rhinoplasty.