When many people think of plastic surgery on the nose—also known as rhinoplasty—they think of it being done for cosmetic reasons. However, it’s very common for those who have no desire to change the appearance of their nose to also seek out rhinoplasty to improve their breathing. This type of rhinoplasty, known as
Why Should You Consider Functional Rhinoplasty?
There are many reasons why people seek out functional rhinoplasty. The most common is due to a pre-existing physical condition such as birth defect, infection, or trauma to the nose that causes the collapse of the nostrils, narrowing of the nasal passageway, or other obstructions that impair breathing.
Many functional rhinoplasty surgeries are done to correct a deviated septum. This occurs when the wall between the nasal passageway becomes twisted, reducing airflow and complicating breathing. Those with a deviated system can experience crusting or bleeding in the nose, blocked nostrils, frequent sinus infections, and snoring. You can be born with a deviated septum or it can be the result of trauma to the nose.
Another common reason for patients to opt for functional rhinoplasty is due to enlarged turbinates, which are structures in your upper nose that can swell due to infections, allergies, or other irritants and compromise your airway. Having surgery to correct a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, or any other physical condition that makes it difficult for you to breathe can make a huge difference in your quality of life. H
What is the Difference Between Cosmetic and Functional Rhinoplasty?
Dr. Kotler is an expert in both functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty and often finds that patients benefit from a combination surgery that not only helps improve breathing but also improves the aesthetics of the nose. In cases where the patient is in need only of a deviated septum correction or reduction of the turbinates, Dr. Kotler can usually perform a minimally invasive procedure that involves only internal incisions. Once he has gained access to the nasal cavity, he can correct the position of the septum or change the position of or trim down the size of the turbinates to improve his patient’s breathing. Those who have surgeries such as these, known as closed surgery, enjoy improved wellness with very little scarring and a minimum of recovery time. H
Deciding if Functional Rhinoplasty is Right for You
If you have breathing problems due to a deviated septum or obstruction in your nasal cavity, you’ve likely sought out the advice of an ENT (ear nose throat) specialist. He or she may have recommended medications or a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine to help you breathe and sleep better. If these have not treated your condition to your satisfaction or if you’re tired of taking medication or getting hooked up to a machine every night, it may be time to consider functional rhinoplasty. The next step is to schedule a consultation with a rhinoplasty specialist such as Dr. Kotler who can evaluate the causes of your breathing problems and advise you if functional rhinoplasty will likely provide relief. The doctor will go through the process of your rhinoplasty surgery, answer any questions you have, and help you prepare for your upcoming surgery. H
Functional Rhinoplasty: Knowing What to Expect
Depending on the extent of work that needs to be done on your nose, you should be in the operating room no more than one and a half to two hours for your procedure. If you are having work done on a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates, your surgery will be closed and will involve a minimum of downtime. You will leave the office with soft nose packing around special breathing tubes called the Kotler Nasal Airway. You can expect to swell and bruising for a few days after surgery and should avoid blowing your nose and should sleep with your head elevated. Most patients find they are able to return to work and their daily activity after about a week.
If you are experiencing breathing problems that impact your sleep or your daily feelings of wellness, you should consider a functional rhinoplasty. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kotler today to find out if this type of surgery can improve your breathing and quality of life.