Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed for a number of reasons, but cosmetic nasal surgeries tend to get the most attention. While cosmetic changes to the nose can greatly benefit self-image and self-esteem, the functional reasons for rhinoplasty can change a patient’s life in another way. Whether it’s breathing troubles or a nasal injury that troubles you, a medically necessary rhinoplasty has many benefits to offer. Learn more about nasal surgery and how it could correct even a life-long nasal issue.
Common Nasal Function Problems
According to recent data, roughly 70 percent of rhinoplasty patients in North America seek the procedure to correct some sort of functional problem. These can include many different things, from mildly bothersome to more serious in nature. The most common nasal function problems include:
• Allergies and the resulting chronic sinus congestion.
• Septal deviation, where the cartilage dividing the nostrils is off-center or tilted.
• Enlarged turbinates, which divide the nasal passageways into four separate airways and can obstruct the breathing if they are too large.
• The growth nasal polyps.
• Past or recent nasal trauma that has resulted in broken bones, damaged cartilage, obstructed airways, and other injuries.
• A functional issue that has resulted from a prior rhinoplasty surgery with disappointing results.
Candidates for a Functional Rhinoplasty
A good candidate for rhinoplasty surgery of any kind should be in good overall health, not smoke, and have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by their procedure. Many functional rhinoplasty patients have a common goal: to regain full functionality of their noses.
If your surgical objective is only functional in nature, you’ll want to be sure to discuss your concerns and your needs clearly with a facial plastic surgeon experienced in rhinoplasty surgery. For those who are interested in combining cosmetic changes with a functional rhinoplasty procedure, expressing your feelings to your facial plastic surgeon is the best way to get started. It’s not uncommon for patients to take the opportunity to improve their nasal function while also resolving unwanted nasal features.
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
There are two main types of rhinoplasty surgery, the open and the closed approach. Choosing which technique to use is ultimately up to your surgeon, who will base his decision on your needs, the changes required to achieve the desired results, and your nasal structure. In a closed, or endonasal, rhinoplasty, all of the incisions are made inside the nostrils where they won’t be visible after healing. The skin is then lifted from the underlying cartilage and bone so that the nose can be recontoured and reconstructed.
In an open, or external, rhinoplasty procedure, one small incision is made between the nostrils on the underside of the nose. It allows the surgeon access to the tip of the nose, which can be opened up to reveal the structures of the lower and middle third of the nose.
For a functional rhinoplasty, the procedure will be designed on an individual basis to suit each patient’s unique needs. Sometimes, cartilage and bone grafts are used to add support to the nasal structure, often taken from the nasal septum itself. Reshaping and additional grafting is sometimes used to achieve the functionality required. Your incisions will vary, based on where and how your surgeon must access the treatment area. Discuss the details of your functional rhinoplasty with your facial plastic surgeon during your consultation so you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Evaluating Success After a Functional Rhinoplasty
Once your functional rhinoplasty procedure is complete and you’ve healed completely, you shouldn’t be wondering if your surgery was successful. Hopefully, you’ll start noticing the improved breathing or other nasal function as soon as your swelling begins to subside. If your issue is harder to evaluate, or you’re not noticing a difference, it’s important to have your nasal function evaluated. You will likely be asked to do this anyhow, to compare your post-surgery nose with the old version of itself.
To evaluate your improvements, first meet with your facial plastic surgeon. He will assess how well your nose has healed and if it has meet the surgical objective. An ear, nose, and throat specialist or rhinologist can be consulted to further this evaluation, examining the nose with an endoscope or possibly a CT-scan to check your nasal health and structure. Your general practitioner or allergy specialist can also provide inside to your improvements, if any. Overall, you should be able to notice a significant improvement to your post-rhinoplasty nasal function, even without a medical opinion.
Improve Your Nasal Function With Rhinoplasty
All in all, it is clear that researching your surgeon pays dividends. In fact, the reason why people fly to Florida to become Dr. Bustillo’s patients is because they have taken the time to research who will give them the results they want. All noses and all expectations are different, but Dr. Bustillo takes pride in performing the most natural nose job possible, and making sure that his clients are ecstatic with the result.
Dr. Bustillo can be contacted at 305-663-3380, at his Miami-based practice. His team will be there to answer questions, and help you to plan your initial consultation. It is important to conduct this consultation after becoming familiar with Dr. Bustillo’s approach and reading about the way he views rhinoplasty surgery. You can do this on his excellent website.