If you’re familiar with the medical term “rhinoplasty,” you’re aware that most people think of it as a nose job, a cosmetic procedure to change the shape and appearance of a person’s nose. About 300,000 rhinoplasty procedures are performed each year in the United States. People between the ages of 20 and 50 are most likely to have the procedure, and the gender balance favors women, who have 59% of the total surgeries.

However, rhinoplasty isn’t exclusively about aesthetics. While often chosen primarily to balance a person’s facial features, rhinoplasty can also address structural issues that interfere with breathing, and it’s also common for surgery to address both function and aesthetics.

The physiology of the nose is quite complex, and rhinoplasty is typically regarded as one of the most complex plastic surgeries, requiring extensive knowledge of facial anatomy. However, it can be a remarkably effective procedure. Today, we discuss five of the most common issues that rhinoplasty addresses.

Deviated septum

The septum is the cartilage running down between your nostrils. It should be located centrally so that each air passage is about the same size. The septum may be pushed to one side due to a broken nose or other injury, or you could be born with uneven passages.

If you’re an active person, correcting a deviated septum can improve airflow for effective cardiovascular performance. Rhinoplasty can rebuild the structure of your nose to keep the septum centered.

Broken nose

Repairing damage following broken noses is perhaps the most common non-cosmetic reason for rhinoplasty. It can involve reshaping cartilage or resetting broken nasal bones.

Usually, rhinoplasty for the aftereffects of a broken nose focuses on breathing function and not maximizing aesthetics. This is called a corrective rhinoplasty.

Nasal humps

A prominent hump on the bridge area of your nose may give the impression your nose has been broken, since unrepaired breaks can also result in a hump. However, you may have excess cartilage forming the hump without ever breaking your nose. Rhinoplasty can remove the excess, removing the hump and reshaping your nose.

Nostril shape

Nostril shape is a personal preference. Some people find theirs too narrow, too wide, or unsatisfying in some other regard. Rhinoplasty can address nostril shape, but it’s a rather invasive version of the procedure, since the entire physiology of the nose must be considered. Breathing function may influence how much your nostrils can be altered.

Large nose tip

The classic bulbous nose shape can throw the look of your nose out of balance with the rest of your face. As with nasal humps, cartilage can be removed, and a popular approach to nose tip alteration accesses cartilage from within the nose, so scars resulting from rhinoplasty are hidden from sight.

Because of the complexity and variations possible with rhinoplasty surgery, an experienced surgeon is a must. Lakeshore ENT has a team of 16 surgeons who specialize in ear, nose and throat issues, including specialists in rhinoplasty. Whether you want to restore breathing function or rebalance the look of your face, call or click today to schedule a consultation.