One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States, rhinoplasty — aka the nose job — has long had a reputation as a face changer, bringing the proportions of the nose in line with the rest of your facial features. 

However, unlike some cosmetic services, the nose job also has some strictly medical applications, when the function of the nose is somehow impaired. Today, we look at a few of the non-cosmetic reasons why you may choose to have a rhinoplasty.

The complexity of rhinoplasty

Because the physiology of the nose is complex, involving bone, cartilage, and skin, and since breathing through your nose is an important biological function, rhinoplasty is generally considered one of the most difficult plastic surgery procedures. 

The process of the surgery itself, combined with conditions during recovery, make results somewhat unpredictable, so whether you choose surgery for cosmetic or functional reasons, choosing an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon, like those at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center, assures you the best chances for success.

Defining medical need

If, prior to your rhinoplasty, your breathing function is normal, without restrictions in the nasal passages, then your procedure is strictly cosmetic. When airways are compromised or restricted, then a rhinoplasty becomes a medical procedure. 

Many of the specific techniques used for surgery are the same, regardless of the intent of the procedure, so it’s possible to request cosmetic changes along with the functional aspects of rhinoplasty. You can discuss these additions with your surgeon during the consultation and examination phases.

Reasons for non-cosmetic rhinoplasty

If you’re plagued with chronic sinus conditions such as recurring sinusitis or nasal inflammation due to chronic allergies, rhinoplasty may be able to widen your nasal passages to permit more airflow, which is often enough to reduce the severity of these disorders.

Cleft lip and cleft palate conditions can often include rhinoplasty as part of the necessary surgical corrections, while simultaneously restoring a more regular facial appearance. Similarly, a deviated septum may require surgical correction called septoplasty, and this is often combined with rhinoplasty.

Traumatic injuries can cause bone breaks or tissue deformations that lead to breathing problems. A nose job may be the ideal way to not only restore proper breathing, but also to correct appearance issues caused by the injury.

The rhinoplasty procedure

Your surgery and its approach depends largely on the work that must be done. Rhinoplasty may be done under local or general anesthesia. Since issues related to breathing function may require work deeper into the nasal passages, it’s more likely that rhinoplasty for medical reasons is done under a general anesthetic than with, for instance, cosmetic surgery to the tip of your nose.

Your initial recovery period probably lasts about a week, while you have dressings and a nose splint in place. Secondary recovery lasts several weeks, until you get your surgeon’s OK to return to normal living.

Efficient breathing is essential to your good health, so take advantage of surgery that restores your nasal passages. Contact any of the five locations of Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center to request a consultation. You can call or use the convenient online tool to arrange your appointment.