Rhinoplasty, commonly called a nose job, is a great way to smooth out the contours of your nose and create better balance and symmetry among your facial features, but when it’s performed to alter your looks, it’s strictly a cosmetic procedure.
If you also have some breathing issues due to a deviated septum, you may be wondering if a nose job can do double duty.
Here to discuss the details, Robert A. Guida, MD, our double board-certified rhinoplasty and plastic surgeon, offers insight into the two procedures necessary to correct your deviated septum and reshape your nose.
Understanding your deviated septum
Your septum is simply the cartilage that separates your right nostril from your left. If your septum is misaligned, meaning it deviates to the right or to the left, it’s called a deviated septum. Approximately 80% of all people have a deviated septum, and many of them don’t even realize it.
Although some folks are born with a crooked septum, most acquire theirs from a fall, car accident, or sports injury.
The reason so many people don’t know they have a deviated septum is that slight misalignments typically don’t cause any symptoms. But if your deviated septum is blocking your airway, you may experience:
- Nasal congestion
- Sleep apnea
You may also notice that it’s hard or impossible to breathe through one side of your nose. Because of these symptoms, it may become medically necessary to correct the problem.
Dr. Guida performs septoplasty, the procedure to correct your deviated septum, right here in our office. He makes small incisions inside your nose, so you won’t have to worry about visible scarring.
During septoplasty, Dr. Guida either repositions your septum or removes bone and/or cartilage to realign your septum and clear your nostrils for proper breathing.
If you want to change the size, shape, or angle of your nose, you need rhinoplasty, which is very different from septoplasty. Here, Dr. Guida separates the soft tissues from the bone and cartilage, so he can resize or reshape the structures. He may even add structural elements if necessary.
Depending on your aesthetic goals, Dr. Guida may be able to perform the procedure using small incisions inside your nose, but some techniques require an incision in the columella, which is the narrow strip of external tissue that separates your nostrils.
If you want to alter the look of your nose and correct your deviated septum at the same time, Dr. Guida performs septorhinoplasty, a combination of both procedures. Although the two surgeries are distinct, they do share some similarities.
While rhinoplasty focuses mainly on aesthetic issues, Dr. Guida always prioritizes function over form, being careful to maintain your open airways as he recreates the look of your nose. Likewise, when he performs septoplasty alone, he takes care to preserve your appearance as he corrects the functional problem. The two procedures are complementary and often performed together.
Whether you were born with a deviated septum or developed the problem later in life, Dr. Guida can have you breathing freely soon with septoplasty. And if you want to make a few changes while he’s at it, then septorhinoplasty may be right for you.
Book a consultation with Dr. Guida using our online scheduling tool, or give us a call at either our Staten Island or New York, New York office today.