What’s the difference between functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty?

Aug 15, 2019 | Face and Nose, Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures currently available and can be performed for a number of reasons.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your nose, you may have considered a nose reshaping procedure. The treatment effectively enhances and corrects the shape and position of the nose for an improved look but can also address a number of functional concerns. Whether you are concerned about the size or symmetry of your nose or have a functional issue that needs to be addressed, rhinoplasty may be a good option. Read on to find out how functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty differ, and if the surgery is right for you…

What is a functional rhinoplasty?

Functional rhinoplasty is performed on patients who suffer from problems such as a deviated septum, or nasal passages that are too narrow. These types of issues are often caused as a result of an accident or trauma but can also be due to birth defects.

In the case of a deviated septum, the line of cartilage in the nose is misaligned. The septum can be straightened in a procedure known as septoplasty, during which the cartilage is carefully repositioned so that it sits vertically, rather than at an angle. When the cartilage has been successfully straightened, the air is able to flow more easily through the nostrils, making it easier and more comfortable to breath.

In many cases, functional rhinoplasty is performed in order to address issues relating to allergies and sinus infections, which can cause the turbinates in the nose to become enlarged. The turbinates, which are also known as nasal conchae, work to humidify the air as it passes through the nasal passages. These structures are made of bone, blood vessels and other tissue, and often become swollen as a result of allergies and infections. When they are swollen, the nasal airflow is obstructed. In this case, a turbinate reduction procedure may be recommended, in which tissue is removed to create more space for nasal airflow.

What is a cosmetic rhinoplasty?

Cosmetic rhinoplasty is generally performed in cases where patients are dissatisfied with the shape and position of the nose, although even cosmetic rhinoplasty often has functional benefits as well. Some of the most common issues that are addressed with cosmetic rhinoplasty include asymmetry; as well as wide nostrils; a particularly pronounced bump on the nose; a dip on the dorsum; or a pinched nasal tip. In many cases, patients simply feel that their nose is out of proportion with the rest of their facial features and would like a more balanced appearance.

What can you expect after rhinoplasty?

Whether you choose cosmetic or functional rhinoplasty, you can expect to wear a splint for around a week following your procedure. A nasal splint works by keeping your nasal tissues in position and aiding post-operative recovery.

It is also completely normal to experience some bruising and swelling, which usually lasts for around two weeks following surgery. As soon as the bruising and swelling subside, you will begin to notice the results of your treatment, although it can take some time for the final results to become apparent.

If you are considering rhinoplasty for cosmetic or functional reasons or a combination of the two, we encourage you to come in and see Mr David Morgan for a consultation. To find out more about what the procedure involves, please take a look at our rhinoplasty page.

To find out what other cosmetic procedures Mr Morgan offers at his practice in Victoria, please take a look here.

To arrange a consultation with Mr Morgan, please get in touch.