Nose jobs are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures on the market. Last year, over 200,000 people had rhinoplasty performed. This surgery is not only designed to change the appearance of your nose; it can also improve your overall breathing quality and the general function of your nose.
The Anatomy of Your Nose
Two types of tissue make up your nasal structure: bone and cartilage. The nasal bones work as a foundation to secure and support the cartilage, which form the external shape and structure. The inside of your nose also has bone and cartilage that support and protect your sinuses and olfactory nerves. These internal structures also create your left and right nasal passages, keeping them stable so you can breathe properly. Functional rhinoplasty can be used to correct problems with your cartilage and bone that impair your breathing and keep your nose from working normally.
What Causes Problems in Nasal Function?
Believe it or not, a lot of breathing problems are the result of congenital defects. The most common abnormalities are lumps and masses that obstruct the nasal passage. Some examples are nasal dermoids (tiny cavities or sinuses) or gliomas (small clusters of cells).
Trauma can also cause function problems. A broken nose, for example, is one of the most common causes of a deviated septum, which is a twist or break in the cartilage that separates the left side of your nose from the right. Even lesser trauma can bend or fracture cartilage and disrupt the flow of breathing.
Common Function Corrections
Rhinoplasty can be used to fix bothinternal and external problems. Here are some examples of each type:
Internal Nasal Problems and Treatments
- Turbinate reduction – These are small, mucous-covered shelves of bone inside the nasal cavity. They warm and moisten air as you draw it into your lungs, plus they trap any foreign contaminates. Usually the inferior turbinate is the cause of airway obstruction because it is the largest and has a tendency to become enlarged by environmental stimuli. This can be corrected by removing some of the turbinate membrane, thus removing the obstruction and improving airflow.
- Deviated septum – As stated above, the septum is a wall of cartilage that splits your nasal passage in two. A septum that is deformed in any way can reduce your breathing ability through one or both passages. Your breathing could even have a whistle or other odd sound to it. A septoplasty is a form of rhinoplasty in which the septum is straightened out or reconstructed using other sources of cartilage.
- Polyp removal – These benign masses of cells can be removed to eliminate obstructions. It’s also possible to remove nasal dermoids and gliomas in a similar fashion.
External Nasal Problems and Treatments
- Nasal valve collapse – The narrowest area of your nasal passage is called the nasal valve. The valve is lined with membranes which grow and shrink while you breathe. It regulates the rate of airflow and keeps the filtration system running smoothly. Nasal valves can collapse from aging, illness, or trauma, causing a serious problem with your ability to breathe through your nose. A rhinoplasty surgeon will be able to repair this externally using a variety of techniques that are personalized according to the patient’s nose and anatomy.
What Are Some Other Benefits to Functional Rhinoplasty?
For those of you who want to enhance your nose aesthetically while also improving your breathing, functional rhinoplasty can be performed alongside cosmetic rhinoplasty. A skilled rhinoplasty surgeon will also know how to shape and contour your nose without creating additional obstructions. As a patient, having everything done in one procedure is more likely to provide a satisfactory result that you can be happy with.
Although the above treatments may sound very complex, most are actually quite simple and are done as outpatient procedures, just like cosmetic procedures. Even better, health insurance companies may be able to help pay for the surgery since functional rhinoplasty contributes to improving your overall health.
Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery
As our name suggests, our facility is dedicated to improving the lives of men and women with procedures centered around the face and neck. Our surgeon, Dr. Todd Hobgood, is double board-certified and nationally recognized for his work. He specializes in rhinoplasty, plus many other surgical and non-surgical procedures.
If you are interested in finding out more information about how rhinoplasty can improve the way you look and feel, contact our office in Scottsdale, AZ to schedule an initial consultation. Dr. Hobgood will be able to answer any questions you may have and determine the best course of action to obtain your desired results. We can be reached by phone at (480) 214-9955 or fill out the contact form on our homepage.