Do I Need a Functional Rhinoplasty?

Published on September 29, 2014

A functional rhinoplasty, often called a septoplasty, is a form of nasal surgery performed on patients with medical issues and nasal deformities that affect their breathing, causing difficulties in getting enough air or causing frequent sinus infections.

Medical indications for a rhinoplasty include a deviated septum, chronic sinusitis or a nasal obstruction.

Septoplasty for a Deviated Septum

Approximately 80% of all nasal septums are at least slightly off-center.
This condition is rarely noticed and not considered a true “deviated septum” requiring nasal surgery. However, when the nasal septum has significantly shifted, a diagnosis of “deviated septum” is often given and nose surgery is recommended to correct it, as it can cause unpleasant symptoms such as difficulty breathing, interference with proper sinus drainage and frequent sinus infections. This is when a septoplasty is recommended, a surgical procedure that is performed entirely through the nostrils (a closed rhinoplasty), unless a cosmetic rhinoplasty is performed in conjuction with the septoplasty, which is often requested by patients.

Nasal Surgery for Sinusitis

Your chronic cold or allergy attack could very well be sinusitis, a bacterial infection in the nose that mimics allergy and cold symptoms. Because of this confusion, many people with sinusitis never seek diagnosis or treatment.

How can you tell if it’s sinusitis? Sinusitis is often diagnosed when the symptoms occur for up to 4 weeks with accompanying symptoms such as nasal obstruction, and facial pain, pressure and/or fullness. These prolonged symptoms likely result in a sinus infection (usually at the 10 day mark) and chronic sinusitis sets in around 3 months or more, and could require nasal surgery if antibiotic therapy doesn’t solve the problem or if there’s an accompanying nasal obstruction.

Nasal surgery for sinusitis uses an endoscope to allow the surgeon to see into the nose and remove diseased tissue and polyps in order to clear the space between the sinuses. Anesthesia will be used, but the types will vary based on your needs, during your functional endoscopic sinus surgery, or FESS..
Nasal Surgery to Remove a Nasal Obstruction

A nasal obstruction is exactly as it sounds: a blockage inside of the nose that interfered with breathing. There are 4 main types of nasal obstruction that can cause patients significant discomfort and health issues: infection, structural abnormalities, allergies, and non-allergic rhinitis.

Infections can usually be treated using antibiotics, but long-term consequences of frequent nasal infections include polyps, fleshy growths in the body that interfere with normal processes. When this happens, a nasal surgery is sometimes recommended to remove the obstruction.

Structural abnormalities, as covered in the deviated septum section above, are often cause by injuries to the nose. This can happen anytime during you life, even during birth! However, enlarged adenoids can also be the culprit, especially in children, which causes a blockage in the back of the nose, behind the palate. Children with this problem often snore.

Allergies themselves cannot be corrected with surgery; however, they can cause structural problems within the nose due to prolonged and repeated inflammation, such as nasal obstructions (like polyps). Vasomotor rhinitis, however, can cause severe issues within the nasal cavity as it can affect the nerves and blood vessels, causing symptoms similar to that of varicose veins over time. If this happens, surgery may be required for dramatic, long-term relief.

Dr. David Hecht performs functional rhinoplasty, septoplasty and other medically necessary nasal surgeries in Scottsdale, AZ for all of these medical conditions and often performs cosmetic alterations desired by the patient during these procedures.

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