A functional rhinoplasty is done to correct an obstructed airway or other function of the nose as opposed to a cosmetic procedure, which targets the balance and appearance of the face. Functional rhinoplasty utilizes methods of corrective nose surgery to address any problem caused by trauma, genetics, environmental irritants, or even a previous rhinoplasty. A common class of functional rhinoplasty surgery is Septoplasty, which you can read about below.
One of the most common defects addressed by Dr. Bryan Correa is a deviated septum. The septum is the thin wall of cartilage that divides the nasal passages. When the septum is displaced to one side, it causes one side of the nose to become obstructed hindering the patient’s ability to breathe freely.
The procedure performed to treat a deviated septum is called Septoplasty. This procedure can be performed in tandem with cosmetic nose surgery to enhance the outward appearance of the nose, while also correcting breathing issues.
Who is a candidate for functional rhinoplasty?
If you are experiencing any type of obstructed breathing which interferes with your sleep or your ability to participate in physical activities, you should be examined by a rhinoplasty surgeon who can correctly diagnose the problem and recommend treatment, such as a septoplasty from Dr. Correa.
- The main structural causes of restricted breathing in the nose are:
- Deviated septum
- Enlarged turbinates
- Internal or External Valve Collapse
The septum is the dividing wall of cartilage in the nose. This wall can be tilted or fragmented and cause one side of the nose to be blocked, reducing air flow. Injury, heredity and a previous rhinoplasty can cause defects in the septum. A Septoplasty can handle this problem.
Turbinates are long narrow bone shelves that are responsible for cleaning and humidifying the air going into the lungs. There are three turbinates along the nasal passage but the lowest one is the one responsible for most of the problems. To correct decreased airflow caused by swollen turbinates, the surgeon reduces the size of the turbinates without reducing their function.
Internal valve collapse
The internal nasal valve is the narrowest part of the airway. It is composed of several structures and serves the purpose of providing airflow resistance which is essential for normal pulmonary function. Nasal valve collapse refers to a narrowing of this portion of the airway and is caused by weak cartilages, aberrant anatomy, trauma, or through previous surgery of the nose (usually during hump removal at a primary rhinoplasty).
External valve collapse
The external nasal valve is more toward the outside of the nose and is formed by the lower lateral cartilages and associated soft tissue. The same reasons that can cause problems with the internal nasal valves can also result in problems with the external nasal valve – aberrant anatomy, weak cartilage, previous surgery, etc.
Symptoms to look for
Patients with obstructed breathing may be suffering from conditions related to these problems without knowing the cause. Some of the related conditions alleviated after undergoing a Functional Rhinoplasty or Septoplasty are:
- Chronic sinus infections
- Frequent nose bleeds
- Sinus headaches
- Sleep disturbances
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Correa
If you are suffering from any unwanted condition relating to airflow, contact Dr. Correa as soon as possible. He can assist you by performing corrective nose surgery. Some of these problems can be treated medically (e.g. enlarged turbinates) but many can only be repaired surgically and postponing treatment can lead to a serious reduction in your quality of life. If you need assistance with your insurance company, we can assist you with this. You don’t need to live with the consequences of a blocked airway. Let Dr. Correa help you with septoplasty.