With its location in the center of your face and function as an airway, your nose is a big part of your self-esteem and your overall health. You may want to change the shape of your nose through a rhinoplasty or repair the structure to improve your breathing through a septoplasty procedure.
Sometimes, you want the rhinoplasty but need the septoplasty. This can lead to two separate surgeries at twice the expense in both time, money, and recovery. There has to be an easier way, and there is.
What Is Septorhinoplasty?
Sometimes, due to an injury or other defect, you have a deviated septum in your nose. The septum is made up of bone and cartilage inside the nose, and it’s the wall that separates the two nostrils. If the septum is crooked or uneven, it’s considered deviated and may require surgery to correct. This surgery is called Septoplasty and corrects one’s breathing only.
In some cases, you aren’t happy with the look of your nose. It might be that you got the bump from your dad’s side of the family, or you think it’s so large a family of mice could set up housekeeping. Rhinoplasty is cosmetic surgery the reshapes the outside form of your nose. It might require shaving bone, removing cartilage, or changing the slope.
If you have a deviated septum that requires surgery to help you breathe better, and you’re unhappy with the look of your nose, you can take care of both issues with a single surgery — septorhinoplasty. During the procedure, the surgeon corrects the interior structural issues and the exterior cosmetic concerns.
During this procedure, the surgeon makes a few small cuts within the nostril to change the shape of the cartilage and inner bone, fixing the deviated septum and altering the physical shape of the nose.
In more difficult cases, the surgeon may need to make cuts along the base of the nose. This procedure that combines rhinoplasty and septoplasty generally takes around two hours to complete.
After a septorhinoplasty surgery, you’ll need to wear a nasal splint for about a week. You’ll also likely experience swelling and bruising — depending on your skin tone — around the nose and eyes. A few days after surgery, the swelling and bruising should begin to subside and be gone within two weeks.
Signs That You May Have a Deviated Septum
You will probably experience symptoms and signs that it’s deviated because a deviated septum is not noticeable by looking at the outside of your nose often. The most common signs and symptoms associated with a deviated septum include:
- Frequent sinus infections
- Trouble breathing through your nose
- Loud snoring
- Sleep apnea
- Dry mouth
- Chronic runny nose on one side
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Sinus pain and pressure on one side of your face
If your septum has deviated, you aren’t able to breathe easily, especially if you suffer from allergies. You may notice that you breathe through your mouth more often, and this can cause symptoms of dry mouth and nose bleeds.
Your significant other may complain of you snoring through the night because it’s more difficult to breathe through your nose. You might also suffer from frequent sinus infections. It’s hard to believe that a thin wall can cause so many issues, but if you suffer from a deviated septum, you probably recognize a few of these symptoms.
Your doctor can treat most of your symptoms, such as antibiotics for the sinus infections, but the underlying cause, the deviated symptom, requires surgery to repair. If you are hesitating to undergo surgery, the symptoms may worsen over time. To fix a deviated septum alone there is no outer bruising and no breaking of your nose and it’s usually a quick 3-5 day recovery. However, if you’re interested in changing the look of your nose along with fixing the deviated septum, then there are benefits to septorhinoplasty.
Benefits of Septorhinoplasty
If you need a deviated septum repaired, and you want cosmetic changes to your nose, there are real benefits for opting for septorhinoplasty instead of two separate surgeries. Explore these benefits to see what can help you the most:
Surgery is expensive. However, your insurance policy covers a septoplasty just for breathing issues. It won’t cover a rhinoplasty because it’s almost always considered a cosmetic procedure. If you have a septorhinoplasty surgery, you’ll need to pay for the rhinoplasty portion and that’s usually a 50% savings on costs. Thus, it won’t cost nearly as much out of pocket as it would if you had a rhinoplasty surgery done by itself.
It takes time to have surgery done and then recover from it, and it takes twice the time to have multiple surgeries done. You’ll need an initial visit, and you’ll probably need to take a day off for the surgery and a few days to recover.
By combining the surgeries and opting for septorhinoplasty, you’re saving yourself time and money, especially if you’ve been planning to have cosmetic surgery on your nose.
Limit Your Risks
Even though rhinoplasty and septoplasty are routine surgeries that come with minimal risks, there are always risks when you undergo them. All of these risks are less than 1% in our expert surgeon’s hands. By combining these two procedures into a septorhinoplasty surgery, you’re only facing these risks for a single surgery but getting the benefits of both.
The most common risks are usually infection, scar tissue formation, re-deviation of the septum, perforation of the septum, and bleeding. Your surgeon will review these risks with you and provide you with clear steps that you can take before and after surgery to mitigate them.
Septoplasty is a surgery that corrects the interior defects of the nose by repairing a deviated septum to help one breathe better. Rhinoplasty is a surgery that changes the outer bony and cartilaginous appearance of the nose, thus refining the nose so it’s more cosmetically appealing. Combining these two surgeries into a septorhinoplasty in a single procedure can save you time and money, and you only face the risks involved with a single surgery.
We’re ready to partner with you to repair your deviated septum and give you the nose of your dreams. Furthermore many patients who visit our group elect to have the best experts for each portion of the procedure. That is Dr. Alen Cohen, who is a world-renowned breathing and sinus expert, to address the functional aspects of your nose and Dr. Matt Hershcovitch, who is a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon, to address the outer appearance issues of your nose in one surgery together.