Septoplasty: Functional Reasons to Get a Nose Job
- 15 May 2014
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
When you think “celebrity nose job”, Michael Jackson is the first person to come to mind. While his music is legendary and timeless, the superstar was also notorious for his nose jobs and many other plastic surgeries. MJ’s nose jobs, or rhinoplasty procedures, were done for purely for cosmetic
reasons, as are the majority in the United States. This procedure is most often performed on individuals who do not like the appearance of their nose. This may be because they were born with a deformity or because an injury misshaped their nose. But actually, plastic surgery has the ability to fix your nose for functional purposes as well.
A septoplasty is a surgical procedure where the bone and cartilage in the middle of the nose called the septum is straightened. This type of surgery is done to improve the airway passage and increase air flow through the nose.
Are you a candidate for a septoplasty?
The part of the nose to be repaired is called the septum. Sometimes, because of genetics or injury, the septum can bend or be deformed and can literally block off the airway passage through one or both nostrils. Doctors call this a “deviated septum” – it has deviated from its natural position. This not only causes difficulty in breathing, but can also cause an increase in nosebleeds. Those who suffer from uncontrollable nosebleeds may also be good candidates for a septoplasty. A deviated septum may also increase the likelihood of significant snoring and subsequent sleep disturbances, and associated medical concerns.
How is a septoplasty performed?
A septoplasty is done under general anesthesia. The surgery is relatively quick and is usually done within in hour. Because the target area is internal, there are not usually incisions around the outside of the nose. Incisions are made inside the nasal passages and the septum is repositioned based on your needs. During a septoplasty, the external nose is not reconstructed unless that is requested.
Recovery from septoplasty
Immediately following a septoplasty, you may not experience an increase in air flow because of swelling and packing. Because of the surgery, you may notice a bloody discharge for a few days. This is an expected result, but can also make it difficult to breath through your nose. You will likely experience sinus and nasal pressure that feels like a bad headache. This may be a little uncomfortable, but can be controlled with mild pain medication. Once the healing process is in full swing, you will begin to notice an improved ability to breathe through your nose, along with a reduction of the related symptoms.
As time goes on, breathing through your nose will get much easier. Within a few months, you will notice the full effects of the surgical procedure.
Though the popular media sometimes portrays plastic surgery as superficial and purely cosmetic, in reality the vast majority of the plastic surgeries performed also provide a health benefit, be it physical like the one in this procedure, or psychological. Not only can one’s emotional health be improved through plastic surgery, but so can his or her physical health with procedures like this one.