Can Rhinoplasty Help Solve Breathing Problems in the Nose?

posted on:
February 24th, 2022
posted by:
Dr. Mulholland

When people often think of getting a nose job, also known as rhinoplasty, they often think of it as a cosmetic-only situation. This is a myth.

While it is an efficient and popular cosmetic procedure, rhinoplasty can (and often is) be performed to help a person improve their ability to breathe through their nasal passageways, and not always at the cost of a cosmetic update either.

In today’s blog, we will discuss all things related to undergoing nose surgery to breathe better, some of the issues that can come along with having obstructions and other breathing issues, such as a deviated septum. Finally, we will discuss what it’s like when you get rhinoplasty in Toronto at our clinic!

What is a Deviated Septum?

The septum is the wall of cartilage, bone, and tissue that runs from your nostrils up the length of your nose, separating each side of your nose into separate passageways, allowing for an even distribution of airflow.

In an ideal world, the perfect septum would run perfectly straight up the nose and leave each passageway symmetrical. However, for most of the global population, this is not the case. In fact, it is estimated that up to 80% of the population has one!

While this may sound like a very high statistic, most deviated septums are actually quite mild and often do not need nose surgery to improve breathing. In fact, most people go their whole lives without ever knowing they even have one.

A good sign you may have a deviated septum, even a mild one, is if you find it harder to breathe in one side of your nose than the other. In more prominent cases, the deviation may cause a very noticeable blockage. In some cases, a deviated septum can even block both sides of the nose. The ability to breathe properly may further be inhibited during colds, allergy flare-ups, or when laying down. It is in these cases where nose surgery to improve breathing is often required. If you think you require nose surgery to breathe better, or even if you’re just wondering, “should I get a nose job?”, continue reading, as there are other signs of a deviated septum.

Other Symptoms of a Deviated Septum

Chronic Nosebleeds

One of the signs you may have a deviated septum is being prone to chronic nosebleeds. This is because having an improper flow of air in the nasal passageways can cause the inside of your nose to collect irritants and dry out more easily, causing the tissue to crack open and bleed. This symptom is especially prominent during seasons with heightened allergies like spring and summer or if living in a cold and dry climate. Some may find having a humidifier may sometimes help with this symptom, though this is not always the case.

Reoccurring Sinus Infections

When you’re sinuses are blocked by a deviated septum, it can lead to mucus being unable to pass more easily through your nasal passageways, leading to a mucus blockage. This is especially true when you have heightened mucus production caused by allergies or a cold. When the mucus does not have an adequate way to move from your nose, this can lead to a full-blown sinus infection or other conditions such as a post-nasal drip.

Headaches

If you’ve ever felt a sinus headache when you’ve had a cold, you can probably understand this not-so-great feeling. Having nose breathing problems like a deviated septum can cause pressure to gradually build up in your sinuses due to the effort it takes to push air through. This built-up pressure can lead to having chronic headaches, in some cases on a daily basis.

Snoring

Having a deviated septum can cause nose breathing problems not only when you’re awake but when you’re sleeping too! Chronic snoring is one of the most common signs of a deviated septum. This is because snoring is caused by the muscles in the airways are straining to get enough air, resulting in the muscles and tissues vibrating in the throat, causing snoring.

Snoring can be very disruptive to a person’s sleep, causing them to wake up frequently, to have a dry and sore throat, and can also interrupt the sleep of those sharing a room with the person. After a night of chronic snoring, even if one doesn’t remember doing so, a person can wake up feeling poorly rested when they wake up.

Sleep Apnea

In the same way, nose breathing problems can cause snoring; they can also cause an even more severe condition known as sleep apnea. When a person has sleep apnea, the strain to breathe can be so intense that their breath can actually come to a momentary halt. This can be a startling thing to happen and can result in a person jolting awake. This can not only be a frightening experience but can also cause other issues such as headaches, hypertension, strokes, or even heart failure.

Because of these serious risks, many with this condition end up requiring a CPAP machine, a device that helps keep a positive and consistent flow and pressure through a person’s airways while they sleep.

Does Rhinoplasty Help Breathing?

Yes! Fortunately, a deviated septum and other nose breathing such as growth or breakage issues can be often be treated with rhinoplasty for breathing.

Furthermore, despite a common misconception, getting nose surgery for breathing doesn’t always have to result in getting a cosmetic overhaul to its appearance either, which we will explain below. Here are some of the procedures we offer at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto!

Open Rhinoplasty

This is also known as traditional rhinoplasty. Many people who undergo nose surgery for breathing use the opportunity to also improve upon their appearance through open rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty can correct cosmetic issues such as bumps and bends on the nose, bulbous tips, changing the size and width of a nose, and more. This is performed by making incisions and manipulating tissues, cartilage, and bone, leaving a person with their desired nose shape, whatever that may be.

Generally speaking, women often use open rhinoplasty to make their noses appear more slender, feminine, and rounded. Meanwhile, more men are getting rhinoplasty to seek a straighter cut and broad nose to achieve a more masculine look on their faces.

Septoplasty

Not everyone who seeks out nose surgery to breathe better desires a change to the appearance of their nose. Septoplasty is a type of closed rhinoplasty that seeks to correct breathing issues such as a deviated septum or other obstructions within the nose.

While this type of procedure helps to improve a person’s overall breathing, it generally does not change the outward appearance, except in cases when a bend, break, bump, or another deviation is corrected that was previously noticeable on the outside. It should be noted that in extreme cases where the above requires extensive changing, open rhinoplasty may be the only option for a patient to achieve their surgical needs.

Revision Rhinoplasty

A very common question we get asked is whether or not a patient can undergo rhinoplasty more than once. Usually, the answer is yes. While most patients end up loving their new nose, our clinic is happy to help perform revision rhinoplasty in Toronto for those unhappy with their previous work or for those who have come to us from other clinics to seek correction.

It is important to seek out skilled rhinoplasty surgeons, like those at our clinic, as revision rhinoplasty for breathing can be quite difficult, as the nose’s structural integrity is often less malleable due to scar tissue. Additionally, as it can take up to two years for a previous rhinoplasty to completely settle and heal, we recommend a patient waits at least that long before seeking out revision rhinoplasty.

Book Your Rhinoplasty with Toronto Plastic Surgeons

Our clinic has some of the best plastic surgeons in Toronto. When you seek out our clinic, you can trust that your procedure will be performed with the highest levels of expertise, skill, and comfort.

If you are seeking rhinoplasty for breathing, or simply to help improve upon its cosmetic appearance, don’t hesitate to call us at 647-723-3739 or schedule a consultation with us online. Our dedicated team will help you find the rhinoplasty procedure best for you!

Posted by:

Dr. Stephen Mulholland, Md

Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been practicing plastic surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.

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