Rhinoplasty vs. Septoplasty – Which Do I Need?

posted on:
June 18th, 2020
posted by:
Dr. Mulholland

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty and septoplasty are both procedures that can reshape nasal cartilage to change a patient’s nasal-facial balance and structure.

But while procedure both focus on the Nose, the desired results of each can differ drastically.

This begs the questions: do you need a rhinoplasty or a septoplasty?

A rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, is a cosmetic procedure performed to reshape or resize the nose and improve nasal-facial balance and proportion.

The personalized nose job procedure is entirely tailored to the patient’s aesthetic goals and can address a range of cosmetic and airflow concerns: nasal asymmetry, bridge bumps, large nasal tip, wide nostrils, and many other size and shape issues, to capture a more balanced appearance. In addition, the surgery can repair problems related to breathing and airflow in the nose and thus, may also include a surgical repair of the septum (the internal nasal partition), called a septoplasty. The rhinoplasty is usually done for cosmetic improvement and a septoplasty for airway and breathing function.

Benefits for Having Rhinoplasty

  • Improved facial symmetry by correcting aesthetic nasal-facial imbalances.
  • Eliminates unsightly bridge bumps.
  • Reduces excessively broad nasal bones that make the nose look large.
  • Straightens a crooked nose.
  • Reduces a bulbous tip to better harmonize with other facial features.
  • Can reduce nostril flare
  • Can reduce a “plunging tip”
  • Can reduce an over-projected nose, or one that is too long

What Is Septoplasty?

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum, the wall of cartilaginous tissue between your nasal passages.

A deviated septum can occur from hereditary, developments predisposition or the result of an injury. Should the septum be deviated or crooked, it can interfere with breathing and cause recurring problems such as sinusitis and nosebleeds. Those with difficulty breathing out from one or both nostrils may require correction and repair of the septum, called a septoplasty, to improve breathing function.

Benefits for Having Septoplasty

  • Straightens and repositions the septum in your nose.
  • It improves breathing and helps with other symptoms.
  • Correcting a crooked septum can improve sleep quality,
  • It doesn’t usually change the appearance of your nose.
  • Resolves impaired sense of smell or taste.

What Are the Main Differences Between Rhinoplasty & Septoplasty?

Although both procedures make changes to the nose, the main differences between the two are the type of changes they make.

Rhinoplasty reshapes the external components of the nose to improve the size, symmetry, and shape, creating a better-balanced facial appearance. Conversely, the sole purpose of a septoplasty is to straighten the septum inside the nose to improve breathing.

As such, the effects of the two procedures are very different. With a rhinoplasty, patients see visible improvements to the nose, while, with a septoplasty, the improved nasal function will only be experienced and perceived by the patient.

Although the two procedures can be performed independently, there are circumstances where elements of both are used in tandem. Indeed, the main concern of a septoplasty is to repair a deviated septum; however, it can be useful, at the same time, to correct aesthetic concerns such as a bulbous tip or dorsal hump while already undergoing surgery. Also, during a reductive rhinoplasty, where the nose is made smaller, quite often the air passages must be made larger to prevent airflow obstruction from making the nose smaller.

For example, if a patient has a visibly crooked nose with a deviated septum, a septoplasty with elements of rhinoplasty can correct the functional and aesthetic issues in a combined surgery.

Which Surgery is Right for Me?

A rhinoplasty is, generally, the procedure of choice for those looking to adjust the appearance of the nose and resolve breathing issues. However, a septoplasty is better suited to those solely looking to correct a deviated septum that is jeopardizing airflow.

The best way to decide which is right for you is to discuss options with a specialist.

The skilled and experienced team at the Toronto Plastic Surgeons is here to provide expert advice on which procedure suits your circumstance. You’ll get personalized advice on your options, which could involve a procedure that combines elements of rhinoplasty and septoplasty.

Schedule a consultation with us today to find out how our skilled techniques work to give you outstanding results.

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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