Functional Rhinoplasty

  • Home
  • Functional Rhinoplasty
Functional Rhinoplasty: Restoring Nasal Function and Improving Quality of Life

Functional rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that focuses on correcting structural issues within the nose that impact breathing and overall nasal function. While cosmetic rhinoplasty primarily aims to enhance the appearance of the nose, functional rhinoplasty addresses medical concerns, such as nasal obstruction or difficulty breathing. In many cases, functional rhinoplasty can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life by restoring proper airflow and nasal function.

What is Functional Rhinoplasty?

Functional rhinoplasty is a specialized form of nasal surgery that targets internal nasal structures to correct breathing problems or other functional impairments. This procedure can address various issues, including a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, or nasal valve collapse. In some instances, functional rhinoplasty can be combined with cosmetic rhinoplasty to achieve both aesthetic and functional improvements.

Patients may seek functional rhinoplasty for several reasons, including:

  1. Deviated Septum: A septum is the cartilage and bone that separates the two nasal passages. When the septum is crooked or off-center, it can cause breathing difficulties and increase the risk of sinus infections. Functional rhinoplasty, in this case, is called septoplasty and aims to straighten the septum.
  2. Enlarged Turbinates: Turbinates are structures within the nose that help filter, warm, and humidify the air we breathe. Swollen or enlarged turbinates, often due to allergies or chronic inflammation, can obstruct airflow. Functional rhinoplasty can involve reducing the size of the turbinates to restore proper breathing.
  3. Nasal Valve Collapse: The nasal valve is a narrow area within the nose that can become weakened or collapse, resulting in restricted airflow. Functional rhinoplasty can reinforce or widen the nasal valve to improve breathing.
  4. Correction of Previous Surgeries: In some cases, functional rhinoplasty may be necessary to address complications or unsatisfactory outcomes from previous nasal surgeries.
Techniques Used in Functional Rhinoplasty:

The specific techniques used in functional rhinoplasty will depend on the patient’s unique needs and the issues being addressed. Some common techniques include:

  1. Septoplasty: This procedure involves repositioning or reshaping the septum to create a more open nasal passage.
  2. Turbinate Reduction: This involves removing a portion of the turbinate tissue or repositioning the turbinates to allow for better airflow.
  3. Nasal Valve Repair: This can involve cartilage grafting, suture techniques, or the use of implants to support and stabilize the nasal valve.
  4. Revision Rhinoplasty: This procedure aims to correct issues resulting from previous nasal surgeries, such as over-resection of cartilage or scarring.
Recovery and Results:

Recovery from functional rhinoplasty typically takes about 2 to 3 weeks, with most patients returning to daily activities within 1 to 2 weeks. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are common during the initial healing process, and patients may need to wear a nasal splint for support.

The results of functional rhinoplasty can be life-changing for patients who have experienced chronic breathing difficulties or other functional impairments. Improved airflow and nasal function can lead to better sleep, increased exercise tolerance, and an overall enhanced quality of life.

Functional rhinoplasty is a specialized surgical procedure that targets and corrects internal nasal issues to restore proper breathing and nasal function. By carefully assessing each patient’s unique needs, Dr Tan can provide lasting relief from breathing difficulties and improve overall quality of life.