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A septoplasty and a rhinoplasty are two different plastic surgeries performed on the nose that can correct breathing issues. A rhinoplasty can change the shape and size of the nose to improve appearance and breathing.  A septoplasty changes the septum, the piece of cartilage that divides the nostrils. Both procedures can result in a better ability to breathe through the nose. A septoplasty and rhinoplasty are solutions used to correct breathing issues in different ways, and are often performed as a combined procedure.  It’s important to speak to your doctor to determine which solution will better meet your goals.

Rhinoplasty vs. Septoplasty

A septoplasty is a non-cosmetic surgery that treats nasal blockages caused by a deviated septum.  Septoplasty is often combined with reduction of enlarged bone structures, or tubinates, which can block parts of the nose.  A septoplasty is a good choice for those who suffer from long-term nasal congestion or obstruction, and can be combined with treatments for sinusitis or nasal polyps. Because a septoplasty changes the internal structure of the nose, it is not a good choice for those looking to address the external appearance of the nose. If that is required, a septoplasty and a rhinoplasty combined would be a more effective solution.

A rhinoplasty can change the size, shape, or proportions of the nose. This surgery is performed to repair deformities resulting from an injury, birth defect, or to improve breathing difficulties. A rhinoplasty is what most people think of when they hear about nose surgery. Because a rhinoplasty changes the appearance of the nose, it is usually performed to improve the appearance of the nose. Tissues, cartilage, and bone can be removed and result in a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing look in comparison to the rest of a patient’s facial features. While a septoplasty may be partially or fully covered by insurance, a rhinoplasty often is not covered by medical insurance.

Alarplasty

An alarplasty is sometimes combined with rhinoplasty to reduce the size and shape of the nostrils.  Rhinoplasty is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the U.S. Alarplasty is a specific component or part of rhinoplasty that addresses the width of the nostrils.
The fleshy parts of the nose that connect the nostrils to the face are called the alae. Alarplasty changes the shape of these alae, which, in turn, change how broad the nose looks. The procedure removes excess tissue here but does not touch bone or cartilage. This makes the recovery time much quicker than a typical rhinoplasty when performed as an isolated procedure.   Alarplasty is a good option for patients who feel that their nostrils are too open or too prominent or that their nose has a flared appearance.  An alarplasty does not involve the tip of the nose, but often the two together can be used to balance the shape of the nose.

Is a Septoplasty or a Rhinoplasty a Better Solution for Me?

A rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery and usually performed for cosmetic improvement. A septoplasty is performed to restore function and improve breathing and other nasal conditions.

If you have a deviated nasal septum, either from birth or from an injury, a septoplasty is a solution to restore ease of breathing through the nose. A septoplasty is a non-cosmetic surgery which can improve sinus conditions such as chronic sinusitis, difficulty breathing, and more. The surgery is done on the bone and cartilage of the septum and will not change the external appearance of the nose. While a septoplasty changes the septum and internal nasal structures, a rhinoplasty affects the outside appearance of the nose.

Rhinoplasty and septoplasty are two types of nasal surgery that can be combined with one another or other procedures such as an alarplasty to meet each of your goals. If your nose causes you trouble from low self-esteem to difficulty breathing, speak to your doctor about your options.


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