Nasal surgery is a common procedure that thousands of people undergo each year, and it may be performed either electively for cosmetic purposes (rhinoplasty) or to improve both the form and function of the nasal passages. The nose is the most prominent facial feature, so even a subtle change may greatly improve appearance by balancing your features.
Skin type, ethnic background, and age are among the factors considered for surgery. Except in cases where there’s a severe breathing impairment, children under the ages of 15 or 16 are usually not candidates for nose surgery.
What Conditions Does Nasal Surgery Correct?
In cases where birth deformities or injuries have obstructed breathing or otherwise reshaped the nose, surgery can help clear the nasal pathways so that breathing is easier. In others, the blockage may be due to swelling caused by allergies or viruses. Nose surgery can improve or alleviate a number of conditions that make breathing difficult, including:
- Deviated septum
- Overgrowth of tissues that line the inside of the nasal passages
- Broken nose
- Swelling that blocks the nasal passages
What Are the Benefits of Nasal Surgery?
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic nasal stuffiness. Blockages that don’t respond to simpler treatments, such as nasal decongestants, may be best alleviated through surgery.
For example, surgery is the only fully effective treatment for a deviated septum because it’s a structural condition. The septum is the partition between the nostrils; a deviated septum is one that is crooked or bent as a result of an abnormal growth or injury, and it can sometimes completely close one or both nasal passages. A deviated septum can be corrected with a form of nose surgery called a septoplasty, which reshapes the septum and allows for enhanced airflow. Cosmetic changes may be performed at the same time, if the patient requests, or if the physician suggests that it would further improve breathing.
What Is the Process for Nasal Surgery?
The skin around the nose is lifted as the surgeon removes or rearranges bone and cartilage to reshape the nose. The skin is then draped across the new frame of the nose, while a nasal splint is placed on the outside of the nose to help retain shape during healing. Occasionally, absorbent material is placed inside the nose to stabilize the septum during healing. This, along with other nasal dressings and splints, are removed within five to seven days after surgery. Risk factors are generally minor.