What is Functional Rhinoplasty?

Functional rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that aims to improve the functionality of the nose. This type of surgery is primarily focused on correcting structural abnormalities and issues that may lead to breathing problems or other complications. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of functional rhinoplasty, its benefits, the surgical process, and recovery time.

Quicklinks: What is Functional Rhinoplasty?

Understanding the Importance of Functional Rhinoplasty

The primary goal of functional rhinoplasty is to correct nasal issues that may interfere with normal breathing. This is distinct from cosmetic rhinoplasty, which is solely focused on altering the appearance of the nose. While functional rhinoplasty can also result in aesthetic improvements, its primary focus is to alleviate issues related to breathing or other functional concerns.

Some common issues that functional rhinoplasty can address include:

  • Deviated septum: A condition where the nasal septum, the cartilage and bone dividing the nostrils, is off-center or crooked. This can cause breathing difficulties and discomfort.
  • Turbinate hypertrophy: A condition where the nasal turbinates, small structures inside the nose responsible for filtering, humidifying, and warming the air we breathe, become enlarged and obstruct airflow.
  • Nasal valve collapse: A weakness or narrowing of the nasal valve, the area responsible for regulating airflow through the nostrils, can lead to breathing problems and discomfort.

The Functional Rhinoplasty Procedure

The specific surgical techniques used during a functional rhinoplasty procedure will vary depending on the patient’s unique needs and the issues being addressed. However, the general process typically involves the following steps:

Consultation: Prior to surgery, the patient will consult with a qualified plastic surgeon or otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) to discuss their concerns, medical history, and desired outcomes.

Anesthesia: Functional rhinoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia, ensuring the patient is comfortable and unconscious during the procedure.

Incisions: The surgeon will make incisions either inside the nostrils (a closed approach) or across the tissue between the nostrils (an open approach) to access the nasal structures.

Reshaping: Depending on the specific issue being addressed, the surgeon may remove or reshape cartilage, bone, or other nasal structures to improve functionality.

Closure: Once the necessary adjustments have been made, the surgeon will close the incisions using sutures or other techniques.

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery time and aftercare requirements will vary depending on the specific techniques used during the functional rhinoplasty procedure. However, some general guidelines include:

  1. Rest: Patients are typically advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities for at least one week following surgery.
  2. Nasal packing: If necessary, the surgeon may insert packing or splints inside the nose to support the newly reshaped structures during the healing process. These will usually be removed within a few days to a week after surgery.
  3. Swelling and bruising: Some swelling, bruising, and discomfort are normal following functional rhinoplasty. These symptoms should gradually subside over the course of several weeks.
  4. Follow-up appointments: Patients will need to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor healing progress and ensure the desired outcomes have been achieved.

The Benefits of Functional Rhinoplasty

Undergoing functional rhinoplasty can offer a range of benefits for patients, including:

  • Improved breathing: By correcting structural issues that may be causing breathing difficulties, functional rhinoplasty can significantly improve the patient’s overall quality of life.
  • Enhanced sleep quality: Breathing problems can contribute to sleep disturbances such as snoring or sleep apnea. Functional rhinoplasty can help alleviate these issues, leading to better sleep and overall health.
  • Reduced sinus issues: Nasal obstructions can contribute to sinusitis and other sinus-related problems. By addressing these structural issues, functional rhinoplasty can help reduce the frequency and severity of sinus issues.
  • Aesthetic improvements: Although the primary focus of functional rhinoplasty is on improving nasal functionality, the procedure can also result in a more balanced and harmonious facial appearance.

Functional rhinoplasty is a specialized surgical procedure designed to address nasal issues that may interfere with normal breathing and overall quality of life. By consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon or otolaryngologist, patients can explore their options and determine whether functional rhinoplasty is the right solution for their specific needs. With proper aftercare and recovery, functional rhinoplasty can offer significant benefits, including improved breathing, enhanced sleep quality, reduced sinus issues, and a more balanced facial appearance.


Expand Your Understanding of Rhinoplasty with Our Comprehensive Articles

Thank you for reading our detailed guide on “What is Functional Rhinoplasty?” We hope it has shed light on this specific type of rhinoplasty focused on improving nasal function. If you find yourself intrigued and want to delve deeper into the diverse world of rhinoplasty, we encourage you to explore our wealth of articles on the topic. From the different types of procedures to considerations for recovery and costs, our expansive coverage aims to answer any questions you might have and assist you on your journey, whether you’re considering functional rhinoplasty or another form of this transformative procedure. Browse our related articles to acquire all the information you need to make a well-informed choice.

If you are considering rhinoplasty. Please Book a FREE Consultation with Dr. Shahar to discuss the motivations, goals and cost of your nose job.


Dr. Yoel Shahar, MD

Artistic Finesse & Expert Technique

Dr. Yoel Shahar has performed thousands of procedures in New York City and Europe over the past 25 years. He specializes in a wide range of procedures such as mini face lift, rhinoplasty, nose surgery, eyelid procedure, temporal lift, fat injection, brow lift ,buccal fat removal, as well as injectable and fillers.

What patients respect most about Dr. Shahar’s cosmetic surgery is that he has their best interests at heart. He will never overcorrect and always recommend a minimum procedure to achieve the outmost natural look.

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