How a ‘Nose Job’ Can Help You Breathe Better

If you’ve thought about having a ‘nose job’ to improve your appearance, you’re not alone. This procedure, called rhinoplasty, is the third most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the United States, behind breast augmentation and liposuction, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

But did you know that rhinoplasty also can improve impaired breathing and correct structural problems in the nose? 

Improved Appearance

Many people choose rhinoplasty to create better symmetry between their nose and other facial features. Rhinoplasty fixes cosmetic issues such as: 

  • Bumps, humps or dents on the bridge of the nose
  • Wide or large nostrils
  • Crooked nose
  • Upturned, drooping or hooked nose tips

Breathe Better

People who live with a structural nasal problem (present from birth, or injury-related) often get rhinoplasty as a way to improve their breathing and appearance at the same time.

Functional reasons for rhinoplasty include:

  • Poor nasal function
  • Nasal airway obstruction caused by a deviated septum or enlarged nasal turbinates, the structures in the nose that warm, humidify and filter the air we breathe.

A Combined Approach

Your doctor may recommend a combined surgical approach to address your symptoms. Cosmetic reshaping can be performed alongside:

  • Septoplasty. Surgery that improves breathing by straightening the septum — the wall inside the nose that divides the nasal passages into a right and left side.
  • Sinus surgery. There are different types of sinus surgery. Surgeons often use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope to clear and widen the sinus passages. This improves drainage and breathing, reduces pain and repeat infections.
  • Turbinate reduction surgery. A procedure that improves breathing by shrinking the turbinates, the parts of the nose that warm and moisten breathed air.

What to Expect

Before a rhinoplasty, your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms and why you want to have the procedure. If you’re living with breathing problems, your doctor will check your nasal passages.

Your doctor will also:

  • Review your medical history
  • Explain the procedure
  • Discuss the recovery process
  • Talk with you about your expectations for appearance and breathing ability after surgery

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure. In most cases, you’ll return home the same day as your surgery. Before surgery begins, you’ll be given anesthesia to calm you and numb the area, or to put you to sleep. You and your doctor will discuss the best option for you.

After surgery, you wear a splint for a few days to support your nose as it heals. You may feel some pain and puffiness. Most patients return to work in a week.

The nose takes time to heal. Initially, internal membranes may be swollen and you may need to breathe through your mouth. Eventually, breathing improves and the final results of your nose reshaping emerge.

For more information about how rhinoplasty might help you breathe easier, talk with your doctor or make an appointment at Premier ENT Associates to be examined by a certified ear, nose and throat specialist.