When people think of nose surgery, they often think of rhinoplasty, which is a common surgery for cosmetic purposes. While rhinoplasty can be used to enhance facial features, for many people it may also become part of the reconstructive process for a medically needed nose surgery.
Rhinoplasty can change your nose size as well as
the shape of the bridge
and size of nostrils
These changes can benefit people who are born with birth defects such as a deviated septum. Not all surgeries performed on the nose will require rhinoplasty. Excess tissue and polyps are common problems that lead to health issues that will require some type of corrective surgery inside the nose.
Who Performs Nose Surgery?
Nose surgeries can be performed by a plastic surgeon or an otolaryngologist, also known as an ENT. The surgeon who performs nose surgery will have certifications from the American Board of Otolaryngology as well as the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Not all ENTs will be certified in the last, but for those that are, they’ll complete 15 years of study in addition to more training when they’ve received their degree.
When choosing a surgeon, verify the surgeon’s credentials and experience. It’s always better to choose a surgeon who has a long history of successful surgeries.
Reasons You Might Need Nose Surgery
People born with birth defects, such as a deviated septum, may experience a variety of issues. A deviated septum is when one side of the nasal passage is smaller than the other. In severe cases, air will be blocked on the smaller side making it difficult to breathe.
They might also experience nosebleeds, pain, an increase in sinus infections, obstructions, and noisy breathing when they’re asleep. To correct this a septoplasty may be performed in combination with a rhinoplasty.
Each of those symptoms is a good reason to have nose surgery. But there are other issues that have the same symptoms.
Nasal obstruction can occur when there is excess tissue in the nasal airway. It can also be caused by nasal polyps or oversized adenoids. Allergies can lead to swelling of the nasal lining, and people who have this type of nasal obstruction may have a constant feeling of congestion.
Age can also be a factor in nasal obstruction. As a person ages, the cartilage in the nose weakens and can begin to collapse. This obstructs normal airflow.
Sleep apnea is a common issue and many people find they can correct it by losing weight or utilizing a CPAP machine. Sleep apnea is serious, as it deprives the organs of vital oxygen when a person stops breathing in their sleep. Cases that can’t be corrected by other means might benefit from surgery to remove excess tissue in the nasal passageways.
Allergies and Sinusitis
Allergy sufferers can have it worse when they also have chronic sinusitis. A person with chronic sinusitis has to deal with difficulty breathing combined with congestion caused by draining in the sinuses. A surgeon will perform a surgery that aims to open up the sinus passage so the sinuses can drain properly.
A balloon sinuplasty is the most minimally invasive approach. A tube with a balloon at one end is inserted into the nose and is inflated once it reached the blocked area.
The Surgical Process
A nose job can range from simple, where doctors don’t cut into the skin, to more complicated, such as rhinoplasty in which the nose is reconstructed. Simple procedures may require a local anesthetic, and a more invasive procedure may require an overnight stay in the hospital.
A septoplasty is performed to correct the nasal septum and will not require any surgery to the outside of the nose, though it can be combined with rhinoplasty if the patient isn’t happy with the appearance of their nose. The procedure will include repositioning the nasal septum which could include cutting. It may also require replacing cartilage and bone.
Like a balloon sinuplasty, an endoscopic sinus surgery will correct sinus blockages. An endoscope is a rod with a small camera attached at the end. The surgeon will use special instruments to remove nasal polyps and scar tissue. The surgery is performed through the nostrils, so cutting on the outside of the nose does not occur.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be corrected with nasal surgery and may be combined in addition to surgeries to other areas of the head and neck, including the pharynx and soft palate. The nasal surgery will focus on nasal obstruction that occurs during sleep apnea. Septoplasty may be utilized as well as turbinate reduction. Unlike other sleep apnea surgeries, nasal surgery for sleep apnea is an outpatient procedure. The end result should be more room in the nose so air can pass easily.
For more specific information on each surgery and how it can help with your issue, speak with your physician. Your physician can recommend an ENT who specializes in the area with which you are experiencing issues.
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