Rhinoplasty is a versatile surgery that is often used for both cosmetic and functional purposes, though most people associate the concept of a “nose job” with a purely cosmetic intent. In reality, many of the rhinoplasty surgeries performed throughout the world are to address breathing problems and functional deformities. The most common functional problem that can be corrected with rhinoplasty is a deviated septum, a problem that many people have heard of. However, this is not the only reason for breathing problems. Some people have a nasal issue known as enlarged turbinates, which can also hinder normal respiration, and is sometimes associated with deviated septum. So what are enlarged turbinates, and how can rhinoplasty help?
The nasal anatomy is quite complex and involves several different types of tissues and filtration systems. The turbinates are a vital part of the respiration process, as they help humidify, filter, and warm air as it enters the body. Turbinates are narrow, bony, tubular structures located to the sides of the nasal passages. When these turbinates swell due to a medical condition, allergy, or other problem, they can become enlarged, which can be a temporary or chronic problem. Enlarged turbinates(turbinate hypertrophy) can cause trouble breathing, chronic congestion, frequent nosebleeds, and chronic sinus infections. Rhinoplasty can be performed to reduce the size of the turbinates, resulting in increased comfort and quality of life.
For patients who would like to undergo functional rhinoplasty, the procedure is a good opportunity to have cosmetic changes made to the nose simultaneously. Functional issues often influence the aesthetics of the nose, and having both types of changes made simultaneously is highly advantageous financially, negates the need for a second procedure and recovery period, and allows for greater support and consistency of the final results.
Initial rhinoplasty recovery takes just a couple of weeks, with most patients returning to work within 10-14 days. However, there are other aspects of recovery that take much longer than this. During the first couple of months, patients need to be extremely gentle with the nose, and avoid any activity that could cause injury to the healing area. Even nose-blowing can be very detrimental during the early stages of recovery, and patients may be restricted on heavy lifting and wearing eyeglasses.
After a few months, most of the swelling will have subsided, but residual swelling will persist for as long as 12-18 months following surgery. While rhinoplasty recovery can be inconvenient, most patients feel the results are worth the hassle.
Cosmetic rhinoplasty is almost never covered by insurance companies, but sometimes, rhinoplasty for breathing issues may be partially or fully covered. Any cosmetic changes made in addition to the functional repairs will be the financial responsibility of the patient. Each policy is different, and patients should have a thorough understanding of what they will and will not be billed for, in order to avoid any surprises.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
If you are considering functional or cosmetic rhinoplasty, it is crucial to choose a talented facial plastic surgeon who has a thorough understanding of both the aesthetic and structural aspects of the nose. Rhinoplasty is an extremely difficult procedure, requiring skill, knowledge, finesse and flexibility.
If you’d like to meet a surgeon with all of these qualities, then come to Revesse in Toronto and meet with acclaimed rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Robert A. Mounsey. Dr. Mounsey is board certified, highly respected and skilled, offering each patient customized, compassionate care. For more information and to set up a consultation with Dr. Mounsey, call Revesse at 416-438-2499.