Not only is the nose the focal point of your facial features, but it’s also responsible for most of our breathing. While cosmetic rhinoplasty focuses on reshaping or resizing the nose for improved facial harmony, functional rhinoplasty aims to improve quality of life by clearing obstruction from the airways caused by your nasal structure.
Dr. Waleed Ezzat is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as otolaryngology – head and neck surgery. He has extensive experience in both cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty, making him a highly sought-after surgeon for people with nasal obstruction, snoring or sleep apnea.
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When to Consider Functional Rhinoplasty
Some of the most common reasons to think about getting functional nose surgery include:
- Chronic nasal congestion that does not respond to medical therapy
- Reduced sense of smell
- Persistent snoring that disturbs your sleep or those around you
- Sleep apnea or sleep disturbance
- Difficulty with breathing during tasks that require you to strenuously breathe through your nose (like exercising)
Because obstructed airways in the nose can result in many secondary side effects, like dry mouth from mouth breathing, functional rhinoplasty can also improve a range of other problems than those listed above. The best candidates for nose surgery have realistic expectations for their results and are in good overall mental and physical health.
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Before Your Nose Surgery
Before you schedule your functional rhinoplasty, you’ll have a private consultation with Dr. Ezzat during which you can discuss your reasons for wanting nose surgery and your ideal outcome. He will listen to your concerns and perform a physical evaluation to determine the best approach for your needs. He can then explain the procedure in greater detail and answer any questions you may have.
Depending on your needs and goals, Dr. Ezzat may also recommend additional procedures or treatments. People interested in a more pronounced cosmetic change can consider reshaping the nose with injectable fillers.
Dr. Ezzat also specializes in revision rhinoplasty, widely considered one of the most technically challenging facial surgeries, so you can always have a second chance at attaining your ideal nose job results.
Your Functional Rhinoplasty Procedure
Your rhinoplasty will be performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. In certain cases, a local anesthetic may be preferable. As with most rhinoplasty procedures, the incisions are usually very discreet, either hidden inside the nose or across the column between the nostrils.
Most people who get functional rhinoplasty have a procedure that restructures the inner nasal passages. A deviated septum, for instance, can be corrected with a nasal septoplasty, which straightens the septum to clear the air passages. Enlarged turbinates, the small shelves of bone inside the nasal passages, can be treated with turbinate reduction.
Some people require surgery on the external framework of the nose to correct a breathing problem. The most common reason for external nose surgery is nasal valve collapse. To correct this problem, Dr. Ezzat will use a customized approach based on your unique nasal anatomy.
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Your Nose Surgery Recovery
Recovering from functional rhinoplasty is different for each individual and will vary based on the surgical approach used, your overall health and whether you had any other treatments. You can expect some degree of swelling and bruising, for which Dr. Ezzat may ask you to use a special topical treatment. You can manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications for the first few days.
Most people take around 2 weeks away from work and their normal routines after getting a nose job. Be careful to avoid any vigorous exercise for at least 1 month after your procedure. Your final results will develop gradually over the next year.
Your Functional Rhinoplasty Results
Once your final results stabilize, you should notice a marked improvement in your breathing. You may be able to breathe better, snore less, and exercise more comfortably. Many people find that day-to-day activities are easier after resolving breathing problems.
Functional Rhinoplasty FAQs
How much does functional rhinoplasty cost?
The cost of a functional rhinoplasty can widely vary and depends on many factors. While the average cost of a rhinoplasty is around $5,500 — not including additional fees for anesthesia and other necessities — the cost of a functional rhinoplasty could be above the national average. This is because nose jobs done for medical reasons can be very complex and include various detailed components.
The best way to get an accurate cost estimate for your functional rhinoplasty is to discuss the details of your procedure with an experienced facial plastic surgeon.
Is a functional rhinoplasty covered by insurance?
Many health insurance providers will cover part or all of the cost of a functional rhinoplasty that addresses a medical need. Call the number listed on the back of your insurance card to see if your policy might cover some or all of your rhinoplasty.
How do I choose the best plastic surgeon near me for my functional rhinoplasty?
Functional rhinoplasty is one of the most intricate and complex plastic surgery procedures, requiring surgical skill, finesse and extreme attention to detail. For these reasons, it’s best to find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to address your needs.
Facial plastic surgeons have extensive knowledge and training in repairing nasal function while maintaining and improving the balance between the nose and the rest of the face. Look at before and after photos, online reviews and confirm medical schooling and affiliations with accredited medical organizations to help you narrow your search.
Is a functional rhinoplasty the best solution for me?
Functional rhinoplasty can address several concerns that affect the form and function of your nose and nasal cavity. If you are having trouble with persistent nasal congestion, sleep apnea, difficulty breathing or other medical concerns due to the function of your nose, a functional rhinoplasty may be the right solution for you.
Is rhinoplasty painful?
Rhinoplasty is performed under local or general anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort during your procedure. As you recover from your rhinoplasty, some swelling, bruising and tenderness are common side effects. However, these symptoms are typically easy to manage with over-the-counter or prescription medication.
Keeping your head elevated, using cold compresses and avoiding spicy foods can also help to make you more comfortable as you rest and recover from rhinoplasty.
How much time will I need to take off work to recover from rhinoplasty?
Plan to take around 2 weeks off work and other obligations to recover from your functional rhinoplasty. The healing process can vary, depending on the extent and details of your procedure. You will also need to avoid vigorous exercise for at least a month after your nose surgery.
How soon will I see results from a functional rhinoplasty?
Once the swelling begins to dissipate around two weeks after your nose surgery, you should notice an improvement in your breathing. Results of your functional rhinoplasty will continue to develop over the next weeks and months as your body fully heals.
Know that you may not notice an improvement right away, as swelling can temporarily cause your nose to feel congested. This side effect should gradually fade away in one to two weeks.
Contact us online or call our Boston office at 617-414-4980 to take the first step toward improving your quality of life with functional nose surgery.