Septoplasty vs. Rhinoplasty: Which is Right for You?

Nasal surgery can provide much-needed functional relief and desired aesthetic improvement. Both a septoplasty and rhinoplasty are sought out by people who don’t like the appearance of their nose or who have trouble breathing.

The nose is the center of the face and can significantly affect facial symmetry, balance, and overall aesthetic. Of course, the nose is also a vital part of healthy breathing. If airflow through your nose is blocked for any reason, you may have trouble sleeping and get upper respiratory infections more frequently.

We know that there are plenty of reasons to pursue nasal surgery, but which procedure is right for you, a septoplasty or a rhinoplasty? Let’s discuss their benefits, differences, and who’s a good candidate for each procedure.


What Is Septoplasty?

The nasal septum divides the two sides of the nose. Whether displaced due to abnormal growth or injury, the septum can become obstructed. This can narrow the nasal passage and make breathing harder. Surgical intervention is necessary for a lasting solution when the deviation is significant.

In this procedure, incisions are made inside the nostrils to access the septum, addressing any excess bone or cartilage obstructing normal airflow.


What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty (a nose job) is one of the most common and commonly talked about nasal surgeries. The primary purpose of rhinoplasty is to address aesthetic concerns, including asymmetry, dorsal humps, or disproportionate size. During the rhinoplasty procedure, incisions are generally positioned inside the nostrils or along the nasal base, minimizing visible scarring for a more discrete outcome.


Septoplasty vs. Rhinoplasty: Similarities, Differences, and Benefits

Septoplasty and rhinoplasty are different in their primary purpose. You may benefit the most from septoplasty if you have a deviated septum or trouble breathing due to functional issues with your nasal anatomy. On the other hand, rhinoplasty may be for you if your primary concern is contouring, shaping, or reducing nose size.

However, rhinoplasty can benefit nose functionality as well. It may not help everyone with improved breathing, but a plastic surgeon can advise if rhinoplasty would help you breathe easier. The differences between the two nasal surgeries make each one right for different needs.

They are similar in certain ways. Both require downtime post-surgery and will likely have more side effects than a non-surgical solution. These may include swelling, bruising, pain, and avoiding specific activities like contact sports. Both are a permanent solution to functional and aesthetic issues with the nose.


What to Expect After Your Septoplasty or Rhinoplasty

After undergoing nasal surgery, adhering to a proper recovery and aftercare regimen is crucial. Here are some key considerations:

  • Pain Management: It’s normal to experience some discomfort or pain after surgery. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe medication to help manage this.
  • Activities to Avoid: During the recovery period, refrain from activities such as forcefully blowing your nose, wearing glasses that rest on the nose, or engaging in contact sports.
  • Rest: Allow your body ample time to rest and recuperate following the procedure. Avoid engaging in strenuous activities that could exert pressure on the nose.
  • Follow-up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon so they can monitor your progress and remove any bandages.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising around the nose area are common after nasal surgery. Applying cold compresses on and off can aid in reducing these symptoms.


Your recovery time will be unique to you and following any post-operative instructions will help you achieve optimal results.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Septoplasty or Rhinoplasty

Which procedure is best for you depends on your primary treatment goal. When deciding between procedures, talk to your plastic surgeon about your main goal of nasal surgery. They can advise you on which procedure is best for you based on your goals and unique nasal anatomy.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are these surgeries painful?

During the procedures, you’ll be under general anesthesia and should not feel any pain. It is normal to experience some post-operative discomfort, including swelling and tenderness.


Are there non-surgical solutions I can try?

If your primary goal is aesthetics, many providers also perform non-surgical rhinoplasties with dermal fillers. Rhinoplasties are often enjoyed because the results are permanent. If you’re seeking aesthetic treatment only, discuss the possibility of non-surgical rhinoplasty with your provider. If breathing issues are what you’re experiencing, surgery may be the only solution.

How long will downtime be after my septoplasty or rhinoplasty?

Most people need 1-2 weeks of downtime with 4 weeks before strenuous activities can resume. If you get a rhinoplasty, you’ll start to get an idea of the final outcome around one month.


Enjoy the Benefits of Septoplasty or Rhinoplasty

Septoplasty and rhinoplasty are different types of nasal surgeries that address different problems with functionality and appearance. If you’re interested in learning more about what these surgeries could do for you, contact Dr. Spalla with Philadelphia Facial Surgery & MedSpa today.

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