While most people decide to undergo a rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, the surgery can also be helpful for treating several types of breathing problems. Rhinoplasty for breathing problems is often referred to as “functional rhinoplasty”. Minor breathing problems are more common than you might think, so If you’ve been considering a rhinoplasty for aesthetic reasons, you may just find the surgery could help you breathe better as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most common breathing problems that can be improved or resolved through plastic surgery.
1. Deviated Septum
The most common breathing problem treated by rhinoplasty, a deviated septum occurs when the wall between the nostrils is crooked, making the internal nasal passages uneven in size. This can make it more difficult to breathe through one nostril. If you think you may have a deviated septum, you should visit an ear, nose, and throat plastic surgeon (known as a Facial Plastic Surgeon) to receive a diagnosis.
2. Enlarged Turbinates
While the turbinates (nasal filters) are important to the nasal structure and should not be removed altogether, they sometimes become enlarged and begin to interfere with normal breathing. In cases like these, reducing the size of the turbinates can be very effective in improving breathing problems.
3. Nasal Valve Collapse
Occurring in the narrowest portion of the nasal airway, a nasal valve collapse can significantly hinder breathing. Talk to your doctor about different treatment options before speaking to a plastic surgeon.
Will Insurance Cover My Rhinoplasty?
Functional nasal surgery is sometimes covered by insurance, but if the patient also wishes to have cosmetic changes made to the nose at the same time that portion of the surgery will not be covered. If you’re thinking of having your insurance company billed, be prepared to pay for cosmetic changes out of pocket. It is difficult to predict how much the insurance company will reimburse.
Benefits of a Combination Surgery
Having a functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty at the same time offers many benefits. The most obvious, of course, is the fact that the patient only has to undergo one surgery and recovery period. This is more efficient for both patient and doctor, and prevents a more difficult second surgery involving additional scar tissue.
Want to Learn More?
If you’re interested in rhinoplasty for functional or cosmetic reasons, contact Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), Massachusetts, to set up your consultation today.