What is the difference between a rhinoplasty and septoplasty?Ear, Nose & Throat Plastic Surgery
Understanding the difference between a rhinoplasty and a septoplasty is key to help you to choose the best treatment to fix a crooked nose. Both surgical procedures are meant to target issues with the nose but they have different objectives.
RHINOPLASTY. WHAT IS IT? A rhinoplasty or nose job is a general all-encompassing term for a surgical procedure that enables patients to correct the shape, size, symmetry of their nose. The term is more commonly associated with cosmetic concerns - a rhinoplasty is able to correct a nasal hump, or a bulbous tip or large and wide nostrils. However, reconstructive rhinoplasties are also performed for noses that have been deformed by trauma, for reconstruction of defects after cancer surgery and for reconstruction of cleft noses in patients with cleft lip and palate deformities.
SEPTOPLASTY. WHAT IS IT? A septoplasty is a specific procedure that targets functional concerns with the nose, specifically relating to a crooked or deviated septum. The septum is the middle support of the nose that comprises of bone and cartilage and partitions the nostrils. Deviation of the septum from birth or as a result of nasal injury can lead to the appearance of a crooked nose, and difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils. As such, these patients would be an ideal candidate for a septoplasty procedure. A septoplasty can be performed alone or as part of a rhinoplasty procedure. It can also be performed as an open or closed procedure depending on the severity of the septal deviation. When performed as a closed procedure, a small incision is made in the inner lining of the nose to access the cartilage and bony septum, without a visible external incision.
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RHINOPLASTY AND SEPTOPLASTY. WHICH IS THE SURGERY FOR ME?
If you have a visibly crooked nose and a deviated septum that affects your breathing, a septoplasty can be performed with the main objective to fix a deviated septum, whilst leaving the external shape of the nose untouched. However, a rhinoplasty can also be done during the same surgery if you have intentions to correct other parts of the nose eg. dorsal hump, bulbous nasal tip or droopy tip.
I hope this answers your question. Have a great weekend!
Dr. Terence Goh
Septoplasty alone to address a deviated nasal septum is not meant to change the shape and appearance of your nose, the aim is to improve the breathing and nasal obstruction.
A rhinoplasty can also be done at the same time (Septorhinoplasty) to change the external appearance and shape of the nose.
When the deviated septum is mainly "internal", it is not necessary to perform a rhinoplasty at the same time to correct the shape of the nose.
However, in some cases, if the deviated septum and the external nose is deviated as well, then the combined Septorhinoplasty procedure would be medically necessary.
Septorhinoplasty can be functional or cosmetic, this will depend on the assessment by your surgeon at the time of consultation.