Septoplasty vs. Rhinoplasty: Which Can Achieve Your Goals?

young woman smiling looking off in the distance (model)

Rhinoplasty and septoplasty may seem like similar procedures as they both involve improving the nose. However, you achieve different goals with rhinoplasty versus septoplasty. The primary purpose of rhinoplasty is to make the nose more aesthetically pleasing, although the procedure can sometimes improve breathing issues.

A septoplasty improves functional issues by fixing a deviated or crooked septum or other structural irregularities. Before you discuss your nose concerns with your plastic surgeon, it’s helpful to understand what each procedure accomplishes.

How Does Rhinoplasty Work?

During rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, your plastic surgeon makes incisions between the nostrils (open rhinoplasty) or inside the nostrils (closed rhinoplasty) to remodel the bone and cartilage under the skin. Depending on the concerns you want to improve, your surgeon will recommend the best technique suited to your needs.

Most people typically take 7 to 10 days off work to recover after the surgery and start seeing results about 3 weeks post-procedure as the swelling recedes.

What Concerns Can Rhinoplasty Improve?

Rhinoplasty can address the following concerns so your nose will look more proportionate to the rest of your features.

  • A too-large or too-small nose
  • A crooked, twisted, or misshapen nose
  • A bulbous, droopy, or too-thick nasal tip
  • A bump or hump on the nasal bridge
  • Too-small, too-large, or asymmetrical nostrils

Below, you can see some of my rhinoplasty patients’ results.

Before & After Rhinoplasty Case 13 View #1 View in San Francisco, CA
Before & After Rhinoplasty
Before & After Asian Rhinoplasty Case 54 View #2 View in San Francisco, CA
Before & After Rhinoplasty
Before & After Rhinoplasty Case 74 View #1 View in San Francisco, CA
Before & After Rhinoplasty

If you prefer a nonsurgical treatment to improve the appearance of your nose, nonsurgical rhinoplasty with dermal fillers may be able to achieve your goals.

What Is a Septoplasty Procedure Like?

Septoplasty treats structural issues with the nose’s septum, the structure made of bone and cartilage that divides the nasal passages. Typically, a deviated septum often occurs after an injury to the nose or due to a genetic condition. A deviated septum can cause obstructed breathing, frequent nosebleeds or sinus infections, and other issues.

Both rhinoplasty and septoplasty are performed under general anesthesia or a local anesthetic with sedation, depending on the extent of the procedure. Unlike rhinoplasty, however, there is usually no need for an external incision. Instead, your surgeon will make incisions inside the nose, lifting the membrane from the septum and straightening the cartilage and bone inside the nose. Once the procedure is complete, your airways should be unobstructed and your breathing should improve.

Before & After Rhinoplasty Case 95 View #1 View in San Francisco, CA
Before & After Septoplasty

Do I Need a Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, or Both?

If you have aesthetic and functional concerns that you want to improve, your surgeon can combine elements of septoplasty and rhinoplasty in one procedure. A board-certified and experienced facial plastic surgeon or otolaryngologist-ENT surgeon can improve the inner structures of the nose for better breathing and refine the external appearance of your nose during the same procedure.

However, if you only want to improve the appearance of your nose, a rhinoplasty should suffice.

Deciding on rhinoplasty, septoplasty, or both is a difficult decision. Your facial plastic surgeon will work with you to identify the best treatment option for your concerns. You can see more of our rhinoplasty patients’ results in our photo gallery.

To learn more about the benefits of rhinoplasty and septoplasty, request a consultation or call us at (415) 441-1888 to schedule an appointment.

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