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What is rhinoplasty?

Homayoun Sasson, MD
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Rhinoplasty is surgery to address deformities of the nose. Rhinoplasty is the Greek terminology denoting a change or enhancement of the nose, at times associated with improving nasal breathing and function, simultaneously. Its main goal is to restore better proportion of nasal dimensions to the rest of the face, be it as a result of congenital deformities such as cleft lip and nose, trauma, infection and/or cancer, to name a few. It frequently addresses disproportionalities of nasal dorsal hump, wide or narrow nose including the tip, nostrils, nasal height, asymmetries and other numerous types of nasal deformities. At times, it may, inadvertently or by design, help improve or restore breathing as a result of deviated septum or previous surgeries or injuries to the nose. It is performed in two ways, "open" and "closed" or scar-less rhinoplasty, each having its pros and cons and depends on the skills and preference of the surgeon and the problem at hand. When performed properly and conservatively, it can significantly improve the person's appearance and self-confidence and even help alter the person’s life.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Rhinoplasty surgery can be defined as the molding or reshaping of the nasal vault (external nose and internal support). Cosmetic rhinoplasty surgery involves improving the appearance of the nose by reshaping the bones and the cartilage. Functional rhinoplasty surgery is performed to improve breathing. A septoplasty involves repositioning the septum (midline internal structure separating each nasal passage). A turbinectomy is performed to reduce the size (hypertrophic) turbinates found on the outer or lateral aspect of the nasal passage. Often both cosmetic and functional nasal surgery are performed at the same time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.