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Is Rhinoplasty Complicated Greatly After Prior Septoplasty?

I want to get the bump taken out of the bridge of my nose, however, if the top of the nose is slimmer, I feel it may need reshaped a little at the bottom. I had septoplasty over a year ago to help with breathing. This didn't improve breathing so don't know if this complicates things further cosmetically and I would also like to rectify my breathing difficulties. Thank you.

Doctor Answers (10)

Rhinoplasty After Previous Septoplasty

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As long as adequate septal support was left in place, a Rhinoplasty should present no problems. However, if the superior portion of cartilaginous septum was over-resected at the time of your septoplasty, dorsal hump reduction might lead to a complication known as a saddle nose deformity.  Lastly, if cartilage grafting is necessary for tip refinement or spreader grafts, the septal cartilage is always the best (but not only) choice.  Availability of septal cartilage may be limited in your situation.


Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Rhinoplasty After Prior Septoplasty

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This should not be a problem to have a rhinoplasty after prior septoplasty, and in fact it is possible that your breathing can be improved.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Rhinoplasty after prior septoplasty

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Rhinoplasty is complicated after a septoplasty if cartilage is needed for grafting purposes.  During the septoplasty, if cartilage is removed this could complicate the nose greatly if cartilage grafting is required.  If no cartilage grafting is required, it is inconsequential to the rhinoplasty procedure.  Rhinoplasty will not improve breathing difficulties out of the nose.  Correcting residual septal deformities and/or turbinate hypertrophy will address breathing issues.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

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Rhinoplasty following Septoplasty

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Your previous Septoplasty may limit the amount that the nasal bridge can be reduced depending on how the septoplasty was done.  If a cartilage window was taken, there's a strip of septal cartilage remaining along the top and front of the nose for support.  This limits how much can now be removed from the nasal bridge that is comprised of nasal bone and this top section of septal cartilage.  You should attempt to get the op report for your septoplasty for review by whomever you choose to do your Rhinoplasty to avoid nasal bridge collapse and a saddle deformity.

The septoplasty should have no ill effects on other cosmetic changes to your nose during Rhinoplasty but proceed with any further septoplasty work with caution as elevating the same area of the original septoplasty can cause a septal perforation that could be problematic for many months.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Is Rhinoplasty Complicated By Prior Septoplasty? No

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In most cases, prior septoplasty will not affect a future rhinoplasty. Your surgeon will be able to tell you if it is a problem after he/she examines you. You certainly may have your breathing improved by straightening the septum, but your surgeon will also be able to diagnose other potential causes of breathing problems, including the enlarged nasal turbinates and narrow nasal valves. These may also be corrected during rhinoplasty. After surgery, you should be able to breathe the same or better than before surgery.

Anand D. Patel, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon

Septoplasty can complicate rhinoplasty?

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It is very unusual that a prior septoplast performed to correct breathing problem to affect the outcome of a rhinoplasty. Having said that, the cause of your breathing problem must be addressed prior and during the rhinoplasty. You may have internal valve weakness that is causing the breathing problem. This can be corrected by spreader grafts placed at the time of rhinoplasty. You have to look at rhioplasty as a combination of a aesthetic procedure and a functional procedure ( breathing). If both are addressed the chances of having post operative problems is very limited. Good luck

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Having rhinoplasty after having prior septoplasty

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A rhinoplasty can be performed after having already had a prior septoplasty. It may make things more complicated depending on how much cartilage is remaining in your septum to harvest and use for any needed nose grafting.

Fortunately, if additional cartilage is needed your ear or rib may be used as well.

Importantly, if you're noticing continued nasal obstrction despite a prior septoplasty your surgery should see if anything else can be done to help it.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Rhinoplasty after Previous Septoplasty

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A septorhinoplasty can be done after a previous septoplasty. It may be more difficult because of your previous surgery, but you should have an excellent result if done by an experienced surgeon. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Septoplasty should not interfere with later rhinoplasty

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Septoplasty should not interfere with later rhinoplasty. The main downside of this is that there might not be adequate cartilage left in your septum to craft cartilage grafts to help with the shape and/ or function of your nose. If that is the case, cartilage can be borrowed from your ear or rib or donor cartilage can be utilized.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Is Rhinoplasty Complicated Greatly After Prior Septoplasty?

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Usually septoplasty doesn't comlicate the procedure of rhinoplasty  unless there is need to redo the septum or to try to harvest cartilage from the septum for grafting.  In  the latter a prior septum resection may make it harder to procure the cartilage.

Erel Laufer, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.