Am I a candidate for functional Rhinoplasty? (Photos)

I have a lot of difficulty breathing, especially out of my left nostril. I'm an avid runner but I cannot breath out of my nose when I run because I can't get enough air. I've been doing a lot of research about breathing issues and I'm wondering if I'm a good candidate for functional Rhinoplasty and if it looks to you like I have a collapsed nasal valve. I've never broken my nose.

Doctor Answers 13

Rhinoplasty to improve nasal breathing in an avid runner

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Yes, rhinoplasty can possible improve breathing. A deviated septum, swollen turbinates, and collapsed nasal valve are the most common reasons patients have nasal breathing problems. Surgery, however, isn't always required. Generally, medications are started first, unless you want to change the appearance of your nose. If you haven't already, then speak with a rhinoplasty surgeon to review options with you.

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Rhinoplasty, some advices:

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Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.

The harmony between facial parts makes us instinctively recognize the beauty... without knowing it, without defining it, just a perception that surprises and captivates us.

In this regard, I suggest perform a Closed Rhinoplasty (without visible scars) to treat the tip, base and nasal bridge.
With this procedure you get a delicate nose, better harmonize with your other facial features.

Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 369 reviews

Possible Functional Rhinoplasty

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The limited views shown in your photos certainly portray a crooked nose with a history of some trauma. There must be a functional problem if you can't breath through your nose while running. Possibilities include a deviated septum, internal valve collapse, or external valve issues. It would take a good physical exam to sort these things out at a consultation. Most likely you can get improved breathing, and a better looking nose with surgery.

Ira D. Papel, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Nasal airway obstruction

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Dear Apollo,
  Thank you for submitting your pictures.
 From observing your pictures, you have clearly a deviated bridge of your nose.  It is depressed on the right slope and protruding on the left slope. 
 It is impossible to describe decisively   what is the deformity inside your nasal cavity without examining you. However, what's common is common and it is unlikely that you have internal valve collapse, since it is rare, unless you had Rhinoplasty surgery. 
 Most likely, if you do not recall any trauma , it occurred at birth, resulting in your pictures' condition. Consequently, the septum is deviated and your turbinates are enlarged, causing blockage of your nasal airway, especially on the left side.
  The solution for your problem is to have septoplasty (removal of the obstructing septum and straightening it) and inferior  turbinectomy (partial removal of the hyper trophic inferior turbinates)  , which will open your  nasal airway widely and enable you to breath nasally. 
 Cosmetically, if desired, you will need cartilage graft on the right slope and osteotomy( break the slope) with infracture, in order to achieve symmetry.
  Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who do lots of rhinoplasty surgery in accredited surgery center for your safety
                   Best of luck,
                                     Dr Widder

Nasal valve repair

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Nasal valve collapse is not very common reason of difficulty breathing in patients who had never broken her nose and never had any nasal surgery.  Instead, allergies of the most common reason for difficulty breathing along with turbinate hypertrophy or a deviated nasal septum.  A functional rhinoplasty would not improve the appearance of your nose but only improve the breathing if needed.The first step would be a proper diagnosis by an otolaryngologist.


Dr. J

Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Functional Rhinoplasty

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Dear apollo93,

Thank you for your question. If you have problems breathing from one side of your nose; uou may have a combination of a deviated nasal septum and a collapsed nasal valve.  This can be treated with a functional rhinoplasty. I recommend seeking a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon to see if you are a candidate. It is important and helpful to do an intranasal examination to evaluate your nasal valve. Best regards, Gina Chu, MD.

Gina Chu, MD
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Functional breathing surgery

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 There are many issues inside the nose that can cause nasal obstruction, such as a deviated nasal septum, allergies, turbinate hypertrophy, chronic sinusitis, valve collapse and vestibular stenosis. Each one of these issues are treated differently with either medications and/or surgery. It's important to try and fail medical management first before locking to undergo functional breathing surgery. Functional breathing surgery is only done for airflow management,  and does not change shape of the nose. A cosmetic rhinoplasty is performed to change the shape of the nose, and must be paid for by the patient. For more information and many examples,  please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Functional Rhinoplasty?

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You do have a deviated/asymmetrical nose which can cause internal valve narrowing or collapse. An examination is necessary to determine if this is the exact cause of your breathing problem but a deviated nose with or without valve narrowing can obstruct the breathing. Physically you are an excellent candidate for this surgery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


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Dear apollo93, An in office intra-nasal examination will provide a diagnosis regarding your current breathing issues. These may include a deviated septum, hypertrophied turbinates, or valve collapse. This is a common complaint from many patients specially athletes and the good news is these issues can be corrected with surgery and improve your air flow. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D. 

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Nasal deviation

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While there are many potential causes of airway issues, a clear deviation of the septum and/or mid vault collapse can certainly contribute to it.  Best to be evaluated in person.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.