Effects of septoplasty on the potential future rhinoplasty?

I was told it's the best to get the septo/rhinoplasty done at the same time. I am not quite ready to have the cosmetic issues (crooked nose and droopy tip) addressed just yet, but I am thinking about getting my breathing issues addressed soon. Could the septoplasty (straighten the C-shape septum and reduce enlarged turbinates) affect the results of the rhinoplasty at a later date in terms of scar tissue and etc? I would hate to jeopardize the results later to have my breathing improved now..

Doctor Answers 5

Best Done Together

This is a very common concern for patients.  Although they are two separate procedures, doing them at the same time has several advantages.  These advantages are : one anesthetic with one recovery period, financially, usually cheaper than done separately, and most important, most crooked noses require grafting and the best grafts come from discarded septal tissue.  If you have had a previous septoplasty you may need ear or rib cartilage used, which becomes more costly for the patient.  Best to do them simultaneously.


Lafayette Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Would a septoplasty affect my future rhinoplasty

A septoplasty surgery should not affect future rhinoplasty. Septoplasty is performed to improve breathing. A rhinoplasty is usually done for aesthetic reasons. At times, the cartilage harvested during septoplasty can be used in a rhinoplasty for functional or aesthetic reasons. If you had a previous septoplasty, then cartilage from ear or rib can be used in the rhinoplasty. I would discuss these issues with a facial plastic surgeon. 

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Effects of septoplasty on the potential future of rhinoplasty

A septoplasty procedure and a rhinoplasty procedure are two completely separate surgical operations, both performed on the nose. A septoplasty is performed to improve airflow dynamics through the nose when there's a deviated septum, and is performed for medical necessity. Rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic purposes to shave down the dorsal hump and straighten a crooked nose. It's always best to perform both procedures together, since patients will undergo one anesthesia and one recovery period. In addition, the cartilage harvested from inside the septum may be required to be used in the rhinoplasty procedure. If the septoplasty is done ahead of time, there may not be enough cartilage left in the septum for potential grafting purposes. Best to have both procedures performed simultaneously. Look for the most experienced surgeon you can find for best results. For more information many examples, please see the video and the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

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Effects of septoplasty on the potential future rhinoplasty?

Hello ZQT999,

Having a septoplasty to correct your breathing would not affect the cosmetic result of a future rhinoplasty for hte most part.  The only caveat is that the septal cartilage is what is frequently used for grafts during a rhinoplasty.  If there is no cartilage left for grafting then ear cartilage may be needed to be used.  This is not a major issue but it does involve having a separate incision to get cartilage from your ear.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Best to do Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty at the same time? Yes

This is a great question and is often asked by patients who require septoplasty for correction of nasal obstruction, but also desire rhinoplasty for cosmetic improvement. This is especially important in cases of crooked noses and droopy nasal tips. Septoplasty alone usually can not complete address correction of a crooked nose/ droopy tip. If you are seriously considering rhinoplasty, but feel that you are not ready yet, I strongly urge you to wait to perform both together. Unfortunately, if you elect to do your septoplasty now, any cartilage that may need to be removed to correct your breathing will not be available to "recycle" for rhinoplasty grafts that are so important in fixing a crooked nose. Additionally, scar tissue, anatomical distortion, tissue planes which may be interrupted for septoplasty will only complicate future rhinoplasty. In my view, it is best to do your septoplasty and rhinoplasty at the same time for the best outcome.  Hope this helps. 

Fred J. Bressler, MD, FACS
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
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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.