Could a Rhinoplasty Improve both Appearance as Well as Breathing?

hi im thinking about getting my nose done. im concerned about improving my bridge and width of my nose. Id like to stay within the natural look but an improved me! My husband was also concerned about his nose.i posted a photo of him here and received some feedback..his other concern was his breathing. Can a rhinoplasty improve his breathing and the appearance of his nose?

Doctor Answers 13

A rhinoplasty can for some individuals improve breathing

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Thank you for the question.  A rhinoplasty can improve breathing for some individuals particularly if those individuals have a internal or external nasal valve issue.  The most common nasal breathing issue often septal deviation and large turbinates which requires a septoplasty and turbinectomy.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Rhinoplasty does not improve breathing

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Rhinoplasty is simply a procedure that is done to improve the appearance of and will not improve breathing.  Procedures to improve airflow dynamics through the nose and thus breathing, includes; septoplasty for a deviated septum, turbinate surgery for enlarged turbinates, and spreader grafts used to repair valve collapse and vestibular stenosis when present.  These procedures are typically billed to the patient’s medical insurance out of medical necessity for an impaired breathing problem.  Since rhinoplasty is an elective cosmetic procedure, patients need to be prepared to pay for that portion of the surgery.

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

Rhinoplasty can absolutely change your nasal airways

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Changing the shape of the nose has the potential to change the size and function of the nasal airways. This is especially true when you're making a nose smaller. In addition, the parition dividing the right nasal airway from the left nasal airway, the septum,  can influence your nasal airways as well as the shape of the nose. Make sure your surgeon is skilled in correcting both the septum as well as the external parts. 

Timothy R. Jones, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Breathing after rhinoplasty

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When you consult a plastic surgeons regarding rhinoplasty he or she will address both the appearance  issues as well as those having to do with breathing. There are several things a surgeon will do at the time of surgery to assure you maintain or even improve your breathing situation, such as a septoplasty or turbinate reduction. Ask your surgeon these questions at the time of your consultation

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Could a Rhinoplasty Improve both Appearance as Well as Breathing?

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Rhinoplasty alters the nasal appearance making it more attractive.  A Septoplasty and/or turbinate procedure can be performed, during the Rhinoplasty, to improve blocked nasal breathing.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

The short answer is "Yes."

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Rhinoplasty can have both functional benefits (improving breathing) as well as cosmetic. Patients often present to me for both breathing issues as well as appearance. Breathing issues are usually due to a deviated septum or nasal valve collapse, both of which insurance will often help with coverage. Cosmetic procedures or changes in the appearance of the nose can be done at the same time and often through the same incisions. The benefits of this include only one surgical procedure, less down time and cost savings. Consulting with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon is the first step to improving your breathing as well as your appearance.

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews


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if the breathing problem is mechanical, then a well performed rhinoplasty should help. However,an overdone procedure can make matters worse

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Goals?

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Thank you for the question.

A well executed rhinoplasty operation should address the aesthetic as well as functional “components” of the nose. At the very least, the nasal airway should be preserved;  optimally, the airway may be opened (with septal class the and/or turbinectomy work).

Best wishes.

Many patients requesting Rhinoplasty Surgery will have their airway improved at the time of surgery.

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If a patient has an anatomical problem causing nasal-airway obstruction, this is usually addressed at the time of Rhinoplasty Surgery. Correction of a deviated nasal septum and turbinate reduction are two commonly performed surgical procedures that may be performed at the time of Rhinoplasty Surgery to improve the nasal airway.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Rhinoplasty form and function

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I think the goals of rhinoplasty have changed in the past 20 years. In the past, it was all about form but not only did many noses take on an unnatural appearance it left many  patients with breasthing difficultties. Today, the look is for a  more natural appearance ( the nose to fit the facet) and also to maintain function.

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.