What qualifications should I look for in a surgeon if I need a septoplasty to improve my breathing?

I've suffered with difficulty breathing for years, and just recently (finally) found out that I have a deviated septum. I'll be seeing another doctor in about a month for a second opinion on whether a septoplasty will fix my problem, and whether I would need anything besides a septoplasty done. I'm not sure how to go about picking a good surgeon, though. What qualifications are important for the best chance at a successful septoplasty with no change in the appearance of my nose?

Doctor Answers 5

Board Certified Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgeon

A board certified Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgeon is someone who specializes in functional nasal breathing concerns.  This type of physician can help evaluate the anatomic and physiologic issues which may be causing your breathing concerns.  They may evaluate you nose with direct and endoscopic methods.  Both medical and surgical treatment options are available.  You should have a visit with this type of surgeon to help discuss your treatment options.


Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Otolaryngologist or ENT doctor

I would recommend you see an ENT physician for functional nasal problems.  They can help diagnose and treat the condition for you as there are many medical, and anatomic reasons.  Medical management may help, or surgery might be a better option.  Discuss this in detail with your surgeon.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Board-certified ENT for septoplasty procedure

Look for a board certified ENT  to perform a septoplasty procedure. A septoplasty will not change the shape of the nose, and is only  done for breathing improvement 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Best septoplasty doctor

I would recommend seeing a facial plastic surgeon.  This is a doctor who did training in ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat surgery) and also in plastic surgery of the face.  They will be able to use the combination of their training to see where the septum deviates, how the turbinates look, how the bones look, but also how the internal and external valve appear. 

I have seen many patients who have had their septum corrected, but their doctor did not fully appreciate that there was a dynamic issue with the valves of the nose and the patient still cannot breathe.

Best of luck,

Dr Rodman


Regina Rodman, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Go see an ENT

You should see a board certified ENT.  Septoplasty is bread and butter ENT surgery.   Most are skilled in this operation.   Certainly a facial plastic surgeon (ENT with extra training and certification) could have more experience with nasal surgery in general.   

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 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.