Septoplasty and rhinoplasty have a lot more in common than being performed on the nose. They should be thought of as one complex surgery even though their names are short for different things.
In this article, we will go over what septoplasty and rhinoplasty have in common and the differences between the two.
What is Septoplasty?
Septoplasty is a surgery done to correct a deviated septum, which occurs when the partition between the left and right nostril gets malformed or moves to an abnormal place.
In other words, the septum moves to where it is no longer separated by the nostrils and obstructs breathing.
Sometimes a deviated septum also occurs because of trauma to the nose or from previous surgeries.
For this surgery to be completed, the patient must have general anesthesia, which means they are asleep during the procedure.
This way, there will not be any discomfort during what could be very painful movement of tissues if done under conscious sedation or local anesthesia.
The surgeon may use either a traditional open or endoscopic approach when performing this surgery, depending on how bad the deviation is and which would better serve their purpose.
What is Rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty can help improve the overall look of the nose, but generally, it is performed to make breathing easier.
Rhinoplasty can be done for both cosmetic and functional reasons.
The number one reason people get rhinoplasty surgery is because of an actual deformity in their nose that occurs from birth or constant stress on the cartilage, i.e., trauma or overuse of the cartilage.
This surgery requires general anesthesia since some parts of this procedure could irritate the lining of the brain if done under local anesthesia.
When performing this surgery, a surgeon will have to work around areas they cannot see, so being awake does not benefit them when it comes time to sew up after they are finished with every step.
What Do Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty Have in Common?
Septoplasty and rhinoplasty have a few things in common that are equally important regarding these procedures.
The first is the reason they are done is because of what tissues they affect on the nose. This includes the septum, which separates both nostrils, or nasal cartilage, which makes up the tip of the nose.
Both cause similar problems in breathing, which is why these surgeries are so closely related despite their names being different lengths.
They both require general anesthesia since having operations while awake does not benefit patients at all for this type of surgery.
The next thing they have in common is how successful each one is.
According to this website, 95% of patients who have had a septoplasty and rhinoplasty surgery feel that their breathing has improved after the procedure.
People generally take a few months before they notice a huge difference in how they breathe, but once it starts improving, most people do not go back to having problems with their nose again.
How Long Will Recovery Take After These Surgeries?
Both surgeries take at least three months to recover from, but most people do not feel completely better for about six months.
This is because it takes that long for the swelling to go down, and any minor corrections can be made if necessary.
These are only general guidelines on how long recovery will take since each person recovers at different rates.
The amount of time needed also depends on which procedure was performed, including septoplasty or rhinoplasty surgery.
A deviated septum may heal more quickly than nasal cartilage due to the tissue being stronger around the nose than in between nostrils.
2 Essential Things You Must Know About Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty Surgery
- Make sure you understand if your procedure will correct your deviated septum or improve the overall appearance of your nose. This decision has to be made during a consultation with a surgeon, but it is best to understand what they are planning before you go through with the surgery.
- It is never too early (or late) to ask to speak with another surgeon if you do not like how one surgeon plans to perform these surgeries on you. You should never feel rushed into making this type of decision because it may affect the quality of your life for years after the surgery is completed. Even if you already have an appointment scheduled, call and break it off to speak with another doctor before agreeing to have anyone touch your face.
What Risks Are Associated with Both of These Procedures?
Both procedures come with their risks to keep in mind before going through with them.
With septoplasty, the most common problem that occurs is damage to your sinus cavity. This can cause chronic pain and fatigue after surgery because of the inflammation caused by the procedure.
There is also a chance that you could develop scar tissue which makes slowing or stopping this from happening difficult after it has already occurred.
If you also cannot breathe for an extended period, there is a risk your lungs will fail due to not getting enough oxygen during this time frame.
Rhinoplasty brings similar problems, including damage to your sinuses, when performing this surgery on someone whose nose bone structure was never formed correctly in the first place if they were born without this bone.
You can also develop bleeding and infection during or after surgery. The most serious problem that occurs with rhinoplasty is losing all of your senses of smell.
This happens in about six to eight percent of patients who have this procedure done because the delicate bones around the nasal passages are difficult to work on.
It can be a common cause for people having to go back in and get additional surgeries performed if they lose their sense of smell and doctors do not know how to fix it right away.
Both types of surgery must also be used carefully when someone has certain medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, history of bleeding issues, asthma, sleep apnea, or other respiratory problems because there could be problems through the surgery that can cause death.
They also should only be done if someone is in good health and has realistic expectations of what they want so there will not be a lot of disappointment later on.
In conclusion, septoplasty and rhinoplasty are two procedures that are typically done to improve the appearance of a person’s nose or allow them to breathe better.
While they can both become complicated depending on what problem someone is having, most patients who have this surgery experience an improvement in their quality of life after it has been completed.