5 Commonly Asked Questions About Functional Rhinoplasty

As far as you know a well balanced nose can help you breathe better and improve your appearance. Normally, when a person wants to make modifications to his/her nose specialists suggest undergoing rhinoplasty surgery. However, it is also important to understand that rhinoplasty can be done not only for cosmetic purposes. This procedure is also performed for medical purposes when a person has difficulties with breathing. 

Therefore, it is extremely important to balance cosmetic rhinoplasty with a functional rhinoplasty. This article answers the most common questions people have about functional rhinoplasty. 

What is functional rhinoplasty? 

Functional rhinoplasty is a specific type of rhinoplasty, which focuses on the nasal breathing of the nose. Normally, functional rhinoplasty is a part of modern cosmetic rhinoplasty. However, it can be done as a standalone treatment. A lot of techniques and maneuvers that are employed in cosmetic rhinoplasty are also used in functional rhinoplasty. Nasal function can be further improved with the help of sinus surgery. 

Who is a good candidate for a function rhinoplasty?

Poor nasal functions is typically characterized by several symptoms, which are as follows: 

  • Nasal congestion 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Mouth breathing 
  • Reduced sense of smell 
  • Nosebleeding 

A perfect candidate for a functional rhinoplasty is a person with: 

  • History of nasal injury: it can result in a deviated septum or nasal valve collapse 
  • History of cancer reconstruction: various part of the nose might require additional support after a nasal reconstruction 
  • Age-related changes: as we age, our noses lose their structural integrity, especially at the nasal tip 
  • Congenital deformity 

What is the recovery after a functional rhinoplasty?

The healing stage after a functional rhinoplasty depends on the exact procedures involved. In general, the recovery process includes the following: 

  • First 2 days: you can experience oozing from the nose. You should make use of a drip pad under the nose to catch the spots of blood. Additionally, you might experience mild to moderate pain, which can be easily managed by pain relievers
  • 1-2 weeks: you can expect the bruising to resolve within the first two weeks following the surgery. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will remove splints, sutures and casts during the first week after the surgery. Nasal stuffiness will also improve during this period of time. 
  • 8-12 weeks: the redness of the external incision, if used, diminishes within this time frame. You will also experience improvement in tip swelling, which can be aided by steroid injections. 
  • 3 months-1 year: tip swelling will continue to improve and will eventually resolve leaving you with a final functional rhinoplasty outcome. 

You should keep in mind that it is crucially important to avoid lifting heavy objects and being involved in sports activities for at least one week after the surgery. Additionally, you should sneeze with your mouth open and avoid blowing your nose for the first two weeks. 

What are the risks and complications of functional rhinoplasty? 

Just like any other surgical intervention a functional rhinoplasty also carries a certain degree of risk, which are summarized below: 

  • Pain 
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection 
  • Persistent nasal breathing difficulty 
  • Unfavourable cosmetic outcome 

Does medical insurance cover the cost of a functional rhinoplasty?

As you might already know, almost any cosmetic procedure that is done for cosmetic purposes solely is not covered by medical insurance. However, functional rhinoplasty is normally done for the purpose of improving breathing, thus, is covered by insurance. You need to keep in mind that if cosmetic rhinoplasty is combined with functional rhinoplasty, the cosmetic portion of the cost will not not be covered by insurance. In addition to that, some surgeons might not accept in-network insurance. 

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