What is functional septorhinoplasty surgery?

Functional septo-rhinoplasty surgery is a “nose job” undertaken primarily to improve the function of the nose i.e. breathing through the nose. It is not a cosmetic nose job, which only enhances the aesthetics of the nose. However, it does realign the deviated / collapsed nasal structures whilst projecting them for an improved airway, and does result in a more aesthetically pleasing nose. In addition, the improved nasal airway improves sleep quality and sometimes snoring and adds a real life meaning to the cliché term “ beauty sleep “.

The structure of the nose consists of bony and cartilaginous elements. These form the upper, middle and lower nose as most people see on a person’s face. The internal nasal structure is however not visible. This consists of a midline strong bony cartilaginous septum which “tents” the outside nose, giving it projection, height and therefore also its aesthetic form. The nasal framework’s function is to tent and project the nose, and maintaining an air passage so that the nose remains open for air to pass through, during sleep and active exertion.

Bony and cartilaginous framework of the nose

Deviated internal nasal septum

The bony cartilaginous septum is intimately connected to the upper and middle third external nose structures, and loosely via strong suspensory ligaments, to the lower “mobile” third. This intimate relationship determines appearance and airflow through the nose. Hence a deformity of this internal framework structure can deviate the external nasal structure, and functionally cause a block nose.

The intimate relationship between the different structures of the upper, middle and lower nose, together with the internal nasal septum, is relevant. They all influence the function of the other; so surgery on one structure can dynamically affect the position of the other. Hence in some cases of a blocked nose, a septo-rhinoplasty surgery may be recommended in one surgical session to primarily improve function, and consequentially, appearance. A stronger septal “tent” and support would mean a less obstructed middle and lower third of the nose, as well as an improved projection and nasal profile.

Functional septo-rhinoplasty surgery can be performed under open or closed (endonasal) approaches. The optimal approach should be discussed with your surgeon.

Before & after functional septo-rhinoplasty surgery

Before & after functional septo-rhinoplasty surgery

The information on this website is for general educational purpose only.
Readers should consult their physician before considering treatment, and should not interpret their condition solely based on the information above.